Thursday, September 29, 2011
Part of the culinary adventure of forward-looking chefs and restaurant owners in 21st century Brazil is discovering the foods, the traditions and the techniques that have been part of Brazil for millennia and learning how to modernize them, bring them up to date - with luck, without losing the integrity of the dish or ingredient itself. Chefs from the big cities in the south of Brazil are discovering that there's a world of food culture outside their own region and are beginning to travel around the country in a sort of culinary gold rush - zipping out west first, next to the north-east, the cradle of Brazilian cuisine, then traveling the rivers of the Amazon - all in search of traditions and foods worth of preserving and interpreting. One of these foods is chibé . It's now moved out of the jungle, hopped a southbound plane, and is now showing up in the menus and on the plates of the best, most innovative restaurants in Brazil's various metropolises.
One chef who discovered chibé during culinary expeditions to the Amazon is Alex Atala, chef/owner of D.O.M. in São Paulo. He has adopted it and used it to inspire some of his most up-to-the-minute creations. We'll post one of his recipes for a chibé-inspired dish next time on Flavors of Brazil.