Tradition and memories are assembled in Luma – the latest proposal from the young Peruvian chef Omar Malpartida. With ingredients that he imports from Peru, through the Manos Cruzadas Foundation-created by himself- and with the best of Spanish products, he has created a diverse, and enriching menu that is supported by Peruvian biodiversity. Omar Malpartida, who will turn 30 in 2019, has embarked on a culinary search towards his origins.
This is the origin of his latest culinary concept, after astonishing Madrid with Tiradito & Pisco Bar, Chambí and Barra M /, places that have crowned him as one of the top representatives of Peruvian cuisine in the capital. Synonymous with success, but also with a lot of tireless work, as evidenced by the gastronomic consultancies that he has carried out, since 2014, when Tiradito opened – Malpartida has been the culinary ambassador of Peru.
Now, with vindictive intention, he submerges his clients in Luma, a double culinary offering. On the one hand, he serves Peruvian product, largely unknown to the Spanish public. On the other, diners are transported, without having to take a plane, to the purest flavors of Peru.
Tubers such as oca and olluco , other fruits such as the sachatomate or spices and seasonings such as the pea or the various peppers are the backbone of this round trip, which Omar Malpartida heads to open a gastronomic window in the heart of Madrid , in the middle of Retiro. From here, this chef is committed to creativity and the quality of raw materials.
This establishes a trip of 9,000 kilometers that plays with the seasons of two countries , located in different hemispheres, which allow the chef to investigate flavors and combinations previously unthinkable. However, the mission of Malpartida is not limited to giving tasty food and putting forgotten ingredients on the table.
He also serves justice to the Peruvian farmer , who must be valued and to whom the merit and the fair price for his work must be given. This is the main motivation for the emergence of the Manos Cruzadas Foundation, which emphasizes the need to value and pay correctly for this trade, which is essential for the kitchen to work, and which is sometimes unfairly overshadowed.
With this double task – that of recovering memory and acting as a repairman – Omar Malpartida promotes the use of these ingredients, sharing with other chefs and putting aside the prejudice of the ego that sometimes persecutes chefs. “I do not want to monopolize these products. I want them to get to know each other and play off one another “ Omar tells us from the bright spot, set with wooden and stone furniture, which he runs from Valenzuela Street.
It is no coincidence that the decoration is representative of what Omar himself pursues in the kitchen: durability and essence . Nor is the name, Luma, which comes from the acronym formed by the names of Ludmila and Maria, his two grandmothers. Thus, assembling family gastronomic memories and pantries that mix America with Europe, the Lima chef develops his proposal, divided into a tasting menu, baptized as “Origins” and the menu.
In both options a good part of the flavors that form the backbone of Peruvian cuisine are presented, including nuances from the three Peruvian regions in the same dish. An example of this is the Churo, a bisque of the churo itself – a large snail from the Amazon -, periwinkles and turmeric of the so-called Amazonian Origin, which presents on a fried plantain tostón a stew of Iberian meat with sachatomate – also known as a tree tomato – and chili pepper . Divided into eight steps plus dessert, Origins is a culinary compendium of what the kitchen should do: be an element of union and cohesion.
That is why there is nothing that Omar Malpartida leaves to chance in Luma and that is why he is directly involved in the importation of the Peruvian ingredients with which he officiates. At the moment there are 16 jewels that he offers – that arrive in Madrid every Tuesday – although his interest is to reach 20 products in 2019, a difficult task that also requires continuous trips and calls to discover what to bring to Luma.
The menu also offers Peruvian classics such as ceviche, which is made with the fish of the day, a salted meat, huatia, chili pepper and the surprising Andean tubers, which color Luma’s dishes with color and different flavors.
The culmination, taking into account the ‘garden’ that Omar has, also becomes a parade of colors in which the Amazonian products shine with their own light. Tumbo, chancaca, macambo or almond from Shica Shica are part of the exotic names with which Omar makes these desserts, the end point of a vivid gastronomic experience that deserves, with more reasons than ever, to be lived and tasted in order to truly understand the strength of this Peruvian kitchen.
Location: Calle de Valenzuela, 7. Madrid
Telephone: 91 069 12 05.
Hours: From Tuesday to Saturday from 13:30 to 17:00h and from 20:30 to 23:00h. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Average Price: Origins menu for € 75. Optional matching for € 50 more. A la carte: between € 40 and € 50.
Text: Jaime de las Heras
Photos: Nacho Alcalde Ruiz