Chef-owner Rodrigo Oliveira, of Mocotó in São Paulo, and historian and food campaigner Adriana Salay, have been named the winners of The Macallan Icon Award ahead of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants' special awards ceremony on 22 November.
The husband and wife team worked tirelessly to feed Brazil's vulnerable and hungry during the pandemic by founding and self-funding the non-profit Quebrada Alimentada, and converting their flagship fine-dining restaurant, Mocotó, into a food distribution centre.
“The impact of Rodrigo and Adriana’s commitment to tackling hunger in the most vulnerable areas of São Paulo cannot be understated. Their vision for the restaurant sector has had a direct impact on the community around them, commented William Drew, director of content for Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, of the award, which celebrates individuals whose work is affecting long-lasting change in the industry and society.
Since the pandemic began, the inspiring duo have served 80,000 meals to vulnerable people, including local families and their network of local farmers, who ran into hardship as a direct result of the impact of the global crisis.
“The goal of a restaurant is to nourish and restore its people and, together, we can help support the most vulnerable communities through these difficult moments. We’ve seen great progress, but there’s still plenty of work ahead of us,” read a statement from Salay and Oliveira upon being notified of their win.
Last year's Icon Award winner was Janaina Rueda.