For our May Travel issue, deputy wine editor Ray Isle tasted his way through Brazil sampling stellar cachaças, a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice, and had the best meal he's eaten in five years at D.O.M. restaurant in São Paulo. I recently caught up with D.O.M.'s ingenious chef, Alex Atala, to learn what new projects he has in store:
1) More ingredients from his three-year-old Amazonian farm at D.O.M., including tapioca, manioc flour, herbs like jambu, and large prawn.
2) Escoffianas Brasileiras, a new cookbook in which Atala reflects on his career (and provides 107 photographed recipes), to be published in his home country by Brazilian Larousse in May. The title is a spin on19th century French chef Auguste Escoffier's name, and "Bachianas Brasileiras," a musical number by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.
3) An as-yet unnamed restaurant in São Paulo come mid-summer featuring typical Brazilian dishes, a radical departure from D.O.M.