D.O.M.: Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients

Alex Atala’s cookbook is out. This year, the brazilian chef was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people, spoke at events like MAD3 in a controversial performance killing a chicken on stage and now he comes showing his discoveries, creations and some of Brazil’s widely diverse food traditions.


D.O.M.: Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients is an exclusive look at one of the world’s most exciting chefs, his unique relationship with the produce of his native Brazil and the food he creates from it.

Recently voted as number 4 in the San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurant Awards, Alex Atala’s restaurant D.O.M has built its unique style of cuisine on the discovery and exploration of Brazilian ingredients combined with a commitment to finding sustainable solutions to sourcing them to the benefit of the Amazon and its people.


A former punk DJ who was classically trained as a chef in Europe, Atala refuses to import ingredients such as caviar, truffles and fois gras, staples in many high-end restaurant kitchens, into Brazil and instead scours the Amazon for indigenous produce to fuse with classical techniques in his cooking. He then works with the Amazon’s native communities and small-scale producers to extend the availability of these native products around Brazil.


This commitment to not only producing delicious food, but also using his kitchen as a tool for social responsibility and conservation has led to the introduction of many new and unknown ingredients onto his menu, such as a new variety of palm heart that can be farmed and harvested sustainably; the first of its kind.


This book will tell the individual stories of 65 of the unique ingredients that are used in the kitchens at D.O.M. and Alex’s relationship with them. Each ingredient will be accompanied by a recipe for one of the dishes that it is utilized in and a beautiful image of both the ingredient and the finished dish.

The fascinating texts, stunning photographs and inspiring recipes will combine to create a beautiful cookbook that is fully accessible to the general reader.

mario rodriguesPhoto: Mario Rodrigues

About Alex Atala

A creative chef, Alex Atala is known in Brazil and throughout the world for exploring, through classical techniques, the gastronomical possibilities of Brazilian ingredients. Atala began his career when he was 19 in Belgium, at the École Hôtelière de Namur. In France he worked at Jean Pierre Bruneau’s Michelin 3-star restaurant, and staged at Hotel de la Cote D’Or with Chef Bernard Loiseau. In 1994 he returned to São Paulo, where his performance in several establishments around the city attracted the attention of journalists and gourmands. He opened D.O.M. restaurant in 1999. In 2009 Atala opened his second restaurant, Dalva e Dito, to critical acclaim.

Book photos via R2 Design

Book description via Phaidon


Edible Insects


It’s been from May 13th that eating insects is again in the buzz of the specialized media because of a work presented in the FAO’s International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition. The work is Edible insects – Future prospects for food and feed security.

It shows the many traditional and potential new uses of insects for direct human consumption and the opportunities for and constraints to farming them for food and feed. It examines the body of research on issues such as insect nutrition and food safety, the use of insects as animal feed, and the processing and preservation of insects and their products.

FAO made also available this information guide: The contribution of insects to food security, livelihoods and the environment.

Here in our Food Design Association, we have Giulia Tachini. She took her Product Design Master’s Degree in the Polytechnic of Milan presenting her final project: A Hypothesis of Food System Compensation: Eating Insects for Food Security and a Sustainable Future. The work got good critics and she kept on with the theme organizing other projects supporting her aims. Like this insect biscuits presented in the Milan Design Week 2013. Get to know more on her site.

Captura de Tela 2013-06-11 às 13.48.10

Another nice project I found on the web is this one by Monica Martinez & Rosanna Yau, take a look here.


Here’s an interesting video… “FAO consultant, Afton Halloran, describes the use of insects as food in developing nations to provide nutrients missed in local food supplies and how the practice is spreading globally. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.”

Slow Food Story

Slow Food Story is a documentary about how Carlo Petrini and his friends created the Slow Food movement. A revolutionary quest made of strong beliefs regarding economy, politics, science, philosophy… A story regarding people’s wellbeing bringing the spotlight on Food and it’s key role in contemporary world problems. You can find more information about it on Slow Food Story’s website (italian). The movie premieres in Italy on May 30.



