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Jose Header
behind the scenes

When fine dining is not just creative, but comfortable…

26. March 2019

...we met chef Jose Luis Hinostroza in Tulum and had a really inspiring and unique experience at his jungle restaurant ARCA. Same as Wood Fellas, he gets inspired by our beautiful nature and this is why at ARCA they “are, especially, focused on pre-colonial Mesoamerican cuisine, techniques, and ingredients” in a jungle atmosphere. Jose Luis weaves “native seeds, grains, nuts, flora, and fauna” into his cooking. He also works with underground cooking pits known in the local Mayan culture as pibs. Meals will center around proteins and vegetables roasted nearly 2 feet below ground for up to 6 hours.
Jose Luis used to work before at Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca, and Chicago’s Alinea — both three-Michelin-star restaurants on S.Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

And this is what he told us about his inspiring concept and vision...

...our main focus when somebody comes to eat at ARCA is without a doubt to give them the best experience possible. We don't consider ourselves a fine dining restaurant, even though our quality of food and our presentations are very high. Moroever, we don't want to set a negative, not a negative tone, but we don't want to attach what fine dining means to normal public. We want us to be a casual restaurant, because at that moment, from the moment somebody steps into the restaurant, they'll be more relaxed then if you're going to a fine dining restaurant.

In regards to his culinary influences he shared the following...

...I don't think somebody will be able to come here and notice that our kitchen is Mexican, but we use 100% local ingredients, only from this part of Mexico. We focus on using just what we have around us, in order to become more creative. We believe that only by substracting and by putting a limitation on what we can use, we believe that through that process we will become more creative.
Jose Meal 4

So summing up he said that...

...at the end of the day beside of what we've created, beside that we're fusional, our taste is something we're focused on. We want to focus on people that really don't experience or don't come to eat at restaurants so often, but when they do and they choose to come to ARCA, that they get completely blown away and that kepts changing their mentality of fine dining in their minds.
Jose Luis Hinostroza