The work process of one implies the research and knowledge of the other. Through Mater's research we locate ingredients that we then learn to use in Central's kitchen. Our motivation is to know the origin of those ingredients and tell their story from the beginning, and they are then presented to the world in the dishes we create. It inspires such emotion to interpret what grows in our earth. The actions of Mater influence the soul of Central.
Conveying the wonder of the discovery of new products in their natural habitat is impossible. However, at Central, thanks to Mater's foraging, it is possible to exhibit the wild beauty of roots, seeds, fruits, vines, tubers, and aromatic flowers that we gather along the way. And so, to satisfy the curiosity of restaurant visitors, we have the Mater Box, a type of glass case in which we display the discoveries of our journeys. We now have more than 150 products on exhibition, and we are convinced that the biodiversity of Peru will never leave us without new protagonists.
The plant register that we keep in Mater is a tracking task. On each journey the people of the community introduce us to new species and show us the uses of each. Sometimes they make infusions or prepare creams to calm muscle aches. We listen to them and then study the species. We bring samples to Lima, and with the help of botany experts we search for their scientific names and analyze the information which exists about them. In Peru, there are thousands of wild plants that have yet to be identified. If we don't know what grows in our soil it will be impossible to preserve them.
The input of Mater Iniciativa is highly meritorious to the development of cooperative spaces among cooks, researchers and other actors linked to the place in the value of biodiversity. In turn, Central's interest in adding knowledge to the agroecological, productive, and sociocultural environment in each dish offered on its menu is important”
In Peru, new species of animals and vegetables are constantly discovered, but at the same time live under the threat of loss of biodiversity. Because of this Mater's research is important. The study of new or little known products and their introduction to the international public contributes to the valorization of our natural wealth and the acknowledgement of the importance of their conservation”
Once a month we convert Central into a study center. At Mater Iniciativa we believe in sharing knowledge and the importance of meeting with professionals of various specialties for the exchange of information. We offer talks about diverse subjects such as organic cultivation, native legumes, and Amazonian palm trees among others. Thanks to alliances that we've formed with the Consejo Nacional de Tecnología e Inovación del Perú (CONCYTEC - National Advisory of Technology and Innovation of Peru), and L'Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD - The French Research Institute of Development), we have experts that lead the sessions and help us understand the magnitude of our findings. Friends who are specialists also have offered expositions with the idea of summing up knowledge in encounters where kitchen meets science.
At Mater Iniciativa, we have allowed the seasons of sowing and harvest to guide our path. The beauty of the ingredients has guided our curiosity to know the Earth. Each one of them enshrines a remnant of Peru's history, knowledge and tradition.
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