Since I did not find any english descriptions or subtitles for the movie trailer, I am posting the translation I made from the italian release. It is not good english, but I guess the message is clear.

Here it is:

The story of the man and the movement that revolutionized gastronomy

This is the story of a revolution.

A cultural revolution, one of those that do not leave dead on the field, but still, when set in motion, marks a point of no return.

This is the story of a slow revolution. Slow. As a snail.

A revolution has been going on for 25 years and still shows no signs of stopping.

It has a Commander in Chief, which is called Carlo Petrini, called Carlìn.

The inventor of Slow Food.

In Italy, 1986, he founded the gastronomic association Arcigola, and three years later in Paris launches Slow Food. An international movement that began as a resistance to Fast Food, that came threatening the local cuisine all over the planet.

People like the idea, the movement of the nut made followers grow worldwide. Starting from Bra, a town of 27 thousand inhabitants, and speaking almost exclusively Piedmontese dialect, Carlìn creates out of nothing an international association that now has 85,000 members in 130 countries, and has a tremendous impact in the world of gastronomy and culture of our time.

His bet is powerful. It is to free food from the cultural marginality that it is relegated and get the focus on the centrality of food – regarding economy, politics, science, philosophy.

The ambition is revealed in all its greatness in the 2000s, when Petrini gives life to his most visionary projects: Terra Madre, a forum of 5000 farmers from around the world gathered in Turin to give voice to agriculture that fights against damaging mass crops, also giving life to the University of Gastronomic Sciences, which brings dignity to the academic study of food.

Meanwhile, gastronomy – also thanks to him – flies: the chefs are the stars,  TV from all over the world are full of cooking shows, publishing industry produces it’s best-sellers. Now, food typical products are cool- defended by the Slow Food Presidia project –  they are a status symbol.

A winning idea – Slow Food – as sometimes happens, is not the result of the predictable.

Slow Food Story is the story of a group of friends from a province growing  together between jokes, colossal eating and political passion. Between them, there is Petrini, of course. But there are also his best friends: Azio Citi and Giovanni Ravinale.

This is the story of their friendship. A story made of joy, but also of sorrows.

A story of restaurants, story of revived farmers rituals (like the “sing the eggs” ritual at night, during Lent in the farms of Langhe, waking up the farmers with improvised musicians and red wine, till dawn). A story of unmissable events like the club Tenco and the beast of San Fermin in Pamplona. A story of drunken travels, of bets, won or lost, but lived always with the same unsinkable gruff and contagious humor and character.

A life rich and unique. That is the life of Carlìn. Today he is an “European hero”, says Time Magazine, and a columnist in the most important Italian newspaper. Petrini is firmly anchored in the small town from which he took off, in spite of the global dimension of the international movement that he founded.

Here is a story that shows us how even the most important cultural adventures can arise from an amused and ironic approach to life.

And that, perhaps, deserves to be told.

Michael Pollan’s Food Rules

Based on Michael Pollan’s talk “Food Rules” given at the RSA, this animation was created in the context of the RSA/Nominet Trust film competition. Using a mixture of stop-motion and compositing, our aim and challenge was to convey the topic in a visually interesting way using a variety of different food products. We made a little table top set up at home and worked on this a little over three weeks.

More information available at benoitdetalle.com/food-rules

Here are also some photos of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules in the making


WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD


Also read a post from WebMD, March 23, 2009


— We Americans suffer a national eating disorder: our unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.

That’s the diagnosis delivered by food author Michael Pollan in a lecture given last week to an overflow crowd of CDC scientists.

As part of an effort to bring new ideas to the national debate on food issues, the CDC invited Pollan — a harsh critic of U.S. food policies — to address CDC researchers and to meet with leaders of the federal agency.

