Alex Atala , D.O.M.
ALEX ATALA – the most highly-rated South American chef of D.O.M. – a regular chart-topper on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards :
# 7 (2011) , #18 (2010), #24 (2009) , #40 (2008), #38 (2007), #50 (2006).
Guest Chef at The Sukothai, Bangkok :
“Filled with energy and creativity, Alex Atala, chef owner of the prestigious D.O.M. Gastronomia Brasileira in Sao Paolo, has become known in Brazil and around the world for thoroughly exploring the culinary possibilities of local Brazilian ingredients, uniting its classic basis to completely new techniques.
Alex began his career at the age of 19 as a chef in the Namur hotel school in Belgium and worked at Bruneau Restaurant, owned by 2-Michelin Star Chef Jean-Pierre Bruneau, and also with the legendary Chef Bernard Loiseau at the Côte D’Or Hotel in France. In 1994, he returned to Brazil with a great desire to find his own culinary identity. At the end of 1999, Alex opened D.O.M., the contemporary restaurant with an original cuisine in harmonious balance between the classic and the modern, the known and the wild. Thus began a new era in Brazilian Gastronomy, that of The New Brazilian Cuisine.
D.O.M. has recently been ranked 7th Best Restaurant in the World by The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2011, moved up from 18th last year. It is the 6th time D.O.M. has been included in this review. The restaurant also holds the title “The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in South America”.”
Bangkok is blessed with many high-profile chefs visiting the Mandarin Oriental and the Sukothai each year. While Oriental’s Le Normandie tradtionally focuses on bringing ‘traditional’ 3 Michelin chefs , mostly from France , the Sukhothai borders on being adventurous and thus at the forefront of current state of the gastronomic art. Alex Atala was one such ‘big name’ that was the most highly-anticipated chef to arrive in many years, not least because , let’s face it, most of us aren’t going to be visiting Brazil anytime soon.
We were thankful that Chef Atala indeed brought many of his signature dishes, packing into his suitcase rare Amazon ingredients like ‘Filhote’ fish, ‘heart of palms’, Chibe – Brazillian cous-cous, producing one of the most exciting and accomplished meals we had in 2011, including 2 ‘TO-CRY-FOR’ dishes!! NOW, we have to visit his restaurant in Sao Paulo!
A menu by Alex Atala is almost an entry into the Wikipedia of Latino Ingredients. Like Noma, Chef Atala is proud to eschew usage of ingredients like foie gras, caviar which would be ‘too easy’ for chefs of this caliber in this day and age.
Thousand Layers of Manioc
(Manioc – or Cassava ; root is the edible part)
Chibe – Brazillian Couscous
Oysters in Brioche Crust with Marinated Tapioca
Filhote with Tucupi
(pardon us, but we needed to consult Wikipedia on this one : Tucupi is a yellow sauce extracted from wild manioc root, which is peeled, grated and then the juice is squeezed out (traditionally using an basket-like instrument called the tipiti). After being squeezed through the tipiti, the juice is left to “rest” so that the starch separates from the liquid (tucupi). Poisonous at this stage due to the presence of cyanide, the tucupi is boiled for hours – a process which eliminates the poison. The tucupi can then be used as a sauce in cooking.)
Heart of Palm Fettucine with Butter and Sage, Parmesan Cheese and Popcorn Powder
– SFREELIFE – ‘TO-CRY-FOR’ AWARD !
– A dish conceived of Harvard-intellect! No, this isn’t a pasta dish but a fettuccine-mimicking strips of Heart of Palm ( wikipedia : a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of palm trees. ) so perfectly matched with Parmesan and popcorn powder, producing a dry-rustic texture evoking memories of sunny Brazilian agriculture roots.
Lamb Skewer with Bras Manioc
Brazil Nut Tart with Whisky Ice Cream, Curry, Chocolate, Salt, Rocket and Pepper Priprioca
– SFREELIFE – ‘TO-CRY-FOR’ Award !
Extraordinary combination of liquor and curry with chocolate , salt and rocket. Words fail me to describe how good this taste. More often than not, chefs try to use Curry to accentuate delicate flavors but it just doesn’t work. THIS bloody works!
Lime Ravioli and Banana
– Simple yet clever, made us smell and dream of Copacabana right away!