Contemporary cuisine exploring the length and breadth of Argentina
What’s it all about? Placing No.83 then No.68 in the past two editions, Germán Martitiegui’s cutting-edge restaurant in Buenos Aires finally steps up to the plate to rank in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the first Argentine establishment to feature since Francis Mallmann’s 1884 in 2002.
What diners can expect: Opening in 2009 with a minimalist three entrée, main and dessert menu, Martitegui has produced the winning combination of a monthly eight-step tasting menu for the past three years. In a bid to create a legitimate Argentine cuisine, he looks to all corners of the country for influences, which includes techniques as well as products.
A few highlights: Both Patagonia and Argentina’s obsession with fire are the inspiration behind ostra a la parrilla, a flame-grilled oyster teamed with sea foam. For chivito, meanwhile, Martitegui turns his compass to the Andean northwest for slow-cooked kid fused with medicinal herbs such as pupusa grass, muña muña and chuño (dried potatoes).
The dining room: After years of shared projects, Tegui was Martitegui’s first solo endeavour so he was keen to make his design mark, even selling his car to purchase the oven he wanted. Black floorboards contrast with the gleaming white open-plan kitchen, the patio is a lush urban jungle and the sommeliers even play their part, ‘flying’ through the wine cellar.
What else? In 2016, Martitegui published his first book, a 480-page bible spanning 12 months in the life of Tegui; he also launched Proyecto Tierras, a culinary project taking him to all 23 Argentine provinces, meeting producers and sampling ingredients, over a two-year period.