Fashion Food at – “Mani SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL”

Modern, feminine Brazilian cooking in Jardim Paulistano

Mani aims to combine the traditional and the contemporary, and not just in terms of food. Set within Jardim Paulistano – one of São Paulo’s most exclusive suburbs – the restaurant melds modern international and rustic Brazilian elements to great effect with Murano glass and modernist cobalt-blue tables, creating an aesthetically pleasing juxtaposition with alpaca skin lampshades and simple but tastefully designed wooden chairs.

This eclectic approach is mirrored in the kitchen, which is rather unusually run by a husband-and-wife team. Brazilian-born Helena Rizzo and Spaniard Daniel Redondo met while working at now-legendary Girona destination El Celler de Can Roca before opening Mani in 2006. The cuisine has evolved over the years but the philosophy remains the same. Primarily local ingredients are cooked delicately using a range of relatively modern techniques in dishes that usually reference traditional Brazilian dishes and flavour combinations.

Raiding Brazil’s larder of obscure roots and fruits, the young couple create beguilingly simple combinations such as egg cooked for two-and-a-half hours with pupunha (peach palm) foam as well as pork rib and pork foot canneloni with apple and red cabbage. Rizzo’s Brazilian roots are always allowed to shine through, summed up nicely in the restaurant’s most popular dish: the eponymous maniocas (a type of cassava) baked with tucupi froth, coconut milk and white truffle olive oil. The approach is so effective, in fact, that Rizzo is this year named the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef.

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