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

Botiá, for sustainable packaging

576197_504485612946810_1298467285_nBeing brazilian, I feel proud to get to know that intelligent projects this one from Ybá – Design & Research are getting visibility and success. Ybá develops design projects guided by social-environmental responsibility. Following this responsible values, they come with an extremely clever solution to food packaging In this year’s Milan Design Week, they present Botiá.


Botiá is plywood developed with 100% national technology and raw materials. It is made from coconut fiber and fine manioc flour, it is biocompatible, easily degradable and low cost. Easy to mold, it can be used for several purposes. Its main features are firmness, lightness, hydrosolubility, low environmental impact and mechanical resistance. At disposal it can be returned to the factory, because its hydrosolubility allows reuse; it can also be used as a vase to be buried in the ground with no environmental harm. This material was employed in the making of food packaging. With nature’s nests concept in mind the Botiá – nests for food – was created. This line aims at reducing loss that occurs during transportation. With this plywood a hard packaging is created which protects its contents against external impacts. The use of loose fiber inside avoids damages to the food. – Ybá



Botiá è un agglomerato prodotto con tecnologia e materia prima 100% brasiliana. Composto a base di fibra di cocco e fecola di tapioca, è biocompatibile, di degradazione rapida e a basso costo. Facilmente modellabile, può essere confezionata per diversi scopi. Ha come principali caratteristiche la rigidità, la leggerezza, la solubilità in acqua, il basso impatto ambientale e la resistenza meccanica. Al momento dello smaltimento l’agglomerato può essere restituito alla fabbrica, poiché la solubilità in acqua permette alla fibra di essere riutilizzata, o anche può essere utilizzato come vaso da piantare nel terreno senza causare alcun danno ambientale. Il materiale creato è stato utilizzato nella produzione d’imballaggi alimentari. Utilizzando il concetto dei “nidi naturali” è sorto Botià – nidi per il cibo. Questa linea mira a ridurre la perdita che si verifica durante il trasporto. Utilizzando tale agglomerato, si crea un imballaggio rigido capace di proteggere gli alimenti da impatti esterni. All’interno è applicata la fibra sciolta per evitare che gli alimenti subiscano danni all’interno della confezione. – Ybá



Botiá é um aglomerado desenvolvido com tecnologia e matéria-prima 100% nacional. Feito à base de fibra de coco e polvilho, é biocompatível, de rápida degradação e baixo custo. Facilmente moldável, pode ser confeccionado para diversos propósitos. Tem como principais características a rigidez, a leveza, a hidrossolubilidade, o baixo impacto ambiental e a resistência mecânica. Na hora do descarte pode retornar à fábrica, pois sua hidrossolubilidade permite que a fibra seja reutilizada, ou ainda ser aproveitada como vaso para ser implantado na terra sem causar malefício algum. O material desenvolvido foi aplicado na confecção de embalagens para alimentos. Utilizando o conceito dos ninhos da natureza surgiu o Botiá – ninhos para alimentos. Esta linha visa reduzir a perda que ocorre durante o transporte. Utilizando o aglomerado cria-se uma embalagem rígida que protege de impactos externos. Por dentro aplica-se fibra solta para evitar que o alimento se machuque dentro da embalagem. – Ybá

Low-Carbon Agriculture: Brazil Shows the Way

Amidst the depressingly deadlocked climate talks in Cancun, a side event dedicated to agriculture and climate change provided at least one positive story. Gustavo Mozzer, a scientist with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), a government agency, described the country’s Low-Carbon Agriculture Program, which he claimed would “cut direct farm carbon dioxide emissions by 170 million tons a year, and save as much again by curbing the invasion of rainforests by farmers.”

In fact, Brazil was able to come into this round of COP16 talks boasting that it had already met its 2020 emissions reduction target thanks, for the most part, to a reduction in deforestation in the Amazon.

Meanwhile, the government has been investing substantial amounts of public money into developing new crops and techniques that make its agricultural sector both productive and sustainable. And better still, because these innovations come out of the public sector rather than a private corporation, they are widely disseminated, affordable, and holistic in their approach. The nature of its mandate means that EMBRAPA has an equal, if not greater, interest in developing no-cost agricultural improvements as genetically-modified, patentable seeds.

New Scientist has the full story, but below are some of the highlights from Mozzer’s presentation:

Restoring Degraded Pasture

Mozzer claims that “a well-managed pasture can accumulate carbon. In fact our research shows it can accumulate so much that it more than cancels out the warming effect of methane and other emissions from cattle production.” The trick, EMBRAPA has found, is something called “forest, agriculture and livestock integration,” in which trees and other perennial crops are threaded through fields, and used for cattle forage.

Extending No-till Agriculture

Brazil pioneered “no-till agriculture,” which helps the soil retain carbon. Crops are harvested high on the stalk, which is then left to rot into a woven organic layer, into which next year’s seeds can be sown without needing to plow.

Bacterial Engineering

EMBRAPA has already created new varieties of soya and a super-productive grass variety called brachiaria to give to farmers. Its scientists are engineering new strains of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which help enrich soil and reduce the need for artificial fertilizers.

Images: (1) Gustavo Mozzer speaking, via EMBRAPA; (2) No-till farming, by Gene Alexander for the USDA, via Wikimedia.