Fauna, Valle de Guadalupe
Maribel Aldaco was only seven years old when she had her first experience in the kitchen. Having fallen in love with cooking after making cookies and cakes with a friend, she became determined to make her dream come true. 13 years later, she is completing her mission with her nomination as Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef 2023, sponsored by República del Cacao.
Born in the coastal city of Ensenada, in Baja California, the Mexican chef started studying gastronomy at 18 years old, enrolling in one of the first university-level culinary courses in her hometown. Disappointed with the classes, which were too focused on business and administration, she decided to teach herself.
With a deep hunger for knowledge, she moved to Mexico City to work at restaurant Merotoro alongside chef Jair Téllez. Later, she returned to Ensenada to finish her bachelor's degree, then moved to Spain for further training at the prestigious restaurant Martin Berasategui. She also worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the acclaimed NoMad in New York and Italian eatery Quince in San Francisco.
Today, she is the pastry chef of Fauna in Valle de Guadalupe – a project that she runs alongside her husband, chef David Castro Hussong, and that was named The Best Restaurant in Mexico 2023 at No.5 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. The experience features a communal dining table where guests are encouraged to open their minds and enjoy the couple’s experimental Mexican cuisine.
At Fauna, Aldaco has become known for her perfectly balanced desserts inspired by her childhood, with playful twists in flavour and texture. Her culinary creativity is vividly reflected in her dishes, such as the Semifreddo en Fauna, featuring local corn, honey and milk, inspired by a cereal she used to eat as a child. Another of her delectable creations is a chocolate butter dessert that brings back childhood memories of Oreo biscuits.
Aldaco’s determination, creativity and passion are the main ingredients that led her to being named Latin America's Best Pastry Chef 2023, sponsored by República del Cacao.
Discover more about the previous award winners