LIMA is the creation of Virgilio Martinez and his partners, Gabriel & José-Luis Gonzalez. LIMA London opened in 2012, the year of the London Olympics and was awarded a Michelin Star a little over a year after opening. A new identity was created for the second restaurant, Floral by LIMA (in London’s famous Covent Garden) incorporating a bar concept and a more relaxed dining room. Robert Ortiz in in charge of menu development for the company for the London sites.
Peruvian cuisine is a melting pot of different cultures, which have come together to form a unique blend of flavours and techniques. With the arrival of European and Japanese and Chinese immigrants centuries ago, their ingredients and customs intertwined over the decades with those of the locals, creating what is known as Peruvian cuisine: one of the fastest growing gastronomic movements today.
LIMA is a constantly evolving representation of the gastronomic expansion that has taken place in Peru during the last few years, with the idea of showcasing LIMA as the gastronomic capital of the Americas to important world cities such as Dubai and London.
Home to a dynamic, vibrant community of diverse cultures and nationalities, Dubai is the perfect location for world-renowned Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez to express the innovation which took him to the no 4 chef in the prestigious ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list.
Meet Our Team
Virgilio’s formation has been from the kitchens of New York’s legendary Lutece, to the Ritz in London, before heading the kitchen at Astrid y Gastón in Madrid. He has also lived in South East Asia where he has worked with prestigious chefs, and has also extensively travelled unknown areas of his native Peru. In 2010 he opened his critically acclaimed Central Restaurante, which is ranked #4 of San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World and #1 of the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. Virgilio is also a decent (and former competition) skateboarder.
José-Luis obtained a BA in Business Administration in his native Venezuela and a MSc in Finance from the London Business School in 2005. He held senior investment positions over the last 11 years in London before co-founding Lima in 2012. He left the City in 2015 to head up financial and legal matters for the group. Away from the restaurant, he is a keen sportsman and particularly enjoys climbing, running and skiing.
Gabriel, co-founder and MD, obtained an MBA in HEC, Paris and has extensive experience in the international marketing arena. His true passions are gastronomy and traveling. On his first visit to the Peru, inspired by the food he decided with his brother José-Luis and Virgilio that these unique flavours had to be showcased in London. He recently started his career as an entrepreneur, launching Lima as his first venture where he is the partner responsible for commercial and marketing.
Ryan has over 15 years experience internationally across the Middle East and Africa, operating throughout South Africa and United Arab Emirates. Previous projects have received prestigious awards including Best Italian restaurant, Best Franchise restaurant and awarded one of the Top 10 restaurants in South Africa. As a strong operator with a proven track record, Ryan has overseen extensive rollouts and openings for various independent restaurants, 5-Star hotel restaurants, Casino Groups and key F&B Operators in these respective regions. Ryan is truly passionate about hospitality and the development of people within his teams.
Diego is the head chef of LIMA Dubai. He was just 17 years old when he started in the culinary world. At the age of 22 he met Chef Virgilio Martinez in Bogota and then worked for him with one of the most influential chefs in Peru, Gaston Acurio. After few years he left his country and started a journey around the world cooking and being fascinated by Peruvian food and culture - his adventure has taken him to cities like Lima, Buenos Aires, Dubai and Hong Kong. He has always been curious and creative will bring to LIMA Dubai the freshness and variety of the Peruvian cuisine.
Press and Awards
Lima was first awarded a Michelin star in September 2013 and has retained this recognition in the two subsequent years.
“One of the arresting qualities of dishes at Lima is their beauty — due to a vivid use of natural colours.”
“Joy! A lovely new restaurant where the food is great, the service friendly and the cocktails divine. Welcome to London, Lima.”