Skip to main content

A former cabin crew member in her thirties is in charge of travel logistics, hotels, transportation and reservations for all travelers visiting Central and Kjolle in Lima, MIL in Cusco and MAZ in Tokyo. She lives in Lima, gets up early, takes her dogs out, prepares breakfast and arrives at Casa Tupac (the place where Kjolle and Central are located), where she fulfills her tasks punctually, and ends the day in the afternoon with a beer and a kiss from her girlfriend. Like this every day, 5 days a week, like many of us, young people in our thirties who work with passion and vocation to make Virgilio, Pia and Malena’s ideas come true.

Casa Tupac

But not all of us live the same day to day, there is a team in Cusco, which also does its part with a different routine, they live in Urubamba, a small district of about 24,000 inhabitants, which belongs to the department of Cusco in Peru.

Their mornings start early, they get up before 6am to take the transport that for 25 minutes drives them between mountains to MIL.

Sheep traffic on the way to MIL Centro

They have breakfast, lunch, laugh, disagree, all together, as a family of 25, which was not chosen, but that works with its particularities and affinities in a unique place, with unique communities and realities.
To go into a detailed description of how charming it is to work in front of Inca ruins, interacting with local communities and that the day is not interrupted with an evacuation drill but with the offering to the Apus (mountains in Quechua) to start the planting season, with local children who come to pick vegetables from the bio-garden is charming, but quite far from the daily life of those of us who work in restaurants without being cooks.

MIL Centro’s Kitchen, Safety and Mater team at planting day

So, what is it like to work in the best restaurant in the world, and motivate yourself with an office routine?

Liliana, the logistics girl, dusted off her drawing pencils and started illustrating with plants, so far so normal, but then, where do you get the courage to show your drawings to Malena, one of the directors of Mater, the research center of the best restaurant in the world!!!! The team encouraged her, the director of Art and Culture and I, supported Liliana to trust in her talent and to present her drawings, she did it, and now they will be part of Cacao Mater and of a project developed between the experimentation team in I+A Cuisine and the garden team of Casa Tupac.

Cocoa leaf illustration for Cacao Mater

Fortunately, this is not an isolated case, Edward Quillahuman, cook at MIL, wrote an article for the nearly 200 people that make up the restaurant team.

Mater’s anthropologist, Silvana Kovalski, embroidered cocoa leaves used in the Central experience. And Rosana Alegria, Commercial Projects Assistant, leads the reuse of plastic materials at Casas Tupac.

Upper right equine, embroidered cocoa leaves

We walk the streets of Barranco, we travel Lima, by bus, bicycle, car or scooter; to get to work the stipulated day, drinking coffees between white walls, but with the window open to look beyond, to propose, to take risks, to get it right or wrong. Maybe in Central or wherever we are, we have the perfect job, maybe we work in the perfect place or maybe we don’t understand why or what the perfect one is for, because it confronts us or scares us. Maybe we just have to let go of our shyness and jump in, to understand that a YES is recognition and a NO is an opportunity.

Mónica Santana
Mater team author

Leave a Reply

Close Menu


We aim to integrate by creating an expandable network that is based on a deep understanding of food, nature, cultures, and the environment.

Av. Pedro de Osma 301,
Barranco, Lima. Perú.

P: (+51 1) 242-8515