Mexico City, Mexico
What makes it special: Enigmatic chef Enrique Olvera is credited with proving that rustic Mexican flavours deserve as much attention as any other haute cuisine in the world. Pujol has been his pedestal to make that point via a tasting menu of refined and elegant plates built from indigenous ingredients that pay tribute to Mexico’s rich culinary history.
A new home: In 2016, Olvera relocated his 17-year-old Polanco restaurant to a stunning, mid-century home within the same neighbourhood, building a comfortable space that’s aglow in natural light. Beyond expansive windows, Pujol involves a wood-burning oven, terrazzo floors and a long dining bar that offers a separate taco tasting menu.
Most famous dishes: While Pujol’s menu changes seasonally, the restaurant’s signature Mole Madre, Mole Nuevo is a menu mainstay: it comprises a perfect circle of fresh mole surrounded by a larger ring of mole that’s aged for more than 1,000 days, beside a basket of warm tortillas. Diners can experience a taste of Mexico’s past and a vision of the future in one bite.
A sustainable transformation: Over the last few years, Pujol has been undergoing a quiet revolution. Efforts such as redesigning the menu to champion a new range of ecologically aware principles, supporting less-invasive production methods and creating a new educational kitchen to help engage staff and customers about sourcing and food waste have all contributed to Pujol winning the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award 2020.
Other projects: As well as his flagship Mexico City restaurant, Olvera is partner in another spot in New York: Cosme, whose erstwhile chef-patron Daniela Soto-Innes picked up The World's Best Female Chef title in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019. In 2017, he expanded his presence in the Big Apple with Atla, and along with Soto-Innes, he opened Damian in Los Angeles in October 2020. Olvera has also published several books, among which Mexico from the Inside Out in 2015.