“The French paradox is that they have better heart health than we do despite being a cheese-eating, wine-swilling, fois-gras-gobbling people,” Pollan said. “The American paradox is we are a people who worry unreasonably about dietary health yet have the worst diet in the world.”

In various parts of the world, Pollan noted, necessity has forced human beings to adapt to all kinds of diets.

“The Masai subsist on cattle blood and meat and milk and little else. Native Americans subsist on beans and maize. And the Inuit in Greenland subsist on whale blubber and a little bit of lichen,” he said. “The irony is, the one diet we have invented for ourselves — the Western diet — is the one that makes us sick.”

Snowballing rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in the U.S. can be traced to our unhealthy diet. So how do we change?

7 Words & 7 Rules for Eating

Pollan says everything he’s learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Probably the first two words are most important. “Eat food” means to eat real food — vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and, yes, fish and meat — and to avoid what Pollan calls “edible food-like substances.”

Here’s how:

  1. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. “When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can’t pronounce, ask yourself, “What are those things doing there?” Pollan says.
  2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
  4.  Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food,” Pollan says.
  5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. “Always leave the table a little hungry,” Pollan says. “Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, ‘Tie off the sack before it’s full.'”
  6. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It’s a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. “Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?” Pollan asks.
  7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

How to create a food revolution

food01Jamie Oliver, the Better Food Foundation’s founder is a chef, author, television personality, and food activist. His TV series include The Naked Chef (BBC), Jamie’s Ministry of Food, and the Emmy Award–winning Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (ABC).

It’s 2013, and we live in a world where the majority of us have a broken relationship with food. There are around two billion undernourished people but also more than one billion who are dangerously overweight or obese, and that number is going up.

If you’re reading this in the United States or the United Kingdom, then congratulations: you live in one of the unhealthiest nations in the world.

The question is no longer how we got here, because any intelligent person with one eye on the media will know the answers. The question now is, “What can we do about it?” I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but the people power of last year’s Food Revolution Day is an example of what can be achieved by harnessing the passion and dedication of a small but growing handful of food ambassadors globally—more on this later.

Meanwhile, if you’re a national government, apparently it’s a hard question to answer. First Lady Michelle Obama has asked us to get off our sofas in her Let’s Move campaign, and there have been other widely publicized health initiatives led by high-profile people—including myself. But as for an actual plan from any national government, we’re still waiting.

I believe that even the best governments can only think short term—as far as the next election or, at best, the one after that. Big problems that will take decades to solve are overwhelming, and the likelihood is that by the time things get really bad, the other guy will be in power. So I’m pretty sure a lot of them think that big solutions can wait. They can’t.

We’re at a particularly dangerous time in the United Kingdom. The latest figures from our National Health Service show that two-thirds of adult men are now overweight or obese. More worrying still are the figures for children. In the United Kingdom, 22 percent of our kids are overweight or obese when they start school at age four or five; by the time they leave primary school at 11, that figure rises to 33 percent. What chance do these kids have of turning their lives around when two to three generations of parents have lost the ability to feed themselves and their families properly, using the basic life skills that our great-grandparents took for granted?

If we look to the future, we see projections of expanding waistbands, worsening health, poorer quality of life for billions of people, completely overwhelmed health services, and less productive workforces. Is this the future we hoped for? Of course not. But it is the future we deserve unless we take urgent action.

It’s not too late to make a difference. There is a solution, and I think it’s actually a pretty simple one that every single person reading this can get involved in right now. As a campaigner and a food lover, but most importantly as a father (and hopefully one day a grandfather), I cannot stand by and watch this global health disaster unfold. That’s why I believe passionately in food education and in the power of people and communities all across the world to get together to make positive changes.

