A few hours north of São Paulo in the hills outside the alpine like town of Campos do Jordão, some opf the most creative Brazilian fare is being served at an ultra exclusive lodge restaurant called Mina surrounded by reclaimed wood giant walls of glass in the middle of 700 acres of Atlantic rainforest at the hotel and spa Botanique.
Every so often, one comes a dish or a restaurant that is a perfect reflection of place. A bowl of rustic green chile stew with a folded flour tortilla on the side, for example, is a perfect reflection of its northern New Mexico context. It taps into not just local… Read More →
In terms of restaurants, no city on the South American continent, except for maybe Lima, has as much star power as São Paulo, Brazil’s sprawling inland city of 11 million inhabitants (20 million if you include the entire metropolitan area). New restaurants that opened in 2012 and others opening this year are giving reason to explore well beyond Alex Atala’s D.O.M. and Helena Rizzo’s Maní.
Who says that whining can’t lead to good things? “I’m bored” turned into a backyard exploration and discovery of a place I’d no idea existed. I’ll back up just a bit to let you know I’m in Curitiba, Brazil, a semi-permanent home or the closest thing a nomad can come… Read More →
A meal at São Paulo’s Maní, #51 on San Pellegrino’s World’s best list in 2012, has become one of the most sought after restaurant experiences anywhere in Brazil, or South America for that matter. Model turned chef Helena Rizzo, and her Spanish husband Daniel Redondo, has been a driving force in contemporary Brazilian cuisine in ne since opening in 2006.
In 2012 several restaurants in Peru, Mexico, and Brazil inched their way up the World’s Best list and countless superb new restaurants opened. Last month I met with Noma founder Claus Meyer in Copenhagen and his words were “I think South America is the next continent.” He was talking about food and restaurants and the sheer amount of opportunity there for haute cuisine. There is much to look forward to…
Only an hour from the 24/7 buzz of Rio de Janeiro is a tranquil retreat, where you can slow down and breath fresh mountain air, as well as savor slow food prepared with loving care. In the introduction to A Cozinha da Alcobaça, author and chef Dona Laura Góes says the food served in her pousada in Rio de Janeiro state, is based on “refined simplicity.” The Pousada da Alcobaça is a pretty and cosy 1914 colonial-style mansion, with 11 individually decorated rooms, set in lush tropical gardens sloping down to a sparkling river.
Camaroes a Baiana isa deliciously spicy but creamy dish from the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil. It’s signature ingredient is palm oil, called dendê in Brazil (pronounced: den-DAY). While you can substitute an oil like annatto to attain the same vivid red-orange color, the flavor of dendê is indispensable… Read More →
The uncontacted tribes of the Amazon basin are a reality that many regional governments would prefer not to be true. The existence of these highly susceptible indigenous groups – found in the most remote reaches of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela – prevents the miners, loggers, and oil from removing the valuable resources that are becoming increasingly easier to extract. While they are protected under international law, the enforcement of those laws is loose at best, shifting with every change in government. Some governments go as far to say that because they are unseen, that the tribes are fictional creations by environmentalists that want to hamper the development of rainforests. Proving that the tribes, who voluntarily choose to be in isolation, do exist without threatening them even more so than they already are is a complicated tasks, as the book The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes by Scott Wallace attests.
Growing to almost 500 pounds, paiche is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. The Amazonian fish is now appearing on restaurant menus worldwide, which could help save the species.