Restaurant & Bar
7:30 am to 10:00 pm
Kitchen closes at 10pm
Restaurant non smoking – Bar & Lounge smoking allowed
New York city’s Mulberry Project “bespoke drink masters” bring their magic to Tulum with their seasonal pop up at La Zebra’s beach bar (November to July). The pop up has been so popular it is now in its fifth year and a staple in the Tulum scene and has just been nominated for Best International Hotel Bar in Tales of the Cocktail 2020 Spirited Awards (the Oscars of bars/bartending).
Jasper Soffer knows that a hot day at the beach calls for a cool, craft cocktail to complete the experience. Bringing back his internationally acclaimed Mulberry Project and its team of cocktail masters to Colibri Boutique Hotels La Zebra for the fifth year, Soffer is excited to create even more creative and personalized beverages for the hotel’s guests.
In Tulum, Mulberry Project’s cocktails feature the local spirits and flavors of Mexico, highlighting mezcal, tequila and rum while adding a dose of mystery and intuition.
Just steps from the ocean, the pop-up on the sand offers a twist on cocktail culture.
Rather than ordering a pre-set cocktail from a list on a printed menu, guests at Mulberry Project at La Zebra select the liquor base that most appeals and “suggest” ingredients based on a chalkboard listing of market-fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices available that day.
The third step is pure magic: guests describe the “type” of cocktail they like — refreshing, sweet, spicy, tropical, bitter, dry, smoky, herbal and more. Then it’s up to the drink masters to handcraft the perfect bespoke drink. It’s a performance perfectly set against a backdrop of crashing waves and soft sand.
Chef Eleazar Bonilla was raised in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico by a mother who was an exceptional cook and baker and a father who was a ‘tortillero’. As a child, Eleazar was delighted in classic Mexican ‘antojitos’ prepared by his parents – sparking a life-long love for Mexican food.
At the age of 8, frustrated with the food he was served while his parents were at work, Eleazar began to follow recipes found in his mothers cook books and culinary magazines.
His early culinary adventures led Eleazar to work professionally as a cook in his hometown, but he had his mind set on studying chemistry and developing a career outside of the kitchen. Despite his attempts to avoid cooking as a career, one day a street sign for a local culinary school sparked a flashback to the love of food he had experienced as a child, and he knew then that he was destined to become a chef.
While pursuing his degree at the Culinary Institute of Querétaro he supported himself by working in different restaurants around the city, working 12 hours a day in the kitchen followed by 8 hours of classes and homework – learning the discipline and determination required to be a leading executive chef.
In order to hone his Mexican cooking skills, he traveled and began cooking in a number of regions around the Mexico including: Mexico City, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Durango, Tijuana, Mazatlan and Puebla. He drew inspiration from the varied styles and flavors in each region, and what he learned continues to influence his cooking today.
He knew that in order to accomplish his goals of working in large kitchens he would need to learn from the resorts in the coastal regions of Mexico, so in 2009, Eleazar found himself in the Riviera Maya and began to working as a dishwasher in a local resort. He worked his way up the ranks through several resorts and eventually became the Executive Sous Chef for the seven restaurants of Dreams Resort, Puerto Aventura; for a period of time he was even Executive Chef.
Chef Bonilla ventured south to Tulum to break free of the rigid resort environment and for an opportunity to combine all of his influences, cooking regional Mexican cuisine for guests of La Zebra hotel. Though he was offered many opportunities to return to the busier Playa del Carmen area, at La Zebra he saw an opportunity to create his own culinary team and the restaurant he’d always dreamed of leading. Utilizing regional ingredients and products never previously available in Quintana Roo, he aimed to introduce locals and tourists alike to the flavors of Mexico. The result: La Zebra has become one of the top restaurants in Tulum, and the most popular location to experience true Mexican cuisine in the area.
Jasper Soffer, master mixologist, has had a career in the bar industry as interesting and as lauded as the cocktails that he creates. Jasper began his career in London at the ShoChu Lounge and his Asian inspired cocktail menu was heralded by Time Out Magazine five times during his tenure at this London hot spot. He then moved to New York working in venues such as Spice Market and the legendary SoHo House, an exclusive, members-only club and hotel. During his tenure at the SoHo House Jasper was asked to join the Pegu Club by its founder Audrey Saunders, widely recognized as the leader of the high-end bar industry.
Here he worked to create a dynamic and interesting cocktail menu and with Jasper’s assistance and dedication Pegu Club took the honor of World’s Best Cocktail Bar in the Spirit Awards from Tales of the Cocktail in 2007 (the Oscars of bars/bartending.) From there Jasper moved on to manage Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel in New York City, one of the most popular bars in the city. The other big passion in his life; travel, took him to Australia, where once again he found success in a position at one of Sydney’s most famous bars, Eau du Vie, which won the World’s Best New Cocktail Bar award from Tales of the Cocktail in 2011.
Jasper went on to co-found Mulberry Project, taking the idea of creating bespoke cocktails around the world. Mulberry Project is responsible for pop up events in locations like Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival and pop up bars in Israel, Iceland, Tanzania and Kenya.