Hartwood: Bright, Wild Flavors from the Edge of the Yucatan

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The best things happen when people pursue their dreams. Consider the story of Eric Werner and Mya Henry, an intrepid young couple who gave up their restaurant jobs in New York City to start anew in the one-road town of Tulum, Mexico. Here they built Hartwood, one of the most exciting and inspiring restaurants in the world. Mya Henry took on the role of general manager, seeing to the overall operations and tending to the guests, while Eric Werner went to work magic in the kitchen. 

The food served at Hartwood is “addictive,” says Noma chef René Redzepi, adding, “It’s the reason people line up for hours every single day to eat there, even though their vacation time is precious.” 

Werner’s passion for dazzling flavors and natural ingredients is expertly translated into recipes anyone can cook at home. Every dish has a balance of sweet and spicy, fresh and dried, oil and acid, without relying heavily on wheat and dairy. The flavoring elements are simple—honeys, salts, fresh and dried herbs, fresh and dried chiles, onions, garlic—but by using the same ingredients in different forms, Werner layers flavors to bring forth maximum deliciousness. The recipes are beautifully photographed and interspersed with inspiring, gorgeously illustrated essays about this setting and story, making Hartwood an exhilarating experience from beginning to end.
 

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