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


The Plant brands new Jamie Oliver Trattoria venture



Jamie Oliver is launching new restaurant Trattoria, with branding by The Plant.

The first Trattoria branch will open next week in Richmond, west London, with interiors designed by Blacksheep. Work began on the Trattoria project around November last year.

Trattoria will be loosely based on the Jamie’s Italian brand, though with a more ‘local Italian’ feel, according to The Plant.



Matt Utber, The Plant founder, says, ‘It’s a Jamie’s Italian sub-brand in a sense, but what they’re offering is a more direct, stripped-down menu. It’s a very simple offer but with all the quality you’d expect from a Jamie’s Italian.

‘[The Jamie Oliver brand] wanted to build an offering that’s more appropriate to take into the suburbs and smaller towns.’

The branding uses a black and red colour palette, with interiors aiming to give a ‘simple, stripped-back’ feel, according to Utber.

He says, ‘From a brand perspective we wanted to create a sense of a much more local restaurant. It’s a more intimate experience – the food and visual aspects look more family–owned. The approach we’ve taken to the design is very honest.’



The Plant used traditional-looking gold-leaf script typography for the signage and shop front, and a menu featuring ‘very simple’ typographic and design elements.



As brand guardian for Jamie Oliver, The Plant has worked on other projects including Jamie Oliver at Gatwick, which also features interiors by Blacksheep, British restaurant Union Jacks and a number of Jamie’s Italian restaurants.

There are currently no firm plans to open further branches of Trattoria.

Via Design Week

Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2013


The 2013 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards is now open for entries. The competition seeks submissions from the world’s leading architects, interior and lighting designers and hospitality operators.

An independent annual awards programme, the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards is the only international concept of its kind, dedicated exclusively to celebrating the best food and beverage spaces from around the globe, in all types of environments including hotels, transport, business, culture, leisure and retail.

The 2013 awards are open to design projects completed between January 1 and December 31, 2012. A project entry must be a collaborative submission from both the design studio and hospitality operator.

Entries across 21 categories will be judged by a panel of highly influential design, food, lifestyle and hospitality personalities, including: The Times (UK) Restaurant Critic, Giles Coren; Chef Restaurateur, Tom Aitkens; JIA Boutique Hotels owner, Yenn Wong; and Moooi Founder and CEO, Casper Vissers.

The deadline for submissions is April 14, 2013.

read more: restaurantandbardesignawards.com


Lyfe Kitchen


Still following the same worldwide consumer behavior trend already featured in our posts – Fast Casual Food and A Look at Pret, we also got to know Lyfe Kitchen. This Fast Casual restaurant chain, cames founded by a former McDonald’s CEO and relating itself to sustainable concerns.

Taking a look at the brand’s website, it is interesting to see how “sustainability values” are traduced into verbal and graphic comunication, but not only. Another important feature related to these “behavior changes” is information transparency that is shown. All the products are well displayed with its informations, the brand’s mission, values and concepts are clear, they also have a blog to keep their costumers well-informed.

As the food scene gets more interesting with its everyday changes in this critical years, we will try to take a look at how our context transforms itself being traduced by society and giving tips to next design steps.

More on Former McDonald’s CEO Opens a Sustainable and Healthy Fast-Food Restaurant

Fast-Casual food


Great food, great experience and control for the consumer. These are the basic qualities for a Fast-Casual restaurant. The search for cozy places that serve the fresh food you want is a very important behavior change. If managed following responsable thinking it may support ethical production for healthy food, other than corresponding to consumer contemporary needs. You could say that it is easy to find those qualities in your favorite countryside diner. And you’re right. But they come in different ways.

The article Fast-food fight, by Mckinsey Quarterly, brings us a good idea about this growing market. To have a more practical idea of what this changes mean to the final consumers,  watch this video from Pizza Fusion, a Fast-Casual food franchise restaurant like many others.

It is still “fast”, but with very good “food” and in friendly places with contemporary uses.




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.

Yelp Helps Independent Restaurants. Hurts Chains

More often than not, if you want to find a good restaurant, you’re going to Yelp it. While the individual reviewers may not be the most charming, in aggregate, they’re changing the restaurant market, creating new business for well-reviewed companies and cutting into the market share of chains.

Researcher Michael Luca at Harvard Business School analyzed data [PDF] from Yelp and the Washington State Department of Revenue to see how the online database affected Seattle restaurants. He found that Yelp had rated 70 percent of all operational restaurants in 2009, while the city’s largest newspaper had only reviewed 5 percent of them.

Luca discovered that Yelp had tangible influence on business in Seattle’s restaurants:

A one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue.”  That’s a big deal right there. When consumers have information that they trust (especially from multiple users or particularly detailed reviews) it influences decisions.

This effect is driven by independent restaurants; ratings do not affect restaurants with chain affiliation.” This makes sense: The major advantage of a chain restaurant is the information conveyed by its branding: All McDonalds have Big Macs, and they’re all pretty much the same. But if Yelp makes information about independent restaurants more easily available, it levels the playing field. Interestingly, people don’t appear to be paying much attention to variations between chain restaurants.

Chain restaurants have declined in market share as Yelp penetration has increased.” The internet saving small business? Maybe. It’s certainly equalizing the information advantage enjoyed by famous brands.

So if you like a particular local restaurant, rating it appropriately on Yelp is a good way to keep it in business. But don’t waste your time on chain restaurants, since no one seems to be weighing the differences between the Burger King here and the one six blocks away.

Taking this data and looking into the future, though, gives us reason to expect a change in the way brands and reputation affect our decisions.

Plentiful online information combined with increasing ease of access—think Google Goggles and other “augmented reality” devices—could mean a reduction in brands and marketing, which would become a “a far less worthwhile investment for the producer,” Julian Sanchez writes: “Products, of course, would still need to be distinguished in some way, but a seller with a superior product would be far better able to compete without investing in a costly national marketing campaign.”

Which is a good outcome, since we’d rather have better stuff than better marketing.

Via GOOD Magazine