Acclaimed Brazilian chef Alex Atala will launch his first English language book this month. D.O.M. – Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients will be published by Phaidon and will take the reader on a journey in search of the true flavours of Brazil – from the inner city to the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
Illustrated with colourful photographs, the book tells the story of 150 Brazilian ingredients and how they find their way onto the nation’s plates.
Classically trained in Europe, Alex opened his fine dining restaurant D.O.M (from the Latin, deo optimo maximo – god is great and exceeding) in Sao Paulo in 1999. His cooking captures the flavours, colours, textures and uniqueness of Brazilian culinary culture – using everything from brazil nuts and cocoa to lesser-used produce like ants and priprioca – and has done much to put it on the culinary map.
Developing menus with a strong presence of native ingredients such as acai, pupunha and cupuacu required time and research. With issues of deforestation and the impact of habitat loss at the fore of his mind, Atala was acutely aware of the fragility of the rainforest’s eco-system and the tribal lifestyles it supported. He enlisted the help of the Social Environmental Institute and has worked meticulously with scientists and anthropologists to discover and classify foods and document new products from the Amazon region, with minimum impact on both forest and people.
With the FIFA World Cup just around the corner in 2014 and the next Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro, the world’s eyes will be fixed on Brazil. D.O.M. – Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients will show that the nation is as rich in gastronomy as it is in athletic prowess. You can preorder a copy on the Phaidon website.