Roberta Sudbrack

Roberta Sudbrack

rua Lineu de Paula Machado, 916
Jardim Botanico
Rio de Janeiro


Surprisingly, the most beloved chef by the Cariocas is far from Rio de Janeiro, in Porto Alegre, in the South of Brazil. Roberta Sudbrack arrives in the cidade maravilhosa after stopping in Brasilia, a very important phase in her career. It was back in 1995 when Fernando Henrique Cardoso, FHC as his friends call him, was elected president of Brazil and had to move to the futuristic federal capital of the country.

Contrary to his predecessors, FHC was a great lover of fine food and believed the young and promising chef Roberta was the right person to whom he could assign the huge responsibility of being the first executive chef in Brazilian history to manage the presidential kitchen. There's a funny anecdote from that time: during an official State dinner, the Argentinian ex-president Menem ordered some cheese to add to the prawn risotto and she, still very young, refused to send it to the table, at the risk of compromising the meeting. When the Cardoso era ended, in a country where, at the time, there were still very few signature kitchens – and all were located in Sao Paulo – Roberta bravely decided to go to Rio de Janeiro. She found inspiration in a small orange, two storey house in the elegant neighbourhood of the Jardim Botanico, which since then has become an unmissable stop for all the gourmets in the country.

Her cuisine clearly travels on two very precise tracks: great classical school technique, matched by a continuous exploration of indigenous Brazilian products. The classicality is apparent in the preparation of the main courses, where meat and fish are enhanced by craftsmen cuts and traditional and attentive cooking. The deep research into national primary goods is focused, every year, on a different product, so that in time she has reached a priceless heritage of knowledge and taste. An example of this is the quiabo, which in one of her staple dishes is literally taken to pieces to envelop a semi-raw crayfish. And banana, dried in the oven till it becomes a flour, accompanies many creations. Or Brazilian cocoa, often served as it is, or worked just a little so that its many qualities are not ruined.


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Nicola Massa