After leading the kitchen Astrid y Gastón in Lima, Peru since 2012, chef Diego Muñoz is leaving the legendary restaurant. According to Ateriet, Muñoz recently announced he would depart at the end of January. The renowned restaurant from Peruvian chefs Gastón Acurio and Astrid Gutsche has been open since 1994 but it was only when Muñoz joined the team that the restaurant rose from 42nd to 14th place in San Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants list, and third place in the organization's Latin American list.
While his time at the Peruvian eatery has been noteworthy, Muñoz's explains that his departure from Astrid y Gastón will be followed by a culinary tour of the world, where he will explore cuisines from many different cultures. He explains his plans, "[I] can for sure say that I'll spend time in Lima, Panama City, Miami, Oslo, Vienna, Zurich, Moscow, Macau, and Morocco." The chef says after his world travels, his end goal is to open a restaurant of his own and has set his eyes on Peru as the location, but is unsure of what type of cuisine it will be. He says about his decision to leave, "It was a very tough decision. My time at Astrid y Gastón has been really hard, but beautiful all the way. I gave a lot to it and have received a lot as well."
During an interview with Eater in March, Muñoz spoke passionately about his style and how his memories often inspire the dishes he puts on his menus. This news comes just five months after Gastón Acurio announced he would be "retiring" from his post as director of Astrid y Gastón.