What happens when you put together: passion for food, fire and sustainability? The result is what Hartwood restaurant in Tulum offers… Eric Werner and his wife Mya Henry have created a locally sustained restaurant, using the contrasting concepts of traditional and modern, making for a different and creative dining option where the menu changes every day, depending on what is available to cook with. Hartwood is located in the lush setting of Tulum, Mexico.
Chef Werner’s passion for food is the first step in getting to know what Hartwood is all about. Werner used to cook in New York City restaurants, when he and his wife decided to set up a place of their own where he would cook and she would manage. They opened the restaurant in 2010; a charming, open-kitchen concept with two stone walls, wooden ceiling, benches and tables, open fire grill and oven.
The second step is the fire. Chef Eric is a fan of the flavor that food acquires when cooked over a wood fire, a traditional and ancient cooking method. The ingredients are treated and cooked with respect. Though the methods are rustic, the finished dishes look and taste as if they were taken out of the most chic city restaurants, with all dishes being handmade, with locally grown, fresh and sustainable ingredients.
Which takes us to our third step: sustainability. Hartwood has something special and different. Every ingredient cooked and prepared in the restaurant is indeed locally grown and organic. The chef himself travels several hours to the region’s milpas (crop fields that use traditional agricultural methods), where a number of his ingredients are grown. Others are bought from local farmers, vendors, and fishermen, ensuring that everything served is pesticide and fertilizer-free, super fresh and delicious.
Also, the restaurant tries to be as environmentally friendly as possible by reducing waste to the minimum and using solar panels to power the blender, the one-and-only electric appliance used in the kitchen.
Hartwood has become a favorite spot for visitors who line up outside to get a table to enjoy Chef Werner’s great dishes, such as the grilled octopus, agave ribs, papaya empanadas, and the Chef’s suggestion: whole roasted fish with pickled radishes and lima dulce.