Don Artemio

History you can sink your teeth into.

Don Artemio restaurant was founded by chef Juan Ramon Decardenas in Saltillo Mexico, fifteen years ago as a second-generation restauranteur. Decardenas wanted to create a restaurant with a focus on traditional Mexican cooking methods but with the elevated presentation of fine dining. To execute his vision, Decardenas turned to prolific Saltillo historian, Armando Fuentes Aguirre. To Aguirre, Decardenas asked, "what should I call my restaurant?" For Aguirre, there was only one man who truly captured the dining concept Decardenas wanted, Don Artemio: a distinguished author, attorney, and cultural icon from Saltillo, born Artemio de Valle Arizpe in 1884. 

Don Artemio began writing books while he was abroad in Madrid, Spain, returning to Mexico City in 1925; his travels and resulting knowledge earning him the title of 'city historian' soon after his arrival. At this time, Mexico City was a cultural epicenter that rivaled New York City. A bustling community, rich in culture and the arts, Don Artemio soon found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. 

As Don Artemio enjoyed the highs of Mexico City society, he began gaining a reputation as a true 'gourmand.' Becoming renowned for his good taste and dinner toasts.

"Don Artemio wrote 54 books and we have 23 of them in our collection, at the restaurant (in Fort Worth)," boasts Adrian Burciaga, Co-owner of Don Artemio Restaurant. "Most of them are first or second editions, and three of them are signed by him in 1941, so it's a very special collection for us."

Burciaga and Decardenas linked up after meeting at The Modern Art Museum, where Decardenas was Burciaga's guest chef at the cafe. Burciaga also says that Decardenas was his mentor and the two of them hatched a dream to one day join forces at a restaurant of their own. "I recognize his pride, his awards and his passion for Mexican cuisine," affirms Burciaga. "To me, he is one of the best." 

After the pandemic hit, Burciaga became a free agent and the perfect time for the visionaries to link up seemed to have come. "We decided to pursue our dream," says Burciaga. They began looking for a location for the second Don Artemio restaurant, knowing the heart of the cultural district would honor the spirit of their cultural icon, Don Artemio. "What we are trying to do is share our traditions through food," explains Burciaga, detailing the scratch made dishes and the painstaking steps they take to maintain their authenticity, importing special strains of corn and other Mexican ingredients. But they also use historical artifacts and architecture to tell their story, wood and fixtures in the restaurant coming from Saltillo, supporting the local businesses there. 

The restaurant, which opened in March 2022, is now a jewel of the cultural district, a location that values the labors of their work. So, take a bite out of Mexico City at this feast for the eyes and soul, and welcome to Fort Worth, Don Artemio!

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