We had a great experience learning from and spending time with Simone. All the ingredients were fresh and ready for cooking before we arrived. Simone is extremely kind, knowledgeable, and entertaining. She gave us a warm welcome where she explained the historical roots of Brazilian cuisine and taught us some vocab. She has a beautiful exposed kitchen, very clean, very organized.
The food and the instruction were on point. I travel a lot in search of differentiated culinary experiences, and this definitely stood out within Rio. We started with fresh white cheese with spicy guayabada (aka ‘Rome e Julietta’, a perfect match indeed) then she taught us how to make lime & maracuja caipirinhas (not a huge drinker but these were great). The next appetizer we learned to make were spiced sausages flabee’d in cachaca with a lime-based spicy pepper sauce – simple yet delicious. The plat de resistance was moqueca with garlic rice and banana farofa. Moqueca is a traditional broiled fish dish with onions and peppers. At first I wasn’t terrible excited about the moqueca – broiled fish tends to dry up and release a strong fishy taste – but this dish was exceptional the fish was savory and juicy to the point of melting in the mouth. The banana farofa worked really well with the fish, and the garlic rice tasted great, it held together nicely (think – halfway between sticky rice and loose rice) and had a satisfying bite to it.
We finished with some peanut-based sweets and some casual conversation with Simone who continued to share her experiences and wisdom after the class was done. Great time. She also shared with me a list of her favorite restaurants in the city and a bag of spices we used in the recipe. A must if you’re a foodie who likes to cook in Rio.
JM Goguikian – Venezoela
Learning to Cook with a Brazilian chef
Last friday we went to a real masterchef experience bringing the students to learn with chefe Simone who was taught us many special things like how to choose a good or a bad fruit and how to know if a vegetable is good or bad.
Along she also taught us some kitchen instruments such a special caçarola from Portugal.
After that some students went home and then the real deal began.
Discovering the misteries of a legendary Caipirinha.
Then Chef Simone got us started with a smooth version of the traditional Brazilian drink which included some seeds of Passionfruit to match the alcool and sugar without creating a rush or a blood pressure peak. Very smart and indeed refreshing.
We also tasted an explosion of tropical flavours with Brazilian starfruit and caju which the chef told us could be use to clean your taste buds when you’re on a food experience.
Last but not least were the moqueca. The difference in the details proved to be essential and the whole meal was completely balanced and a true gourmet experience with simple food. It was a day to be remembered in our hearts and mainly in our stomachs.