If Tulum wasn’t already firmly on the trendy travel map – it is now. Chef René Redzepi and his team have have got into the swing of things at the new Noma pop-up in Tulum and they’re making waves in the Mexican Caribbean.
After the World’s Best Restaurant closed it’s doors in late 2016, foodie’s all around the world waited in anticipation to see what Chef Redzepi and his team would do next. Noma – from the two Danish words “nordisk” (Nordic) and “mad” (food) – opened in 2003 and quickly changed the shape of Copenhagen’s food scene. The restaurant went on to be awarded 2 Michelin stars and was voted ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ no less than 4 times. After two incredibly successful pop-ups in Tokyo in 2015 and Sydney in 2016, the Noma team began scouting for their next location. have p
Lo and behold – Redzepi and his team chose the quiet, bohemian town of Tulum to host their next pop-up. The announcement came in the fall of 2016, though rumours had been circulating long before. Upon the official announcement, Chef Redzepi commented on Mexico and the place it holds on his palate and his heart:
“I consider it to be my adopted home, one filled with almost a decade of cherished memories from vacations with my family. The place that I dream about. Home to one of the most exciting cuisines I have ever tasted: as old as time and yet so relevant. Full of ingredients I never knew existed. This cooking inspires the team and I constantly here in Copenhagen. It is safe to say that there is already a touch of influence from Mexico in the food at Noma.”
Tulum is by far the least populated location that Redzepi and his team have travelled to. However this didn’t stop tickets from selling out completely in as little as three and a half hours on December 6th. A place at the table costs USD$600 per person plus 16% local tax, and a 9% service charge. Reservations could only be made for 2,4 or 6 people, which brought the price for a table of 4 to a neat USD$3000. Noma is open for dinner form Wednesday to Sunday. The pop-up started on April 12th and will run until May 28th. So, the impeccable team should be well into their new Mexican rhythm by now.
The Restaurant at Noma Tulum
With a new country comes a new aesthetic. Redzepi et al. have promised a true jungle experience for diners:
” An outdoor open-air restaurant will sit nestled between the jungle and the Caribbean Sea in Tulum. Exposed to the climate, it will be hot, steaming and unpredictable. It will be wild like the Mexican landscape as we share our interpretation of the tastes from one of the most beautiful countries we’ve come to know.”
The dinners comprise of a multi-course tasting menu with perfectly paired beverages. Wines by the bottle are also available at an additional cost.
Noma Tulum Gives Back
Noma has received some negative feedback due to the hefty ticket prices and the economical climate of Mexico. In response, the Noma team are doing all they can to give back to the local community. The ways in which they are doing this is two-fold. They are feeding culinary students for free from the Noma Tulum restaurant. Ther are also developing a scholarship fund for local culinary students. Redzepi has commented that,
“We are also very happy to announce that we are creating a scholarship fund to allow Mexican culinary students to travel to Copenhagen and intern with both Noma and Hija de Sanchez [a Copenhagen taco stand from former Noma pastry chef Rosio Sanchez],” Redzepi writes on the Noma blog. “We will set up English classes beforehand, take care of travel, accommodation, and give a per diem.”
This is a chance in a lifetime for local culinary students to learn from the best in the business. Moreover, the scholarships will take place in Copenhagen, a city pushing the boundaries of cuisine.
For the last two weeks of the pop-up, local students will be able to taste the sought-after spoils of Noma Tulum – for free. Redzepi comments that he and his team have been “waiting for the right moment to have a project where we can continue fostering our relationship to Mexico, and help give opportunity to young talents.”
Desperate to try Noma Tulum?
It seems that Noma Tulum are offering a walk-in bar menu with a cheaper price. If you manage to bag yourself a meal-ticket, let us know what you think in the comments!