Belmond has appointed Diego Munoz as executive chef for South America's first luxury sleeper train, the Belmond Andean Explorer. As a world-renowned ambassador of Peruvian cuisine, Munoz gained recognized as the head chef of Astrid & Gaston, Lima—a mainstay on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Belmond Andean Explorer will take to the rails for its inaugural journey on May 4 with a two-night itinerary from Cusco to Arequipa via Lake Titicaca. Fares start at $1,440 per person based on double occupancy, including all meals, an open bar, and excursions.
In preparation for the inaugural journey, Chef Munoz worked closely with the team at Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco to create daily menus showcasing traditional Peruvian cuisine. The menu highlights regionally sourced ingredients including fish from the Moquegua coast, trout from Lake Arapa, lemons from Cusco, and quinoa from the Altiplano. Signature dishes include Alpaca Tortellini, Banana and Pisco Tatin, Arequipean Paw Paw Mostrada and Lima Bean Cappuccino.
Belmond Andean Explorer serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for up to 48 passengers from a kitchen measuring just under 500 square feet. Some of the food is prepared by the team at Belmond Hotel Monasterio and freshly delivered to the train before departure. Though small, the kitchen is outfitted with the latest modern appliances to ensure high quality cuisine.
Chef Munoz brings years of experience to the new position. In the past, he trained at Le Cordon Bleu and Canada and Paris before he was awarded with the 'Le Grand Diplome" distinction. He also worked at Mugaritz and El Bulli Spain, where he learned under the lead of Andoni Luis Aduriz and Ferran Adria.