In April 2020, Mexico’s pandemic restrictions badly injured the restaurant scene. Many Sayulita local chefs lost their jobs but their inner foodie cannot be stopped. From traditional Mexican food, Western desserts, French baking, etc, we went around town to see how these locals are doing and what new food businesses they built from home.
Sayulita local chefs: the trend
This is not a new trend in Sayulita. Many local chefs in town hail from different parts of the country and in the world. The food scene in Sayulita is so rich that new businesses pop every now and then. 80% of the Sayulita people are entrepreneurs because we have an environment where it feels like it is so easy to go your own way and work for yourself.
Every Friday during the high season (November – May), we do a pop-up market called Mercado del pueblo where all local sellers who do not have physical stores/restaurants in Sayulita set up tents to sell their products. Oaxacan cheese, Argentine choripan, organically grown fruits and vegetables are among our stall favourites.
In April, COVID cut the Mercado del pueblo short. However, these unstoppable chefs set up a quick order drop-off at a vacant parking lot by Libertad Street for their loyal customers. With the sudden need to learn digital marketing to sell online, Sayulita local chefs served up daily offerings of food options on Facebook and Instagram. Everyone started food delivery and mind you, since we are a small town, we did not have that delivery culture. Along with this new online trend, we at Sayulita Insider have provided free digital media training and helped set up social media accounts for some individuals who did not know where to start.
In a year unlikely any other, Sayulita Insider is championing local and family-run businesses demonstrating their commitment to their craft, their survival, and their love for Sayulita. We Discover the local chefs in Sayulita you probably haven’t heard about and support their businesses today!
Ana Karen’s cochinita pibil
Cochinita pibil is a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatán Peninsula. Although Ana is from Mexico City, her family has a lot of southern roots. Preparation of traditional cochinita is very long and tedious so we followed this 3-day process with her.
To tell you the truth, there is no restaurant in Sayulita where you can find this tasty Yucatan favorite. In traditional Mexico, this dish is served during big gatherings like weddings, baptisms, and quinceañeras. Since we are located on the Pacific Coast, the culture of red meat dishes like this is not as popular. We feel very privileged that Ana has brought her family’s traditional dish to this part of the country.
Together with her husband Yair, Ana supports a 7-year old daughter with her business. Along with this, she’s also doing other jobs on the side. If you want to know more about Ana’s story, watch our interview with her here. Order your chochinita pibili today and educate yourself about this iconic southern dish.
Vegan sweets with Ambar
Originally from Sonora, Ambar has lots of culinary background. In Mexico, Sonora is famously known for its strong meat culture but Ambar has always had an interest in vegan food because it’s more challenging for her. In this voracious meat-eating country, veganism is not a trend but it is slowly spreading throughout the country, particularly more popular in Mexico City.
Ambar has extensively traveled in Latin America. To sustain these travels, she worked in several Asian restaurants. With her impressive culinary resume and experiences, restaurant owners want Ambar to work for them. However, after all these long hours in the kitchen, Ambar tells us that she’s tired of working for others and that it is time to do her own thing. When we visited Ambar in her home, she prepared a delicious, 100% vegan dessert for us. It was even topped with edible flower petals!
See our full sit-down interview with Ambar here and get to know her story. While you’re at it, consider hiring Ambar for your private quarantine parties at home. I swear she does it really well!
Macarena’s private breakfast service at home
We met Macarena when we dined in a luxury restaurant she was working in. This restaurant is very picky with staff so we knew that Macarena had the skills. Originally from Argentina, Macarena came to Sayulita 2 years ago thinking that she was just passing by but like many others, ended up staying.
She got really inspired by the entrepreneurial scene in Sayulita that she decided to put her baking skills to use. Like the French, Argentines love their bread. During COVID, all the bakeries in Sayulita closed (there weren’t even a lot!) and Macarena struggled to survive a day without bread. She did not have the equipment to achieve a properly baked bread (her standards for herself are really high) so she went around asking who can lend her their kitchen. Luckily, one of her friends has a fully-equipped kitchen and it made her baking so much easier.
Realizing her capability to run her own business, Macarena quit her restaurant job and started offering a breakfast service at home for tourists who do not want to go out. Professionally laid out in your Airbnb’s dining table, Macarena gives excellent service to her clientele and we feel like, in the next few months, she’s the one to watch out for. Help her business do better by trying her breakfast service that you can book with us!
👉 Support our transparent and honest journalism. Help us add value to our content – keep Sayulita Insider free for all by making a contribution today.
Marialala’s meal planning and dining services for staycationers
A very skilled chef from Baja California Sur, Genaro arrived in Sayulita 2 years ago. He started working different jobs to sustain his Sayulita lifestyle but in the end, though that he could do something that is his own. With his exemplary culinary background, Genaro started Marialala and his first gig was a bachelorette party where he had to cook breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner for 15 people, 4 days straight.
Over 16 meals cooked, 5 friends helping him as sous chefs, 4 days of no sleep, Genaro successfully finished his first private chef service and now he’s booked for more. Working in the kitchen for long hours isn’t easy so we really applaud Genaro’s passion for cooking. Known as Gee to his close friends, he hosts Sayulita Insider’s Best of the Best series. Binge watch and get to know him!
While Sayulita is already open and dining out is already pretty solid, we truly believe that these Sayulita local chefs will have a lasting cultural legacy in town. We are still filming more and more local chefs for our #SupportLocal series so keep it here as we update this article!