Haciendas are to the Yucatan what castles are to Scotland. Mysterious, magical, sometimes otherworldly, they represent a time gone by that can only be imagined. Many have been abandoned, some have been partially restored as museums, a few have become expensive boutique hotels. And then there are the stalwart souls who actually search out a ruined hacienda and with patience, grit, passion and determination, create something remarkable.
Jose Fernandez and Richard Fuller are braver than most and the Hacienda San Jose Pachul is their luscious achievement. Forty minutes outside of Merida, this amazing property is both home and work for Jose and Richard. Two guest suites are in constant demand as are their culinary skills, and it was for this reason that 6 of us made the trek to lunch at this particular hacienda. After a tour of the grounds and gardens, we slaked our thirst with signature sour orange margaritas. The prix fixelunch menu was a perfect offering of fresh local ingredients artfully composed in dishes like banana gazpacho, a luscious adobo infused osso buco, and a guava papaya soup. Jose was a sommelier in a former life, and the accompanying Pinot Noir was a nice surprise. We arrived at 1:30 and left regretfully as the sun was draping its burnished glow over the landscape. Another amazing experience in the Yucatan and one I hope to repeat very soon.