MABE - PLACES: Dum Restaurant - Todos Santos Mexico

While shooting our collection in Baja California we thought it would be a good time to meet up with some of the local business owners to find out what makes this part of Mexico feel so special and hear how they ended up here. When we came across Dum Restaurant we knew we just had to find out more.

We met with the 3 owners Adrien, Paulina and Chef Aurelien to delve a little deeper. While Aurelien prepped for that evening’s service we sat down with Adrien to hear the back story behind this palm filled paradise.

While the three had been friends previously they hadn’t worked directly together until the pandemic brought their respective hotels and restaurants to a close. Rather than sit and stew they saw it as an opportunity to make something new happen.

“The next day I was having dinner with Miguel who’s the owner of the property and explaining the situation to him. He told me he had some land that wasn’t being used.

The next morning we came here and it was just amazing, it was full of palms, the light was coming through the leaves, it was just beautiful. the first thing I thought was this place is blessed, I felt blessed.  I brought the chef, I brought Paulina, with Miguel, we all had dinner here, and we said let’s make something, let’s do it!

We wanted to keep it as it was, to not remove the palms, to keep it as close to how it was when we first came here. It was a lot of work to make it happen, just to clear out the leaves we used a hundred trucks I think. We started in the June and were open by December”

Due to the pandemic the restaurant was first opened only to friends and family which allowed them freedom to experiment without the usual pressures of a new restaurant. Opting to serve only a tasting menu where the choice of food is set by Chef Aurelien rather than the diners.

“We were in the middle of the pandemic, we weren’t worried about what was profitable, but everyone was leaving happy, we thought yes, we’re going to stick to this concept”

Each week a new tasting menu is created and launched each Thursday evening. “It keeps it interesting for our customers and it’s also exciting for us.

“We close two days per week which allows us to meet with the farmers and the fisherman and talk a little bit to them – what are you going to have ready this week, what do you have in the field. We are really depending on the ingredients we get each week”

It’s not only the food and surroundings that are striking at Dum but the whole experience, made up of little touches everywhere you look.

“We wanted to promote what we have here in Baja, myself, Aurelien and Paulina; we’re all in love with this place, we wanted to pull together the best we can find here. The plates are made up in the mountains in La Sierra de la Laguna by a lady there. Just to go to her house is a whole adventure. Luxury is not always about having nice porcelain, it’s about having something that makes you feel something. This is what is important, When you do a thing with your heart it becomes special, to become an artist you use your heart.

It’s wild here, the land is wild, you go up into the mountains and you don’t see a house for 20 or 25 milometers, just the cactuses, the mountain and the sea, and this is fantastic,  people are enjoying life here, it’s very simple, it’s very natural, it’s very down the earth"

We wanted to find out what makes Todos Santos such a special place for Adrien and to hear a little more about the local community.

“Todos santos is a town near the water but it’s not a beach town, the old families here all live in the historic centre, but everyone has their own piece of land where they grow their vegetables, everyone has a fisherman in the family that brings them fresh fish and so it’s a very easy way of life.

They have everything they need here, we’re learning a lot from the community for the restaurant; how we can make it better, how we can make it very simple but very nice, they have the best vegetables, they have the best fish, they have the best ambiance because they have their family all around, so to bring that together here.

The town also has a lot of foreigners: Italian, French, English, Portuguese, Brazilian, American of course but you have a little bit of everything, It brings a very interesting mix. Everyone is like minded, they like heart, this way of simple living, this wildness of what we’ve got here, and they want to preserve it."

We want to thank Adrien, Paulina and Aurelien for their amazing hospitality and even better food!

For more information on Dum head to www.dū