General Manager, Owner
SHARING OUR PASSION FOR MEXICAN CUISINE & CULTURE
In December 2016, we opened El Refugio as a mezcaleria (with food) in its original location on Calle Obregón. It quickly transformed into a restaurant (with mezcal), thanks to Noel's wizard–like ability to capture and recreate the flavors of Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Puebla. Our mission from day one has been to create a community gathering point where we share the richness of Mexican cuisine and culture—whether through prehispanic plates or newly invented dishes, artisanal mezcal, traditional ceremonies, and community events. Noel's experience as Aztec dance leader, art collector, and native Mexican cosmologist make him a wealth of information/inspiration on all that this great country has to offer. With any luck, you'll have the opportunity to fall under his spell during your visit. Whether local or tourist, we welcome you to have a seat, make yourself at home, and indulge in the flavors that reach back across the centuries.
Noel and Rachel met in Zihuatanejo in 2012 at an Aztec sweat lodge and ended up in Todos Santos 7 months later quite by accident: they arrived searching for a new home and promptly ran out of money. But that sly fox, Fortune, was on their side. After surviving their first winter on beans, eggs, and selling artisania, they reconnected with Noel's heritage: mezcal. Two years passed of discovering and sharing artisanal mezcals and Noel's home–cooked meals with friends and visitors, until the fare became too good, the groups too large, and Rachel's patience for cleaning the tiny kitchen stretched too thin. Hence was born the idea of El Refugio. With their usual intuitional methods, they opened their doors not knowing what would happen, only aiming to recreate the very atmosphere that had evolved around their home dining room table. And in that they succeeded...to the degree that the kitchen was once again too small, and a change of location required.
In November, 2017 they reopened in a larger space across from Parque los Pinos, with extended hours and a newborn babe in arms. Now in their third season, they’re offering cooking classes, more mezcal tastings, and working on a cookbook under contract with Skyhorse Publishing.