Alex Atala

Chef Alex Atala is the chef and owner of D.O.M. in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2012, D.O.M. was ranked the fourth best restaurant in the world by San Pellegrino. As part of his vision for Brazilian cuisine, Chef Atala has worked with anthropologists and scientists at the Social Environmental Institute to discover and classify new food products from the Amazonian region.

See Chef Atala speak at our first 2013 Science & Food public lecture!

Primitive X Modern: Cultural Interpretations of Flavors
Featuring Chef Alex Atala
Wednesday, April 17 @ 7:00pm
Moore Hall 100 (map)


What hooked you on cooking?
It’s a link between the world of nature and the man-made cultural world.
The coolest example of science in your food?
Ingredients such as ants or other insects. The things people eat without knowing what they are.
The food you find most fascinating?
The foods created by chefs. They tend to create dishes that transcend cultural barriers.
What scientific concept–food related or otherwise–do you find most fascinating?
Sometimes, do not be deceived by what your eyes are telling you.
Your best example of a food that is better because of science?
Mayonnaise, béarnaise and emulsions in general.
How do you think science will impact your world of food in the next 5 years?
It will make us rethink our relationship with food and how we consume it.
One kitchen tool you could not live without?
A knife.
Five things most likely to be found in your fridge?
Citrus fruit, fish, herbs, vegetables, and pepper.
Your all-time favorite ingredient?
Favorite cookbook?
Los secretos de El Bulli
Your standard breakfast?
Coffee with milk and bread with butter. Very simple but you have different contrasts of flavor and texture: hot, cold, sweet, salty, soft… unctuous!