Years ago, with the arrival of restaurateur Alberto Nacif – who is currently behind the successful ‘Micaela, Mar y Leña’ – to the city of Mérida, he became close to those who, in addition to being neighbors, would later become collaborators and friends: artists Abel Vázquez and Melva Medina.
Upon their arrival, Alberto and his wife opened a coffee shop in front of Galería Nahualli, which allowed the two couples to get to know each other, establish a friendship and share their love of art.
Both born in Oaxaca, Alberto and Abel immediately created a bond beyond geography: Alberto, who has always been a fan of art, and Abel, currently one of the most outstanding exponents of his native Oaxaca – as well as of Merida – found the beginning of a fruitful creative relationship.
“We became friends and once Melva even cooked a delicious ceviche, I brought some wines and we spent the afternoon talking and pairing…”.
“At the restaurant where I worked, I invited Abel and Melva to have their work exhibited and they accepted; that made me very happy.”
In 2018, with the opening of Micaela, Mar y Leña on the doorstep, Alberto Nacif, sommelier and co-owner of the restaurant, wanted to transport to the walls of his new project that which reminded him so much of his longed-for Oaxaca: the culinary traditions, the vibrant colors, and the evocation of exquisite emotions. He found all this in the work of Abel Vázquez.
“…If you notice, in Abel’s paintings there are almost always edible elements, among fish, prickly pears, fruits, and also the characters are always naive and sometimes very determined”.
“From the first moment I met his work I was impressed; I came from Oaxaca where I also admired many artists.”
Micaela, Mar y Leña is today considered one of the must-stops for all lovers of good cuisine.
Its cuisine is inspired by the old recipe book of a Nana, as well as New Orleans and local ingredients from Mexico.
Visitors both local and foreign are enchanted by the way they revive classics, and present new proposals, all with a unique warmth.
From the conceptualization of Micaela Mar y Leña, ideas such as luminosity, intense colors and gastronomic motifs were sought to be present.
The enigmatic characters created by the imagination of Abel Vázquez remain still and blend in with the environment.
This 2021 also marks a new era for Micaela, Mar y Leña, as well as for the artist Abel Vázquez of Galería Nahualli.
The artist has created new pictorial works to be exhibited on the walls of the restaurant and thus, enhance the presence and feeling of renewal.
“In this second intervention we are very happy to be able to work and further extend our dealings with him, something I had been looking for…”
“It’s also very important for us to have their work in our restaurant, because it definitely reflects a lot of what we want to say.”
Today, to visit Micaela, Mar y Leña is to lose oneself in very special flavors, while mystical beings born from the imagination of one of the most important artists of today, return one’s gaze from the wall.