The restaurants of Maringá’s chefs are among the best in Brazil

Two chef-run restaurants from Maringá are among the 100 best in Brazil in the Exame Casual ranking, created for the first time and released this week. The criterion adopted was the consultation of a jury made up of 60 well-known critics and influencers of the area. Each expert has indicated ten favorite restaurants, in no particular order of importance. Click here to see the complete list.

According to the magazine, the houses that managed to survive two difficult years due to the pandemic, who bet on the use of ingredients of good origin and on the creativity of the kitchen and, above all, who manage to offer an experience, were awarded unique to an increasingly demanding clientele.

or Otecaowned by Alberto Landgraf, of Maringá, was in second place in the list of the 100 best with its restaurant, which is located in Rio de Janeiro. Manoella Buffara, from Maringa, appears in 19th place in the ranking with the “Restaurante Manu”, based in Curitiba. The two chefs are also included in the ranking of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America and The Best Chef Awards. Oteque also has two Michelin stars – see below the story of the chefs with Maringá.

Oteca

Exame magazine describes Oteque as a discreet mansion in the Botafogo neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. On what would be the secret of a good restaurant, the chef replied: “For me it is when the customer eats and leaves with the desire to eat”.

The cuisine of Oteque, holder of two Michelin stars: eight-step tasting menu, which can include raw tuna with caviar and prawns with fish mayonnaise. Photo: Rodrigo Azevedo / Disclosure

“Landgraf is a technical chef at his peak, with a precise construction of all the elements of the recipes. Nothing on the plate is accidental, ”says judge Renata Mesquita, of the Paladar section. His inspiration for him does not come only from gastronomy: the master behind the creations admits that he has an interest in design, architecture and technology, for example. “I try to bring all of this to Oteque,” ​​she says.

Returning to business after surviving the restrictions of the pandemic, when it decided to close its doors, with zero billing, the restaurant offers only an eight-step tasting menu, which can include raw tuna with caviar; shrimp with fish mayonnaise; onion with sea urchin foam and mussels; and hake, slightly smoked, oriental style. The menu costs 645 reais.

Landgraf built Oteque in an old house from 1938 designed to match the creativity and sophistication of his kitchen. The house works with high quality ingredients, mainly fish and seafood, inspired by the purity of nature, through minimalist techniques that are reflected not only in the menu, but in the service. Landgraf’s restaurant becomes a national reference. During his career in the kitchen, Alberto has managed to create a unique signature that shows a clear balance between three elements: acidity, texture and temperature. He believes this makes a difference in his career and in the preparation of the dishes in his restaurant in Rio de Janeiro.

“Manu”

Manu (Manu / Disclosure)

In 19th place was the “Restaurante Manu”, located in Curitiba, under the command of the chef Manoella Buffara, who was born and lived in Maringá until the age of 17. After passing the journalism entrance exam, she decided to drop out of college and traveled to the United States, where she had her first contact with cooking, working herself, and was enchanted by gastronomy. “After my return, I always wanted to get into the kitchen somehow. I ended up in hotel management and then I started in gastronomy. Since then, I have been involved in this for almost 20 years, ”commented the chef interview to the Portal GMC online in 2019. The chef also guides “Manuzita”, also in the capital of Paraná, and Ella, in New York.

In 2021, “Manu” was ranked as one of the 50 best in Latin America. It was the fourth consecutive year that the Maringaense restaurant appeared in the ranking, which is one of the most important in the world. In 2020, when he won the ranking for the third time, Manu talked to the GMC again.

The restaurant is described by Exame magazine as the best restaurant in the southern region and among the most recognized in Brazil. “Manoella is responsible for authorial (and unusual) combinations, such as Chinese cabbage with orange mousse, peanuts and livers. But it is useless to stick: the menu changes annually, as if to mark the evolution of the creator, and always with a tasting menu (430 reais). For those who cannot find the address, just look for the property with bee farm on the façade ”, reads the article.

According to the chef, Made in Manu gastronomy tries to work not only with the food, but also with the producer, who deals directly with every input. According to her, before buying each item, she tries to pass information to the supplier, explaining why each food was chosen to enter the restaurant’s kitchen.

“I think that [com] gastronomy, we have a very nice way of conveying information. We should use gastronomy not to keep it for ourselves, we don’t have to keep a product, a recipe. We have to transmit, create. I believe that if God gave me this transformative power, I would very much like to use it for the good of others. I always think that gastronomy is a great transformative power within the society we live in today “.

History of the chefs in Maringá

Unlike Manoella, Alberto was not born in Maringá: he was born in Cornélio Procópio. But his story has a lot of Cidade Canção and crossed with that of Manoella a long time ago, as the two studied for many years at the same school in Maringá.

Alberto Landgraf left Maringá shortly after finishing high school. His dream was to do an exchange program in London, where he ended up staying for many years. In Europe he discovered that his calling would be gastronomy and, when he returned to Brazil, he opened his first restaurant, the award-winning Epice, in Sao Paulo in 2011. Last year, Landgraf said. GMC online that the restaurant had only 30 seats and quickly became the darling of São Paulo.

“It was an immediate success with audiences, awards and as a company. It was a time when Sao Paulo was looking at very large restaurants and we invented a 30 seat restaurant and the criticisms reached us very strong. At that time there was no way to advertise it on instagram, it had to be word of mouth, patience and running. But ours, we convinced the criticisms to come too quickly and it exploded. ”

Also at the helm of one of the most awarded restaurants in Brazil, Alberto wanted new challenges and decided to leave Epice and stay out of the limelight for about two years in Rio de Janeiro. Having reinvented itself, the award-winning Oteque opened in 2018.

The chef is passionate about the city where he grew up and studied, Maringá, where part of his family and friends still live. Alberto does not rule out the possibility of having a restaurant in the city in the future. Let’s see what surprises life has in store for me. I would really like to go back and spend my old age and my retirement close to the people I love very much and who are there, “he explained to the GMC.

Photo: Instagram Playback

A farm in the countryside of Maringá was the beginning of everything in the life of chef Manoella Buffara from Maringá. It was there that he began to understand the importance of growing local ingredients and the flavor that comes with being creative.

Photo: Playback / Instagram

To the GMC onlineManoella said it is in love with maringá and very grateful to the origins.

“Maringá was the city where I spent my whole childhood. My father’s farm is nearby. So he reminds me a lot of the city and this link with the land. That’s where I had it all, right? I learned from my father the use of the small producer, the ingredient, the vegetables and I have a great affection for the city. My father still lives there, “he said.

Recently, he posted on his Instagram page an interview in which he tells his story with Cidade Canção – look down:

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