I´ve lived in the Yucatan for 16 years. For the past 6 years I´ve been a pescatarian. I tend to find one or two dishes in a restaurant I like and stick to them. Recently Oliva Enoteca took 3 or my 4 favorite dishes off the menu. Two of them eventually found their way back but I was forced to try new things. In the early years, before Oliva, Apoala and Miyabi I was forced to eat Yucatecan fare. No more. I don´t miss a single thing about Yucatecan food. You´ll need to seek those recommendations elsewhere. What the hell happened to that boy from the farm in Texas who was happy with a plate of frozen french fries? A decade in NYC with a decade in Paris is what happened. Twenty years of great food turned me into a very moody foodie.
In 2014 I helped host and coordinate the Cook it Raw events here in and around Merida. For my annual Hanal Pixan party I cooked Pizza´s with JP McMahon of Aniar in Galway and an Indian wedding cabbage curry with Albert Adrià of El Bulli fame. Giocanda Scott of Trasierra made my birthday cake that summer. Jeremiah Tower help host the first of 3 events and you can see the video here on Munchies along with Eric Werner of Hartwood in Tulum. Roberto Solis of Nectar closed his restaurant every summer and did internships in places like Fat Duck and Noma. Through Roberto Rene Redzepi discovered the Yucatan and now spends a few weeks a year in the area. Rene and Roberto made the menu and trained the cooks for the Michael Nyman concert this year at Hacienda Ochil. Roberto has been hosting chefs for special evenings at Nectar so you should keep your eye on his facebook page to see who´s coming if you are in town.
Two of my favorite restaurants are in the historic center. They are Apoala and Oliva Enoteca. If you are here for a few days you would never get bored eating exclusively in these two places. My other go to eatery is Miyabi for sushi and Japanese cuisine. Miyabi has two locations north of centro. Buen Provecho.