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Chef of the Month: Jose Luis Hinostroza. Tulum's Bad Boy Chef

By: TEM Resident Writer 

If you’ve ever been to Tulum, then chances are you have eaten at one of this hotties restaurant, Jose Luis Hinostroza. He’s Tulum’s sexy tatted bad boy Chef who can cook like a mofo. 

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Tatted, determined and talented, Jose Luis is the king of chefs in Tulum
Photos by Bernardo Flores
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Sometimes you can find him cruising around on his bicycle, at one of his restaurants, on the beach chillin with friends, or on the line battling it out in the kitchen on a busy night with his team. 


Finally able to get him alone, I was able to get down to the nitty gritty of this rock star’s culinary prowess. 


Q: Why cooking? What made you decide this is what you wanted to do? 

A: Our kitchen was the center of the house and the source of celebration, so cooking has always been a big part of my life growing up with my family. When I was 16 years old, I fell in love with a vegan girl (everything is always about a girl, isn’t it?) so I had to start cooking for myself. When I got really good at cooking vegan,  I wanted to cook everything so I abandoned my vegan calling to become a chef. 


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Q: Who inspired you

A: There has been 2 groups of pillars that have made me fight thru this challenging industry. 1st my Mother and Sister, they have always been the chefs of the house so they always pushed me to follow my heart and cook. 2nd my culinary mentors, Grant Achatz from Alinea Restaurant in Chicago, Rene Redzepi from Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen Denmark, and Joan Roca from El Celler de Can Roca in Girona Spain.


Q: What was the first dish you created? 

A: I cant remember exactly but it had to be some sort of vegan, organic, locally sourced something or other I made up when I was 16.


Q: What is your favorite dish to cook at home? 

A: I try so many dishes at my restaurants that when I am home I like to eat light and plain dishes - mostly salads.

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Q: Where do you like to go out to eat? And what do you eat there? 

A: I fell in love with MEZE and with their hummus.  They are creating amazing dishes there. Alex the Chef has become a great friend. 


Q: What ingredients do you always have in your home refrigerator? 

A: Eggs, Avocado, garlic, basil and parmesan.


Q: What restaurants do you have now? 

A: ARCA Restaurant (Tulum Beach)

ATILA Restaurant (Tulum Beach)

MESTIXA Restaurant (Tulum Town)


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Q: If you had a super power in the kitchen what would that be? 

A: Be faster, like The Flash


Q: What is a must in your kitchen with your staff? 

A: I have to have neatly folded towels, the staff has to have a clean groomed look, and i need loud and efficient communication 

Q: If you could say something to aspiring chefs, what would that be? 

A: Keep your head down and work 


Q: If you could be something other than a chef, what would that be? And why? 

A: Veterinarian. I love animals and I always have a connection them.


Q: What are your favorite proteins? Why

A: Seafood is my strong suit, to be honest… it’s just so versatile you can do anything to it.


Q: What tip would you give a home cook 

A: Come spend some time in your favorite professional kitchen 


Q: What’s your favorite technique to use in the kitchen?

A: I am a big fan of open flame cooking, fire is a big part of the DNA at all of my restaurants.


Tulum Eats Magazine is published 12 times a year, unless we decide to go on prolonged vacations. You can find the print magazine at select locations throughout the Riviera Maya, and in some East Coast establishments, where we will randomly place, during selective times. The website will be updated monthly, with selected materials that may or may not be the same as the print version. Look for us soon, in other states of Mexico.

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