Chef Alex Atala, son of Lebanese immigrants and raised in Brazil, is himself a blending of cultures separated by huge geographical distances and divergent attitudes. Perhaps this is why he is perfectly suited to bring the flavors of Brazil to global prominence.
Chef Atala achieved recognition by creating a hybrid cuisine from two very different worlds. After receiving formal training in Europe, Atala returned to Brazil and began applying the French and Italian techniques he had learned to Brazilian ingredients like banana, maracuja (Passion Fruit), and tangerine. The result has been a refreshing, tropical take on traditional dishes like ravioli, mushroom consommé, and breaded oysters that has earned the rising chef an international name.
The tireless Atala has expanded to a new restaurant, called Dalva e Dito, which opened this January less than a block away from the legendary D.O.M. The new restaurant features all the best dishes of Atala’s Euro-Amazonian cuisine, served tableside family style, just like a traditional French restaurant. The globalization of culinary techniques, ingredients, and flavors has led to unusual pairings like Atala’s Brazilian fare, with fascinating results. A new generation of worldly chefs are creating exciting new cuisine that hails from very different cultures. If the results are as delicious as Chef Atala’s, then the world is in for a golden age in fine dining.