Francis Mallmann started his cooking activities in Jose Ignacio in 1978 with the Artagaveytia family at La Posada del Mar, a small hotel and Restaurant in the years when Jose Ignacio did not have a water supply or electricity. In order to visit Jose Ignacio, one had to either take a rowboat across Laguna Jose Ignacio, as there was no bridge, or take a 30-mile detour along route 9.
At that time there was a hand operated telephone, a water man who delivered water in a tank on a horse and a lone house overlooking mansa beach owned by the young foreign architect Eduardo Strauch. Some years later, a real estate company named Valenza, a diving club whose requirement was to be a bachelor and many others migrated to Jose Ignacio.
Since then there have been many important locals that have helped shape Jose Ignacio into the wonderful town that it is today. Characters such as the Bertalmio family that now own the restaurant Lucy, Nibio Machado whose business was sanding cockles and now who operates the restaurant Popeye, the famous black seabass fishermen Cacho Perez and his grandson Julio, Blanca Martorell and Elsa Silveira who operated the phone company, Manolo and Jose Aispuru of the Manolo Butcher shop, and Miguel Menose who has done so much for the town.
Special homage should also be paid to Coco and Ramitos, the fishermen that died at sea who packed our fridges for so many years with plentiful amounts of seabass, brotola and flounder.
During those years Jose Ignacio was an unlikely option for holidays due to the bumpy dirt road leading to the town and as the towns of La Barra and Manantiales were very fashionable at the time.
In 1982, the bridge crossing Laguna Jose Ignacio was finished by the often under appreciated engineering visionary Penades.
This fisherman's village was a calm town, known for the restaurant Santa Teresita (1973) under the direction of Doña Nidia and her famous seaweed omelets.
From 1993 to 2006, Francis Mallmann operated his restaurant Los Negros in a small stone house beside the lighthouse. The name Los Negros came from the former owner, the negro Urbin, an old local family who owned the houses, Los Negros y los Rubios (the blonds).
Not to be forgotten are the locals, Guzman Artagaveytia and Martin Pitaluga, who have been there from the very beginning and still currently operate the beautiful restaurant La Huella.
A special thanks should also be given to our dear friends who where born and raised in Jose Ignacio and very much linked to its history and ours, Sebastian Bertalmio, Eduardo Techera, Oscar Nievas and Alejandro Dalessio.