Peruvian pride Endless aprons, vintage cookbooks and Maras salt are Martin Morales’s trusted tools …
Six years ago, we sold our house to start Ceviche in Soho, and moved to this rental. We love it more than any other house we’ve ever lived in. It’s 100m from our kids’ schools, and the kitchen is exactly the style we like: the high ceilings, the picture rails, the old wooden floors, and that stove (1) ! It reminds me of the open fireplaces I used for cooking in the Andes. It’s a coal and woodburning stove, which you can heat things on top of.
I go to Peru several times a year to research recipes and meet chefs, and I bring back a lot of things. This is a fraction of my apron collection (2) . Above my head is an amuleto (3) – an Andean good luck charm; and the hand-painted basket (4) is from the Huancayo region, given to me by a lady who runs a restaurant called La Tullpa. She taught me how to make an exquisite oyuco potato soup.
I always bring back muna (5), an Andean herb that’s very calming as a tea; and mote corn (6), a type of giant kernel corn that is great for slow stews and soups. Tastewise, it’s somewhere between sweetcorn and potato.
The kitchen is a place for creativity, fun and happiness; for family, neighbours and friends to come together. As a family we did a workshop with the Carga Maxima artist collective, in Lima. We each chose one of our family values and painted the words – I did “patience” (7) …
Food and music are my biggest loves. We have speakers in every room of the house, a vintage turntable, Sonos, and digital radio. I live in deep west London, but listen to songs from the deep Andes.
I often buy musically themed cooking utensils: tweezers that look like microphones, wooden spoons that look like drumsticks …
And I have a big collection of music posters and original photography, mostly Peruvian rock and roll. The Mano Negra poster (8) is from a legendary concert from the 1980s.
I’ve stopped DJing, but you can still find me behind the decks in Ceviche Old St on a Thursday night. I only collect 7-inches (9) these days – all retro and analogue; warm crackly fun.
I also collect cookbooks, both vintage and new. The Alice B Toklas (10) contains some crazy recipes – supposedly the first recipe for hashish cake. She was a real bohemian. I found this copy in at the fleamarket in Paris in Clignancourt, about 15 years ago. Weirdly, I was there again a few weeks ago. I walked in to an area packed with records, and on the turntable was playing Discoteca, a record I produced.
I like to bring back little plates from my travels. I have my porridge every day in this beautifully handmade brown one (11) – I got it from Monica Alpaca’s restaurant, the picanteria La Nueva Palomino, in Arequipa.
I had lunch at Jose Lujan’s restaurant in Cuzco a year ago, and he gave me this rock salt (12) from Maras. About 500 people work that part of the Sacred Valley, each on their own little plot, extracting salt by hand from the area where a small hot stream emerges from the earth. It’s such a poignant memento of our country.
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