Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2022. 10:02 am CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On October 8, 2022, Phillip Tzul, the owner of Tolacca Smoke House in Santa Elena, Cayo introduced a new menu for its popular dining restaurant.
Tzul shared his story with Breaking Belize News (BBN) explaining that after graduating from Junior College in 2008, he moved to Canada.
After being in Canada for 3 years, he began training as a Chef, and in 2012, he obtained a parcel of land in Santa Elena.
In 2013, he moved back to Belize and began building Tolacca Smoke House. By December of that year, the restaurant opened its doors to the public.
Tzul said that his new idea was to change and improve the menu every 4 to 6 months.
As part of upping his game, he travels to a new country every year to learn new ideas and bring them back to his restaurant.
Tzul told BBN that he has since visited 33 restaurants to assess what would work in Belize and now his new menu has 3 categories of Pasta, (light, medium, and spicy) and BBQs such as steaks and chops.
“All the food is cooked in a BBQ pit since Tolacca harvests Oak and Craboo firewood from Pine Ridge,” he said.
“In addition, 75% of the vegetables used in the restaurant come from our own farm — the Willowmar Estate.”
According to Tzul, the Willowmar Estate has a greenhouse that produces bell peppers and herbs such as rosemary while the garden produces lettuce, mint, scallions, chives, basil, arugula, and kale which are used at Tolacca.
Tzul added he also has a beef farm where they take weanlings and fatten and butcher them for the restaurant.
“Mr. Joe Tzul takes care of the farm aspects. We work very closely with our butcher and we grind our own meats, produce our own sausages, and now make our own gelato for dessert,” Phillip stated.
“We are still a small business with only 10 tables and open for only 5 to 6 hours a night which is the reason it’s hard to get tables on the weekend,” Phillip noted.
Tolacca has won the Grill Master competition for 4 consecutive years, from 2016 to 2019.
Tolacca Smoke House is located on Cristo Rey Road in Santa Elena and is open for dinner 7 days per week.
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