Anthony Bourdain visited São Paulo in March 2012 to film an episode of his new TV series The Layover. We asked for his opinions on Atala during a gap in a hectic schedule which included dining at D.O.M., trekking to the suburbs to stop in at restaurant Mocotó, and visiting a Jardins street market.
'I met Alex for the first time around 2001 or 2002, at D.O.M., and I was blown away by his skillful and delicious use of what were (to me) exciting and entirely new flavors. It was a revelation. He was – and remains – way ahead of his time.
'Alex is a pioneer – an acknowledged master whose work has long been respected by chefs worldwide. His embrace of uniquely Brazilian flavours and ingredients were revolutionary, and he is, without a doubt, almost solely responsible for bringing modern Brazilian fine dining to the attention of the international food world. He’s also known, admired and greatly liked by chefs all over the world.
'I think a lot of people have been inspired by Alex and have, after learning French classical techniques, returned ‘home’ to embrace their own culinary traditions and the bounty of their own markets. There are chefs doing amazing things in Mexico, Peru, Scandinavia, Japan and all over the Americas who I’m sure have been inspired by Alex.'
- Read our interview with Alex Atala, just after he placed fourth in the 2012 World's Fifty Best Restaurants Awards