I believe that every kid in every school deserves to learn the basics about food: where it comes from, how to cook it, and how it affects their bodies. These life skills are as important as reading and writing, but they have been rapidly lost over the past few generations. Food education should be a legal requirement in every country. I’ve always loved the idea that some of the most delicious food and, honestly, the happiest families come from some of the poorest countries. What truly makes them rich is their knowledge, and that’s why it’s a crime that any country involved in this current health epidemic doesn’t have mandatory cooking lessons, decent food on offer for breakfast and lunch at school, and sufficient physical education. I know that with one e-mail, education ministries in many countries  could get small chunks of food awareness wrapped around every single subject that’s taught in school.

We’ve recently received some good news in the United Kingdom, where the government announced a new program of mandatory cooking lessons in school for kids aged 7 to 14. I’m waiting to see the detail, but in principle this is a huge and important step.

We know that cooking classes inspire kids. In 2011, the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine and Childhood Obesity Research Center evaluated some of the food-education programs we were running from our “Big Rig” mobile kitchen. Their study showed that the vast majority of kids grew more confident, were more likely to help make dinner at home (and so watched less TV while eating), and ate fewer meals in the car. Some 92 percent of the students felt that learning about nutrition was interesting, 82 percent agreed that they would try to cook the meals they had learned to cook at home, and 96 percent said they were happy they had taken the class.

Meanwhile, anecdotal evidence from the Ministry of Food centers that I launched in Australia and the United Kingdom suggest that the majority of adults who complete our healthy-cooking courses are saving money, losing weight, and gaining confidence—and often new friends—through the easily acquired knowledge of how to cook from scratch, as opposed to relying on prepared meals and takeout food.

A few generations ago, our great-grandparents knew how to stretch the family budget in tough economic times by buying cheaper cuts of meat, baking their own bread, and making the weekly groceries last. These days, too many families lack that knowledge. They end up spending more on supposedly cheaper, less nutritious prepared meals and bread full of additives. We need urgent action, and workplaces and communities can play a huge part. If your staffers can feed themselves properly and love cooking delicious, nutritious meals, then of course they’ll be healthier, more productive, and happier. Don’t we all want employees who are fitter for business and take fewer sick days?

The sustainable transformation of individuals, families, and communities doesn’t come from one action. Everything has to change, everyone must contribute, and everybody needs to be open-minded about change. It’s not easy, but that doesn’t mean individuals can’t lead the way. Of course, governments and other large organizations need to step up, but there’s no reason better food choices can’t start with individuals—and be fun.

I believe big change happens when lots of people get involved. That’s why I started Food Revolution Day last year. The idea is to set aside a single day each year for people worldwide to raise awareness about food education. It’s not specifically designed to send a message to governments—most don’t listen anyway—but to be the start of a grassroots movement. I believe Food Revolution Day can grow to become a catalyst for all those wonderful campaigners, chefs, teachers, doctors, parents, bloggers, journalists, and kids all over the world who want to eat better or who already know how to eat well and want to share their valuable knowledge.

Sharing is the key, whether you’re a grandparent or parent teaching your kids, a chef or food educator teaching in your community, or even a good home cook who wants to pass on your knowledge to your friends at work. Big change starts with little changes on a local and personal level. Before you know it, you’re part of something huge.

We launched Food Revolution Day on May 19, 2012. Amazingly, we sponsored 1,000 events, big and small, in 664 cities around the world, all hosted by passionate, brilliant people who cared. In San Francisco, a group of volunteers offered public tours of a local farmers market. Participants received valuable tips on how to buy and cook local produce. That night, the tour guides hosted an event at IDEO, a design and innovation consulting firm, that gathered a larger group of foodies and techies in the hope of forming lasting relationships. In Hong Kong, a group of local food bloggers and volunteers put together a successful cooking class, inspiring hundreds of local people. And in Milan, local Food Revolution ambassadors organized a huge range of events, from dinners to cooking classes.

One year later, we’ve made great connections and have begun to empower Food Revolution ambassadors across the world who care deeply about good food and want to share their knowledge with others. We now have ambassadors in 71 countries, and the number is growing. These are passionate folks who believe that food education can change lives for the better.

