Chef Marilú Madueño Martínez of Huaca Pucllana - Biography

Lima, Peru

August 2012

As longtime executive chef of one of Lima’s premier tourist restaurants, Marilú Madueño Martinez is a both a local celebrity (she’s well-known in the local farmers market) and an internationally recognized chef (she’s cooked at the James Beard house). It doesn’t hurt that, besides having a natural flair in the kitchen, Madueño also has an educational pedigree. Having studied hotel and restaurant management in Lima, she then made for the United States to attend Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, and then to Paris for further training at Le Cordon Bleu. While in the City of Lights, she also worked at Taillevent (a three-starred Michelin destination restaurant), where she refined her techniques and developed a deep love for Parisian cuisine. When she finally returned to Lima, she took a position at the famed La Rosa Naútica, marrying her native country’s flavors with European refinement.

That approached followed at Huaca Pucllana—a fine-dining restaurant nestled next to a recently unearthed1,500-year-old adobe pyramid in one of Lima’s residential neighborhoods—Madueño takes traditional Peruvian dishes and updates them. An outdoor wood-fired grill is used for the anticuchos and cuy, while she also takes some inspiration from other of Peru’s influences (including African and European flavors), which results in a surreal experience of eating ancient Incan peasant food with European flair, as floodlights paint the nearby ruins in a yellow glaze.