October 3, 2018
Unless we have miscalculated, this is the second time that Enrique Olvera has come to Madrid Fusión, with a decade having passed between his first and second visit.
Back in 2008, this cook – born in Mexico City – came to Madrid as one of the representatives of Mexico’s booming cuisine, and the guest country at that edition of the congress. Olvera was thirty-one years old, and had come to explain how in his restaurant, Pujol, opened in 2000, produce was the absolute protagonist of a cuisine whose tradition he was renewing thanks to the techniques and what he learned while studying at the Culinary Institute of America.
But let’s return to the present, because since then Enrique Olvera has had time to do many things. The first was to change the location of his restaurant, Pujol, in the Mexican capital, although Uber drivers still take diners to the previous premises where this cook plans to open, if he has not already done so, a bar specializing in mezcal.
The second was to become the most visible reference for contemporary Mexican cuisine on a global level. This he achieved partly thanks to continually being among the best restaurants in the world according to the influential 50 Best Restaurants guide; but above all for having been able to explore his original idea in depth: that of making his interpretation of tradition an avant-garde one, and where Mexican cuisine – filled with magical names, techniques that are barely known in the rest of the culinary world, and unique produce – has opened up an endless range possibilities for him.
This cook now has several establishments scattered throughout Mexico, in Mexico City and beyond (Manta, in Los Cobos; Maíz de Mar, in Playa del Carmen; Molino El Pujol, a tortillería in La Condesa; Eno, in several cities; Moxi, in San Miguel de Allende; Cosme, in New York...), and the list does not end there as new openings are on the horizon. The most outstanding of them is probably the one that will open in Los Angeles sometime this year.
The same constant principles that prevail at Pujol, his original restaurant, are applied to each and every one of the eateries that operate under his name: authenticity, intensity, true flavours; the determination to create a cuisine for the present based on a legacy of produce and heritage, yet without being constricted by it, without renouncing anything, and offering powerfully aesthetic dishes.
And doing so with talent and amazingly creative intuition.
By Miguel Ángel Rincón