We’re doing Food Revolution Day all over again on May 17 this year, and it’s going to be bigger, better, and louder. We’re going to keep on doing it until we’re so loud that governments will have to listen. Please join us; you, too, can change the future.

Via Mckinsey on Society

Convivio: a tavola tra cibo e sapere

5 dicembre 2011 – 26 marzo 2012 La Fondazione Corriere della Sera, in vista dell’Expo 2015, organizza un ciclo di otto lezioni accompagnate da letture e immagini per riflettere sul rapporto tra cibo e cultura. Ogni incontro sarà corredato da letture interpretate da attori del Piccolo Teatro. Completano la serata, rendendola più suggestiva e spettacolare, proiezioni di filmati (Piccolo Teatro Grassi, Via Rovello 2 Milano. Ingresso libero solo con prenotazione Tel. 02.87387707).


5 dicembre 2011
ore 20.30
Arte moderna e contemporanea a tavola

Germano Celant
direttore della Fondazione Prada, Milano e curatore della Fondazione Vedova, Venezia e Fondazione Aldo Rossi, Milano


16 gennaio 2012
ore 20.30
La sacralità del cibo

Dionigi Tettamanzi
Cardinale, Arcivescovo emerito della Diocesi di Milano


23 gennaio 2012
ore 20.30
La politica a tavola nell’Italia unita

Gian Antonio Stella
editorialista del Corriere della Sera


30 gennaio 2012
ore 20.30
“Io me te magno” Il cinema italiano a pranzo

Paolo Mereghetti
critico cinematografico e giornalista del Corriere della Sera


5 marzo 2012
ore 20.30
Cucina e identità nazionale

Massimo Montanari
professore di Storia medievale e di Storia dell’alimentazione all’Università degli Studi di Bologna


12 marzo 2012
ore 20.30
L’ultima cena

Pietro C. Marani
professore di Storia dell’arte moderna al Politecnico di Milano


19 marzo 2012
ore 20.30
Il Simposio

Massimo Cacciari
professore di Filosofia all’Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele di Milano


26 marzo 2012
ore 20.30
A tavola con gli antichi

Eva Cantarella
professoressa di Diritto greco all’Università degli Studi di Milano


scarica il pdf del ciclo di incontri cliccando sull’immagine sottostante

via expo2015.org

CROSS DINNER – La fame aguzza l’ingegno

FOODA ringrazia tutti i partecipanti alla CROSS DINNER di lunedì scorso in Appartamento LAGO per la bella serata e lo spirito di partecipazione che ha permesso di approfondire il temma della crisi e dell’alimentazione. Sono sorti temi e riflessioni molto interessanti. Ecco un  riepilogo invitandovi a continuare la conversazione on-line o (meglio ancora) di persona:

– Di chi è la responsabilità dell’educazione alimentare?
– Le scelte fatte a tavola sono anche scelte politiche?
– Come rendere evidente a tutti la relazione tra cibo ed energia?
– Le persone vogliono essere consapevoli?
– La gamificazione dei consumi può essere una strategia educativa? In che modo?
– In che modo le mode possono innescare fenomeni positivi di apprendimento e partecipazione?
– Cos’è il valore e cosa significa dare valore al cibo?

Siamo partiti da un presupposto: capire in che modo le crisi stanno stimolando approcci nuovi e sostenibili all’offerta e ai consumi alimentari e non solo. Nel mondo sono innumerevoli le iniziative che hanno fatto della contingenza uno stimolo a innovare nei servizi e a ripensare i consumi in modo sostenibile. C’è chi lo definisce consumo intelligente ed è il frutto di cambiamenti profondi che nascono dal basso e dai bordi.

Per saperne di più o partecipare alla prossima CROSS DINNER potete visitare il sito crossdinner.com