While many restaurants in São Paulo were impervious to indigenous ingredients like açaí, pupunha or cupuaçu, Atala chose to celebrate the uniqueness of his nation’s produce. It was not just about creating an exceptional gastronomic experience. Atala wanted to capture the very essence of Brazil, with all its flavours, colours, textures and even smells and allow it to permeate from his kitchen at D.O.M.
“We needed a pride in our cuisine. The way the Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos was proud of our music” he said in 1999. That thought became the ethos behind D.O.M. and was soon translated into a menu that showcased classic dishes, best of Atala’s beloved home nation. redefined with modern techniques, unveiling the flavours and mysteries of Brazilian cuisine and lauding the culinary best of Atala’s beloved home nation.
The approval, from both public and critics alike, was translated into a fame that went beyond the walls of the restaurant. D.O.M. (from the Latin Deo Optimo Maximo – God is great and exceeding – good in His wisdom and exceeding in His kindness) received every main contemporary culinary award in Brazil and from 2006 has been included in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, published by “Restaurant Magazine” in the UK.
In 1999, the concept of D.O.M. was ahead of its time and cleared the way for other restaurants.
Yet Atala’s passion and energy never waned and, as the reputation of D.O.M. grew, his drive to showcase the very best Brazil had to offer, resulted in the creation of an ever-evolving menu and research that was sensitively farreachinginto the very heart of the Brazilian rainforest. “Even after ten years, the project was still going strong, but we felt the need to improve our service. I decided to reduce the number of seats in order to reach an even higher degree of excellence.” the chef explains.
With this in mind, the restaurant was refurbished to make it more private and compact with a cleaner, calmer ambiance, but still managed to retain the relaxed, bold air that are some of Atala’s own more striking, personal characteristics. It reopened in March 2010. The reduction in covers brought the desired changes in service and in menus developed to celebrate not only D.O.M.’s greatest dishes from the past ten years, but also new creations to hint at what’s yet to come.
The menus on offer today at DOM are a reflection of Atala’s journey as a chef, tracing a timeline of his own professional evolution. With the Tasting Menu, he looks to the future with the daring creations that have built D.O.M.’s success and kept it at the forefront of Brazilian culinary innovation.
Some of the highlights of the dishes reissued in this homage are the Fettuccine with Pupunha Heart of Palm with Carbonara Sauce (2004), Sesame-crusted Tuna with Fresh Sautéed Heart of Palm and Mushrooms (2000) and Skatefish, pan-fried in Manteiga de Garrafa and Lemon Thyme with Smoked Mandioquinha, Broccoli and Peanut Foam (2007).
The one exception Atala makes to his menu with all his D.O.M. dishes, is the inclusion of Sole with Passion Fruit Farofa and Red Rice Vinaigrette, a dish he served in 1994 in his then restaurant “Filomena” and has become one of the most expressive dishes of his career.
For further information contact: www.domrestaurante.com.br