New Tulum Restaurant From Former Noma Chef Planned for 2018

In Dine, Playa del Carmen & Tulum by Suzanne Koch

Last year, René Redzedpi, chef and co-owner of Noma headed down to the trendy town of Tulum where he opened his pop-up restaurant Noma Mexico to high demand. Joining him was chef de cuisine Jose Luis Hinostroza, who since the pop-up ended in May has become a partner at Arca, a local Tulum restaurant. Now, nearly a year after the Noma craze began, Hinostroza is preparing to open his own restaurant near Arca, dubbed Natal. As his first solo project and according to Eater, Natal “will focus on pre-colonial Mesoamerican cuisine, techniques, and ingredients” incorporating “native seeds, grains, nuts, flora, and fauna” into the cooking.

Along with featuring the tastes of Mexico, Natal will also showcase Mexican design by bringing in the same team behind Noma Mexico’s look, Mexico City-based designers La Metropolitana. Custom-made pits, logs as tables and chairs and big rocks will be some of the unique features. “The setting will resemble personal experiences that we’ve had in small indigenous communities,” says Hinostroza. With as many as eight pits, Natal will be able to accommodate 70 diners at once. The pits will be inspired by pibs, large oven-like structures in the ground typically used to prepare ceremonial meals by heating rocks and covering the ingredients in the pit with leaves and dirt. Meals will highlight proteins and vegetables cooking below ground for up to 6 hours. Hinostroza wants to also encourage guests to enjoy the meals with their hands and “dipping or smearing the remaining sauce or cooking juices from the plate, an action that is so [embedded] in the DNA of Mexican cuisine,” he explained.

Natal is set to begin construction in February, with a projected opening date of June 2018.

Photo: Arca

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