Interview with Chef Manoella Buffaro, Manu, Curitiba, Brazil

MANOELLA BUFFARA is a prominent name in contemporary gastronomy. At her restaurant Manu in Curitiba, she cooks and experiments with indigenous Brazilian products, mostly from the region of Paraná. She inherited all of her respect for ingredients from her father, who was a farmer. Selecting products according to their seasonal availability and the objective to be as fresh as possible make for a menu in constant mutation. Manoella was raised in the countryside around goats, cows, vegetable gardens, cornfields… She learned early on to value land and animals, and what they can offer if treated with affection and care. With her grandmother, she learned how important our hands are, to discover temperatures, cooking points, time to make bread, and the love we should have for food. Patience has been a guiding principle as Manoella built her career and Manu: one must know how to wait and let things sometimes develop on their own, without trying to selfishly control them. Each ingredient has its cooking time and its individuality. Cooking is respecting the time of things. Each food demands a dress, a face, a tradition. From the three-digit dish set up in the acclaimed restaurant to the snack just out of the questionable oven of a simple corner bar, every food has its time and place. Manoella is guided by the moto “Be proud of your roots, be proud of your land, be proud of your family and your culture.” (Curitiba, Brazil)