Fauna restaurant, run by husband and wife team David Castro Hussong and Maribel Aldaco Silva in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico, has been named the winner of this year’s Miele One To Watch Award, ahead of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants' virtual award ceremony on 3 December.
The award is presented to an emerging restaurant in Latin America with the potential to rise into the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking in future years. Speaking of the win, William Drew, director of content for Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: "Fauna’s experimental menus, respect for local produce and unique communal dining approach have drawn fans from all over Mexico and further afield.”
The restaurant, located inside the Bruma winery in Baja California's wine country, opened a couple of years ago, after the chef couple returned home following a decade of honing their skills in restaurants like Noma, Eleven Madison Park and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. It's here that they honour their region's cuisine with an "honest and free-spirited approach", serving local and seasonal sharing dishes to guests seated communally on a long wooden table facing their open kitchen.
Photo: Fauna Interior
Speaking of the award, chef Castro said: “It was always our dream to open a restaurant like Fauna that takes food back to its basics but also gives us a space to let our creative juices flow. We are extremely proud and thankful for what we’ve been able to accomplish with Fauna so far and we’re hopeful that this is just the beginning.”
The à la carte and experimental tasting menus feature nostalgic flavours from the chef's past, as well as local ingredients. Signature dishes include locally-grown broccoli with broccoli purée, or poached scallops with brown butter and flour tortillas.
Photo: Fauna dish - Grilled Octopus Chicharron and pickled Vegetables
Fauna joins previous One to Watch winners including Celele in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2019; Manoella Buffara's Manu in Curitiba, Brazil, in 2018; and chef Felipe Bronze’s Oro in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, in 2017.