Class of 2022
36 / Guatemala City, Guatemala
The cook flying the flag for innovative Guatemalan gastronomy
Guatemalan chef Debora Fadul wants to show the world the wide potential, diversity and richness of her country’s cuisine. Born and raised in Guatemala City, after attending culinary school she founded the catering company Chef de Mon Coeur, through which she started exploring the spiritual dimension of food and promoting the value of Guatemalan gastronomy.
Debora soon followed Chef de Mon Coeur with a nomadic, seasonal pop-up restaurant concept called En (meaning ‘in’), through which she curated ephemeral gastronomic experiences wherever her customers wanted them – ‘in’ the city, ‘in’ the farm, ‘in’ the house and other personal environs. The success here saw her quickly reach the top of the country’s culinary industry and she turned her catering company into a permanent restaurant in Guatemala City called Diacá, which roughly translates as ‘from here’.
Since the restaurant opened in 2018, Debora has been truly at the forefront of innovation and promotion of Guatemalan gastronomy, within the country as well as internationally. At Diacá, the chef uses food as a medium to connect diners with deeper values and meanings, such as nostalgia, ancestral knowledge, the culture of the land and its farmers. She is now taking her work beyond the walls of the restaurant with Estudio Diacá, a sensory lab and collective thinktank that explores ingredients through a ‘sensory ecosystem’ that connects them with soil health, animal and crop husbandry, seasonal shifts, terroir to convey rich stories through taste, aroma and texture.
“Restaurants in the future will be like temples to connect city dwellers with the land and rural communities and work as a feedback loop to motivate, create and share value with everyone.” – Debora Fadul