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Pía León

Pía León

Lima, Peru




Lima, Peru


Topping Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list for three years in a row and voted one of the world’s top ten restaurants for five years running, Pía León helmed the kitchen and co-owned Central with her husband Virgilio Martínez for a decade before she decided to branch out on her own with Kjolle (pronounced KOY-ay). The restaurant takes its name from an indigenous, flowering tree that grows at extreme altitudes, it burst onto Latin America’s 50 Best list at No.21 in 2019, winning the Highest New Entry Award.


As vivid as its namesake’s orange blossoms, Kjolle’s dishes offer a kaleidoscopic taste of Peru’s countless ingredients. The nine-course tasting menu explores all corners of the country, showcasing sea bass with razor clams, a selection of tubers including yucca, olluco and potato, and cured duck with squid, onion and kañiwa, a grain akin to quinoa. Kjolle also offers a vegetarian degustation and à la carte options.

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Chef's Story


Chef Pía León: Creative, colourful Peruvian cuisine sourced from the Amazon to the Andes:León 


  • N°21 on Latin America’s Fifty Best Award 2019
  • Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2018
  • World’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Restaurants 2020 by FORBES
  • The Best Chef Rising Star Award winner 2019 by Best Chef Awards in Paris, France

Pía León joined Central when she was just 21. She worked her way up to Head Chef and remained at the Lima flagship for over a decade. In 2018 she was voted Latin America’s Best Female Chef, the same year she opened Kjolle. León still oversees Central with Virgilio Martínez and has been instrumental in its successes, continuously ushering the restaurant to new heights; thrice named Latin America’s Best Restaurant; and No.4 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.


Nestled along a leafy stretch of the trendy Barranco district, Kjolle is housed in the former cultural center Casa Tupac, a modern restaurant complex with a verdant garden that shares its space with Central, the Mater Iniciativa research lab and the cocktail bar Mayo. Kjolle’s open-plan kitchen offers full views of León and her team, the airy dining room features furnishings made of 100% Peruvian materials, even the tableware is crafted with indigenous materials such as cedar and capirona wood, sourced in the Amazon rainforest.

Marcus Wareing

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