Alex Atala
The chef who tamed the Amazon
Alex Atala
Alex Atala might not come from a long line of chefs, but he does have a wild pedigree. Both his father and grandfather were fishermen and hunters, who loved to venture from their São Paulo neighbourhood into the Amazon to shoot, fish and eat.

Atala retained that wildlife into his teens, becoming a boxer, a club DJ and a tattooed punk with a red Mohawk. A backpacking trip to Europe brought him into contact with haute cuisine; he cooked his way around France, Belgium and Italy, working with such prestigious chefs as Jean-Pierre Bruneau and Bernard Loiseau. Returning home in '94, the chef was presented with a problem. He could never cook classical European cuisine as well as a French or Italian chef.

In response he opened his restaurant D.O.M. in 1999, where Atala combined indigenous Amazonian ingredients with the classical cookery techniques he had picked up in Europe. Mille-feuille was baked from sheets of manioc root, ravioli formed from slices of banana, and ants were served with pineapple. The restaurant received two Michelin stars in 2015, and Atala won personal accolades from fellow chefs including David Chang and Daniel Humm. You discover more about this wild, yet refined cuisine in his book D.O.M.: Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients.
From liquid butter to lemongrass flavoured ants, take a look at the wild ingredients that go into Atala's dishes
Browse through this beautiful selection of Amazonian haute cuisine, as served at D.O.M.
Alex Atala in conversation with David Chang
Alex Atala describes his work to the Culinary Institute of America
Watch Alex Atala present his work to Google
Watch Alex Atala present D.O.M. Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients

Rua Barao de Capanema, 549
Jardins Sao Paulo

Phone: +55 (11) 3088 0761

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‘I believe that cuisine is the most important link between nature and culture’ Alex Atala