A remarkable, genre-defying account of the impact of New World cooking and ingredients on an acclaimed Italian chef.
Fans of In.gredienti and Fluidita know that Max Alajmo—chef of the restaurant Le Calandre outside Padua and the youngest winner of 3 Michelin stars ever—is always willing to set aside tradition in pursuit of innovative good food. In this case, he ventured outside his Italian frame of reference, spending more than a week in Brazil.
His tour was guided by photographer Sergio Coimbra, who shot Fluidita and, more recently, Pierre Herme’s Chocolate. Coimbra introduced Alajmo to a kaleidoscope of Brazilian foods, cooks, and eateries, from the stalls of the Sao Paulo’s Central Market to the 3-star cuisine of Alex Atala’s D.O.M.
This resulting chronicle of the trip and eight dishes Alajmo created under the influence of his time in Brazil is printed in Portuguese, Italian, and English and dramatically photographed by Coimbra. Its format is significantly smaller than either of Alajmo’s two earlier books (10 ¼ x 8 ¼, 134 pages) and recipes are informal enough to not specify quantities, assuming that you’ll be deft enough to follow up on comments such as, “Since the gnocchi don’t contain eggs and flour, we pre-steam them to stabilize the starch and make the gnocchi more compact.” The fact that the gnocchi are made with mandioquinha, a cassava-like root little found outside Brazil is another indicator that this is not intended to be a cookbook: it’s a demonstration of how inspiration is found and applied.
Color and B&W photos throughout. Hardcover. In Portuguese, Italian, and English.