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Rodrigo Oliveira: "Fine Dining Can Be Inclusive"

We catch up with the Brazilian chef Rodrigo Oliveira who stepped away from a career in engineering to work at his fathers small restaurant in São Paulo.

By FDL on

"For sure fine dining is not all related to crystal, glasses or silver forks, or luxury restaurants: fine dining is related to the best ingredients, prepared with care, and to warming hospitality. If you can enjoy your companion, more than the candles you have, it’s even better."

It’s this statement that defines chef Rodrigo Oliveira’s approach to cooking - once an Environmental Engineering student, he now operates out of his small family restaurant in São Paulo, Brazil.

Called Mocotó, the restaurant sits at number 12 on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant List with Olviera taking his father’s original idea and turning it one of the most exciting places to in Brazil.

He serves authentic Brazilian cuisine from the North of the country with lots of efforts and research dedicated to unearthing new ingredients and rediscovering old, forgotten ones.

The term ‘democratic gastronomy’ is often used by the chef who has created a place with Mocotó that serves all guests the same, a place where there should be no divide between the peasant and the president.

In the video below, Olviera describes his work at the kitchen, how he went against his father’s wishes to work in the kitchen. He talks about the difficulties of cooking from the dry lands of Brazil and some of the basic ingredients that lay the foundation for his cuisine.


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