Last weekend, Leiti Hsu (fellow Journy founder) and I flew to Tulum for the $600 per person (about $700 all-in) meal at Noma Mexico — a limited 7-week pop-up in the jungle by the Noma team.
As start-up founders who each pay ourselves less than $50K a year while living in NYC, that was a hefty chunk of money to shell out (we paid for ourselves, our meal was not comp'ed, and unfortunately, no such thing as an expense account for us).
The Biggest Question Is — Was It Worth It?
We got a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into putting together a meal like this. Here's 19 reasons why we thought, abso-f**king-lutely yes.
1. These hunky guys hand-polish all the wine glasses for the wine pairing...
2. Using a local spirit...🤣
3. The dishes are all meticulously plated. Like this salbute (deep fried tortilla) with dried tomatoes and chapulines (grasshoppers, made into a paste for this dish).
4. And these whole grilled pumpkins...
5. The masa for the tortillas is freshly milled and lovingly tended to
6. ...by these Yucatan women, who were brought in especially to make tortillas because no one on the Noma team could make one that tasted as good.
7. Cooking in the jungle has its challenges, so to keep the flowers fresh, these ladies decided to do their prep work in the cold storage fridge. That is dedication.
8. These guys are serious about their lovely bunches of coconuts. Here, they're reinforcing the table they use to saw open 200 coconuts a day (they also built ALL the tables in the dining room too).
9. Yes, he does this 200 times a day
10. Not every coconut can be a Noma Mexico coconut — this particular coconut's flesh had the right texture and consistency, but there wasn't enough of it so it went in the reject pile.
11. Don't worry though, that coconut water went to good use, marinating the suckling pig that's cooked for 8 hours.
12. It is insanely juicy and tender when it comes out
13. Basically, a small army of beautiful and talented people put their hearts into every part of your meal. The entire team is about 140 people serving 70 guests per seating.
14. Nice people like, Ben from Canada, who let us follow him around as he went about his day...
15. Katherine from Australia, telling us about how family meal works (each week a different team of 2-3 people are responsible for feeding the team)...
16. Ali from Gambia, the now-famous dishwasher who recently became a partner at Noma. We asked him about his favorite thing about Mexico, and he said...
17. Plus, you get to hear about escamoles (ant eggs) from this guy, the one and only Rene Redzepi
18. Of course, the entire epic 15 course meal
19. You get to be in Tulum
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