The Dinner at Alex Atala’s D.O.M.
Alex Atala has one of the top ten restaurants in the world. During my visit to San Paulo, he invited me at 10:00 p.m. to his restaurant. I received several questions via e-mail on how this happened? How did I get a Top Chef from Bravo to invite me to his restaurant? Did I know him before the trip? What was the reason he invited me? I am going to tell you how it happened. I did not plan it, it was just the luck of the draw. It was serendipitous and not something that I was planning nor expecting.
I mentioned on a previous post, that since I was not able to get into either of his restaurants during my stay in San Paulo, I decided to go eat lunch at Alex Atala’s two restaurants. It would be less expensive and most likely the restaurant would be able to accommodate me. When I motioned to Chef Alex to come over to my table and I told him I was a chef from America, he was very happy to meet me. He asked me if I wanted to take pictures of the kitchen and that is how it began. I took pictures of the staff cooking as well as some of the kitchen machines. He and I were laughing, while standing in his kitchen about reality T.V. because he was on Top Chef Masters and I was on Food Network Star.
After the host took a pictures of Chef Alex and I near the stoves, I told him how difficult it was to acquire a reservation at his restaurant D.O.M. and that I had called almost a month prior to my arrival. I proceeded to tell him that I have not been able to acquire a table at his famed restaurant but I was glad that I met him. Alex laughed and said, ” Why don’t you come by at 10:00 p.m. and I will make sure to accommodate you. The kitchen was loud with the clatter of pots and pans. We shook hands and I knew as I made my way back to the hotel that I was going tonight to D.O.M. When I arrived he sent out a blind tasting to my table. He did not say a work to me until the end of the evening. These are the images of the dishes he sent out.
He was masterful at using the common ingredient of manioc root, in many a large number of the dishes. Manioc root is very similar to cassava that many Latino’s use in their cuisine. I wasn’t really thinking that I was going to have the opportunity to eat at D.O.M. but life has all these wonderful twists and turns and I am glad that in one of my turns I was at one of the top restaurants in the world.