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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Annunci

Where Chefs Eat

It is always good to hear it from the experts, insiders. That is what makes Where Chefs Eat a must have. A guide made of tips from more than 400 of the world’s best chefs including popular and little known places for culinary inspirations, peculiar restaurants and the right specific information about them. Available here and also as iPhone and iPad applications.

Designer Cooking Schools

You can relax now and forget all of your bad memories (should you have any…) of drab and dreary home economics classes because the newest cooking schools are cool.

It is true that The Culinary Art School in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico is not of the high-school variety – it is for serious chefs with high aspirations – but it oozes a new, cool confidence that could potentially turn even the most nonchalant teenager into a passionate chef.

The elegant use of wood is the key attribute in The Culinary Art School. Its new building was designed by San Diego, California-based Jorge Gracia Arquitecto whose founder, Jorge Gracia, was born in Tijuana in 1973.

The entire school complex carries an air of strict order, almost an ascetic solemnity. If you didn’t notice the stoves or wine racks, you could mistake this for a place of religious study.

And, passionate chefs certainly express a fervour for food, ingredients and cooking that could be likened to religious zeal. It is easy to imagine how the colours, textures and aromas of various ingredients stand out in this kind of environment. It is like a stage for culinary creation or like a frame for gastronomic artwork.

Also in the category of cool cooking schools is the Sydney Seafood School established in 1989 and completely refurbished for its 20th anniversary. It conducts cooking classes for all skill levels and draws more than 12,000 students annually.

Words such as handsome and sexy come to mind when you look at this space, the creative work of Dreamtime Australia Design, based in Sydney, Australia.

Some time ago, we have featured Dreamtime-designed Churchill Butcher Shop in Sydney.

In Sydney Seafood School, a tactile intrigue, and a contrast between serious study and serious fun, are evident in every space. The school’s entry wall is a honeycombed sandstone creation by sculptor Michael Purdy.

The dark and impressive hands-on kitchen looks formidable with lots of shiny stainless steel and glass, but its gravity is lightened by chalkboard walls with “fish graffiti” as art. The cool auditorium’s walls are lined with Icelandic fish leather. In the dining room, the harbour view competes for attention with a row of fun fishnet chandeliers and their more than 6,000 little globes. Where do we sign up? Tuija Seipell

via | the cool hunter

What Does a Sustainable Restaurant Look Like?

The People's Supermarket

Celebrity chef Arthur Potts Dawson’s TED talk was recently posted, and is well worth a watch. His two sustainable restaurants, Acorn House and Water House, are furnished using recycled plastics, reclaimed wood, and rummage sale cushions (donated by his mum, who found the Norwegian Forestry-certified benches too hard). Water House, the more recently opened of the two, is actually a zero-carbon restaurant: Built next to a canal, it is entirely heated, cooled, and powered by hydroelectricity and heat exchange.

Potts Dawson’s passion is waste minimization. In the talk, he explains that his menu at Acorn House was created to allow “people to choose the amount and the volume of food that they wanted to consume, rather than me putting a dish down, and them being allowed to help themselves to as much or as little as they wanted.”

Later on, and with evident pride, he shows slides of his “dehydrating, desiccating macerator,” which turns food waste into a kind of vegetable jerky so that he can store it to compost later. His excitement is only slightly dimmed by the fact that when he experimentally added the jerky to his wormery, all the worms died.

His newest project, The People’s Supermarket, opened earlier this year in central London. I visited it last week, and it’s definitely still finding its way, but there are already several clever waste-reduction schemes in place, including an on-site kitchen so that as food nears its sell-by-date, co-op members can extend its shelf life by making it into prepared dishes.

Potts Dawson promises to open at least three more restaurants in this talk. Meanwhile, let’s hope other restaurant owners and chefs are inspired to follow his example.