With the summer Olympic Games in Rio just days away the world’s eyes will soon be fixed on South America’s largest nation as people all over the globe enthusiastically adopt the Brazilian spirit.
The world’s fittest athletes will descend on Rio to compete, and while we won’t quite adopt their strict diet regimes, there’s a few lessons to be learnt from Brazilian nutrition.
Diet is one of, if not the most fundamental factor in fine-tuning and maintaining a healthy body; I think the Brazilian cuisine may hold a few secrets to the nations sporting success.
A high prominence is placed on sustainability and the locality of food. While waste is still a big problem in kitchens across the UK we could learn a lot from the South American ethos to source locally grown produce and use all parts of ingredients, such as chicken hearts.
Brazilian cuisine is extremely varied and utilises a range of delicious and nutritious veg, often accompanied by flame grilled meats and fish. Moqueca is a good example, a hearty fish stew, this dish is also a great way to use up any leftover seafood.
Cooking in Brazil is also natural, rustic and frequently regarded as a labour of love; it’s often time spent with family and friends. Feijoada, one of the few dishes eaten the length and breadth of Brazil, is a hearty stew of black beans, sausages and cuts of pork which can take over 24 hours to prepare. As with all things, a healthy lifestyle won’t happen overnight, it takes time, just like preparing good food.
Despite the traditional origins of many of Brazil’s most common dishes, the country is no stranger to the modern super food trend. Chief among these is undoubtedly the Açaí berry which is eaten by indigenous South American tribes for energy and has now become a worldwide health and wellness phenomenon.
We should continue to place emphasis on the dining experience, and Brazilian cuisine, much like their culture, is one of enormous variety where eating isn’t purely for sustenance but a time to connect and enjoy. I’m sure as we’re gripped by the Olympics we’ll all want to bring a hint of South American flair and colour to our offices, homes and kitchens, where food is good for the body and soul.
Written by Tom Gore
Heavily influenced by his global culinary experiences, from working in kitchens all over the world, Tom’s ethos is to keep the basis of his dishes simple and use classic flavours, to create recipes with unusual combinations to a fine-dining standard.
Bringing his vitality and passion to the kitchen, Tom has pushed the boundaries of clients’ expectations for conferences and events, and working with his brigade of chefs, cater for all in-house events from private parties to award ceremonies and conferences for up to 1,000.