Mayan Fusion owner and Executive Chef Silver Canul was born and raised in Peto, a beautiful, tight-knit villa in the Yucatan Peninsula. He grew up immersed in the vibrant culinary and cultural traditions of his Indigenous Mayan ancestors, family, and community members. Silver graduated from college as an Agriculture Technician, but a decline in local job opportunities found him in search of greater prospects for himself and his family in the United States.
Silver started out in the U.S. working on farms, picking vegetables and milking cows, before finding work in the restaurant industry. Slowly but surely he moved his way up the chain of command: he was a dishwasher first, then became a prep cook, where his deep capacity for learning and dedicated work ethic gained the attention of his peers and employers. Silver says that it was when he was promoted to the position of line cook that his passion for creating dishes and feeding people was truly ignited.
As fate would have it, Silver's career would bring him to live in another beautiful, tight-knit villa, this time on California's Mendocino Coast, where he became Executive Chef of the Little River Inn. While his formal dining room menu offered classical French and Californian influenced dishes, his creativity truly shined when it came to the nightly specials he offered on the bar menu. His beautifully spiced and vibrantly composed Mayan dishes like grilled Fish Tacos with Habanero Salsa Fresca, Ceviches, and his now-famous Coastal Salad, had tourists and locals alike clamoring for seats at the snug tables and stools in the bar portion of the Inn so that they could get a taste of these truly special dishes.
It was with the encouragement of Silver's family and many local fans, that he embarked on taking over The Wharf in Fort Bragg's Noyo Harbor, a seafood restaurant with a huge seating capacity that had been a local institution for generations. Along with his co-partners Javier Perez, Juan Pablo Canul, and Jim Hurst the team breathed new life into the restaurant's concept, reopening as Silver's at The Wharf, and offering a winning combination of old-school San Franciscan and creatively Yucatecan influenced seafood, burgers, and steaks. Through determination and hard work Silver, his partners, and staff were able to make Silver's At the Wharf bloom and prosper through years of economic and environmental hardships.
As is the case with so many successful chefs at the helm of large restaurants, Silver had a dream of getting back to his culinary roots, showcasing the techniques and knowledge he'd accrued over the years, and offering them in a more intimate setting. He realized this dream in 2009 with the opening of Mayan Fusion, which is known for its lovingly prepared dishes that showcase the best of Californian produce, meats, and seafood while featuring a fusion of spices, flavors, and techniques from Silver's rich culinary heritage and influences. The cozy dining room of Mayan Fusion, where neighbors can stop and chat with each other, and couples can snuggle into booths for two, makes it a neighborhood favorite, a place for intimate celebrations, best-friend reunions, or just grabbing a great meal in the middle of the workweek.