Appreciating Culinary Mastery in Puerto Escondido

Culture, Stories

Discovering Horno Escondido

By: Leonardo Maurelli

With over 25 years in the culinary industry, Leo shares his expertise as a chef with hospitality partners in restaurants and hotels. His guidance provides individual properties with original menus and distinct food pairings of the highest quality.

It all started with a request, “Jésus, would you take us to a place where the real locals eat and drink? His answer was the same for every request we made; a smile, and “Of course, and I know just the place!”

This is how we arrived at “El Horno Escondido,” the kind of treasure a chef LOVES to experience. Like a speakeasy, this is the kind of place you are only aware of if you are “In the know,” because if you know, YOU KNOW.

Passersby would never even know it was there. You walk into a cool “dining room” which is to say a dirt floor, with wooden tables and plastic chairs. A kitchen window and a cool wood burning oven are in plain sight. The smells emanating are delicious.

It’s real, its honest, and I’m excited!

plate of ceviche

Just in front of his oven, on a buffet table, stands a master of his craft. He’s effortlessly butchering and fileting the most gorgeous fresh snapper you’ve ever seen. He has done this 1000 times and will do it 1000 more.

Jésus tells us the Chef was originally a fisherman by trade for many years, and now goes to the water to meet his old comrades for the catch of the day. He uses his bounty to create each day’s amazing meal.

Next to the table is the ice chest, full of ice and fresh fish. Like any chef who knows he has a flawless product, working only with the best and freshest, he lets you open it and take a look. You then have the honor of selecting the fish you want him to prepare for you.

He then skillfully moves his knife across the fish, so fast and effortlessly you are mesmerized. He marinates it with his magic sauce, while he expertly cleans a pineapple and places it in his oven. My companions are entranced by the “show”, I’m humbled by the mastery only one chef can recognize in another.

seasoning fish prior to cooking

Amidst laughter and smiles, Jésus regales us with stories and history of the area. The man has a treasure trove of information in his head. His hospitality is the perfect complement to our meal. It’s the kind of experience you feel blessed to have and share with amazing people.

The food arrives and there is a collective sigh, the smell is intoxicating and the presentation mouthwatering.

cooked fish with rice and vegetables

Jésus tells the man I am a chef in the United States, but I wish he hadn’t. It’s not often you meet someone so proficient in their craft that it makes you feel like a rookie all over again. He becomes discernibly excited to meet me and asks if I will pose for a picture with him. I wish he only knew that I am more excited to have ever met him than he could be meeting me.

I leave overjoyed knowing this is a story I will tell 1000 times and cherish for the rest of my days. Great and honest food does that!


About Puerto Escondido MX

Puerto Escondido Mexico is an incredible destination boasting the best weather in all of North and Central America. As a winter vacationer, you are all but guaranteed exceptional weather; it rarely rains during the winter months and the yearly average temperature is in the low 80s (27 degrees Celsius). Palmarito Beach, where Vivo Resorts is located, is part of an undeveloped 12-mile (19km) stretch of warm sandy beaches.

Book A Vacation at Vivo Resorts

For more information about vacationing at Vivo Resorts in Puerto Escondido, visit the Vivo Resorts website.

To inquire about ownership in Puerto Escondido MX, or to learn more about the Vivo Resorts Foundation, please call Vivo Resorts at 1-888-236-2876 (toll-free from Canada and the USA) or contact Vivo by email.


Vivo Resorts is also on Social Media!



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