My name is Debora Fadul.

My kitchen story started early; my grandmother would source helpful hands, and I would observe and learn. This is where the purpose of cooking and the joy of serving started for me. She grew up in a pre-globalized world, so recipes were passed down by generations. They were made with fresh local ingredients and cooked amongst the family. Food was to celebrate, unite, and bring joy to the table.

After attending a local cooking school, I started my cooking career by opening an outdoor creative catering business at 21. This led me to explore the Guatemalan agricultural landscape. Guatemala is known as ‘the land of eternal spring,’ thanks to mineral-rich volcanic soils and a humid tropical climate—everything grows lush and delicious all the time.

In Guatemala, because of many complex external influences, imported products and cuisine are always valued more. Through many conversations, I realized that, as chefs, we play a vital role. We influence how society structures around food—how it is grown, how and where it is transported, marketed, and how it will be consumed.

I gathered all my courage to open the doors to DIACÁ, our restaurant, to share the value within Guatemala. Through six micro-seasonal menus, we showcase incredible versions of everyday products pieced together and connected in a manner that highlights each season’s theme and ephemeral characters and flavors.

15 years ago, a visit to a specialty coffee farm shaped my approach to ingredients. Inspired by how coffee enthusiasts connected with their craft, I instilled a similar ethos in my team. Our unconventional method involves dialogues with producers about seasonal offerings. Using our in-house “Sensory Ecosystem,” we analyze fresh samples to inspire recipes. Whether it’s an unexpectedly sweet pepper or a salty, minerally fruit harvest, we celebrate each ingredient’s individuality.

The restaurant industry must give, heal, regenerate, and connect, not take or dictate. We should be flexible, adapting to nature instead of forcing it. As chefs we have a profound role in society, which we are still beginning to define and discover.


What is your favorite street food?

Elote asado or shukos.

Which restaurant or food stand do you recommend? (Different from yours) (Add its Instagram handle if possible)

Hard to decided between this 4 : Prudencia / Barriga Llena / Nana / Salvo Patria

What is your guilty pleasure?

Cheddar chips inside of a cream cheese sandwich with guacamole.

What ingredient do you find overrated?

Canned food

What ingredient do you think is underrated?


What is your favorite kitchen tool?


What is your worst kitchen nightmare?

Messy work area.

Is there someone you would like to nominate for an interview? (Add Instagram handle)

Maru Molina from El Salvador.