Pía León




Av. Pedro de Osma 301
Barranco, Lima

Pía León was born in Lima in 1986, in a family of food lovers. At 16, she started helping her mother with her catering business. She attended Le Cordon Bleu school in Lima, before leaving and acquiring significant experience in prestigious restaurants like Astrid y Gastón, in Peru, and El Celler de Can Roca, abroad. Back in Lima, she met her future partner, Virgilio Martinez, with whom she started to work in 2009 in the new-born Central

Their personal and professional partnership developed quickly, so that Central grew and in 2013 entered the World's 50Best (never leaving the first positions) and in 2014 it was awarded as Latin America's Best Restaurant. León directed the kitchen at Central for many years, before he thought he wanted to express her idea of restaurant even more freely.

So in 2018 she opened "her" restaurant, Kjolle. «For me – she says – it was a chance to tell my story and show a different take on the Peruvian culinary revolution. Kjolle and Central share the same philosophy, they both celebrate biodiversity, but at Kjolle we focus on products, not on altitude or ecosystems, with a simple menu, with four or five ingredients maximum in each dish». 

The research on Peruvian biodiversity is expressed in León's and Martinez's work, but has its heart in the multidisciplinary organisation of Mater Iniciativa, which the couple run together with Virgilio's sister, Malena Martinez. The couple's creativity also resulted in restaurant Mil, in the centre of the Peruvian Andes, and in bistro-bar Mayo, a casual establishment in Lima. In 2021 Pía León won the World's 50Best award as Best Female Chef in the world. 

Has participated in

Identità Milano


Niccolò Vecchia

Journalist, based in Milan. At 8 years old, he received a Springsteen record as a gift, and nothing was the same since. Music and food are his passions. Author and broadcaster at Radio Popolare since 1997, since 2014 he became part of the staff of Identità Golose 
Instagram: @NiccoloVecchia