During the beginning of my culinary career, I was preoccupied with running my kitchens and the classical cuisine of France. I later experienced the cuisines of Italy and the Mediterranean. I didn’t really view the cuisine of Brazil as something that I could use in my profession at the time. As I got better as a cook and as a chef, I saw ways that I could incorporate the flavor combinations and profiles of Brazilian cuisine into the techniques that I was using to create a style of cookery that had yet to be utilized. My food, the food of my soul, started to take shape and led me in a direction that I hadn’t been before as a culinarian.
My eyes were opened to what American customers were looking for. They wanted something that was unique, flavors of a new food that would take them to a place that perhaps they haven’t been before. I worked on creating great dishes using some of the classic dishes of Brazil, putting my own spin on them, and presenting them in a way that would be recognizable and not so foreign. After many years working as a chef, this new style of cooking created an opportunity for me to be a chef instructor. Teaching became a true passion, to shape new careers and guide truly creative and curious minds into a field that had given me so much. My dream is to see new cooks and other chefs draw inspiration from “The Brazil Project”, put their own spin on it, and continue to give life to these recipes, techniques, and stories.
My research has been truly a work of love. It took a lot of time reading and searching for the best information I could find. The goal of the site isn’t to go too far into the history of Brazilian cuisine or to give an in-depth view of the beautiful gastronomy of Brazil. It will simply be a cook’s view and understanding of the cuisine, a way of demonstrating how friendly these flavors and colors can be for today’s cooks. I don’t want the food to continue to be seen as foreign and distant or be experienced only on a few special occasions. I am hoping to get Brazil foods in the hands of today’s cooks and show them the best ingredients with a good amount of information and a clear picture of the techniques.
The people I have talked and cooked with, my family and friends and friends’ families in Brazil, the restaurants and the chefs that share their passion and their information, have been key to this process so far, and everyone’s help is greatly appreciated. This site is a celebration of our passion for the cuisines of Brazil.
– Chef Almir Da Fonseca