Rio according to Roberta Sudbrack / 1

The chef from Porto Alegre takes us on a journey around the "cidade maravilhosa"

01-06-2014
Ten days before the kick-off at the FIFA World Cup

Ten days before the kick-off at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, we republish, in two episodes, the article wrote by chef Roberta Sudbrack for our Guida ai ristoranti di Identità Golose 2014, published by Mondadori. After having worked in Brasilia, directing the kitchens in the presidential palace, the chef opened a restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, named after her (tel. +55.21.38740139)

I moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2005 after working for 8 years in the presidential kitchens of Palacio da Alvorada, in Brasilia, the capital, where I was called by the ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso as the first executive chef in a palace in Brazil. However, I’m originally a gaucho, I come from the South of the country and I was born in Porto Alegre. When I decided to move to the Cidade Maravilhosa the choice was not so predictable. All the best restaurants in Brazil were in São Paulo and it seemed like a true gamble to go and cook in Rio. In fact, thinking about it, it was a gamble indeed, but my love for the nature and the warm humanity of the carioca people attracted me here directly, without much hesitation.

Feijoada is a dish known everywhere, yet according to Roberta Sudbrack this is the best in Rio

Feijoada is a dish known everywhere, yet according to Roberta Sudbrack this is the best in Rio

After all, Rio de Janeiro is first of all a concentrate of nature. Its most famous and world-renown places are still a great source of inspiration for my dishes. It’s not by chance that from the kitchen window in my restaurant I can get a glimpse of the Corcovado and the Cristo Redentor who, with his open arms, watches over the city. And then there’s Pão de Açucar, the beaches in Copacabana and Ipanema, the pedra da Gavea... All these natural elements are part of my philosophy of life and of cooking.

As for my favourite places where, in the little free time I have, I relax and eat what I love best, they are also all profoundly linked to the carioca culture and they are usually places in which over the years I have developed a close and friendly relationship with the owners.

Bar Jobi, a botequim in Leblon, is always full of guests

Bar Jobi, a botequim in Leblon, is always full of guests

Rio has always been a multi-ethnic city. The African, Portuguese and other influences have marked the food offer. Just to name a dish that is known all over the world, namely feijoada, the best is to be found in a simple place in the bohemian neighbourhood of Santa Teresa. Bar do Mineiro is a concentrate of pure carioca essence. I enjoy going there in the afternoon, almost at sunset, after having strolled down the streets of the neighbourhood, ready to eat the best feijoada in town.

Rio is also the town of the botequim. These places usually serve chopp, draught beer, in buckets, and you can enjoy a whole meal at the table or just have fun by the counter, with hot nibbles from the kitchen. My favourite botequim, or rather my second home, is in the Leblon neighbourhood and is called Bar Jobi. I always come here and have a draught beer and the not-to-be-missed rissoles de camarão.

1. to be continued


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