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René Redzepi Is Sourcing Traditional Mayan Ingredients for Noma’s Mexico Pop-Up

The team is working with Traspatio Maya to recover ancestral seeds

René Redzepi addressing the Noma team. Noma/Facebook

More details on Noma’s forthcoming Mexico pop-up (if you haven’t already secured a reservation, you’re out of luck): In a blog post on his restaurant’s website, chef René Redzepi sheds some light on the ingredients he’ll be using for the dinner series. Redzepi and his team have connected with 15 Mayan communities throughout the Yucatán Peninsula to source traditional, indigenous produce.

“The ingredients that we have chosen for our menu have been selected for their incredible taste and quality,” Redzepi writes. “We are excited to be working with these wonderful communities; they have a remarkable history and possess a wealth of knowledge about food.”

The Noma team is working with Traspatio Maya, part of a non-profit organization that supports the Mayan communities and their foodways. The organization helps the communities recover ancestral seeds to keep traditional crops alive. Among the ingredients sourced by Noma are Yaxunah naal teel corn, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), ibes (white beans), bee larva, and melipona honey. Redzepi says they are “simply some of the best we have ever tasted.”

Noma, based in Copenhagen, might be the most celebrated restaurant in the world, but it has received some backlash for its latest pop-up. With the series taking place in an impoverished nation, some find it inappropriate to charge $600 a head for dinner. Previous pop-up series in Tokyo and Sydney were exorbitant, but both checked in at less than $400 per person. Nevertheless, reservations for the new series sold out in three-and-a-half hours.

Noma: Mexico, operating out of a dining room “on the cleared edge of the jungle” in the resort town of Tulum, will be open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday each week from April 12 until May 28.

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