After a hard week’s work at Pujol, one last surprise awaited me. Come Saturday, I would sit on the other side of the kitchen wall to indulge in Pujol’s 12 course taster menu. Pujol seats about 45 people. They employ, all told, about 45 members of staff. Having seen how much work goes into each dish, this was not just an awe-inspiring culinary feast, it was a stirring reminder of my week, the people I’d met, the stories told and the experiences shared.
Of the 12 courses, Pujol’s take on the classic Mexican mole sauce, was truly breath-taking and as such is my ‘badass eat of the week.’ Pujol’s mole madre, as is typical with most moles, the dish combines 30 plus ingredients (tomato, garlic, onion, chili, nuts, herbs and chocolate to name but a few). However, what truly sets their mole apart is that they age the sauce for over 150 days to develop a complex, sophisticated taste like no other. Just like a sourdough, the dish lives, bubbles, evolves and is never the same. Rich, sweet and aromatic, Pujol’s mole also has that moreish savoury flavour known as umami (the fifth taste). To respect the mole, Pujol serve this dish simply with a taco and sprinkled with sesame seeds. There is no need to add anything else to a dish so perfect.
A huge thanks to the Pujol team for an incredibly inspiring week. It was an honour and privilege to work alongside you all and one I will never forget.