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Ancient recipes are reinvented to move Mexican gastronomy into the 21st century
Widely considered the country’s best restaurant, Pujol is chef Enrique Olvera’s extraordinary personal approach to Mexican gastronomy. Deeply rooted in the republic’s cultural legacy, he has taken his country’s cuisine and both reinvented it by recreating historic dishes and moved it forward by creating new ones.
Authentic ingredients and seasonings are carefully chosen and experimented on with both ancient cooking methods and contemporary techniques. Olvera takes Mexico’s nearly infinite larder of ingredients – including dried insects and worms – and with obsessive attention to detail combines the very old with the brand new.
A tasting menu experience at Pujol may start with a canapé of skewered charred baby corn cobs, a take on the Mexican street food known as elote. Presented in a hollowed-out pumpkin with the smoke from burnt corn leaves protruding as it arrives at the table, the corn is dipped in a coffee-flavoured mayonnaise and chicatana ants, which have been roasted to a crisp and crushed into a powder. Other dishes are deconstructed and an apparent flauta, taco or tamale may not be quite what it seems.
Pujol is an elegant and intimate restaurant hidden away in a quiet, tree-lined residential area in one of Mexico City’s most prestigious old neighbourhoods, Polanco. Service is calm, quiet and informed, while artistic tableware complements Olvera’s inventive dishes.