ANA LUIZA TRAJANO: I work #forBraziliancuisine

For Brazilian cuisine. This is the tattoo in the spirit of Ana Luiza Trajano, who headed Brasil a Gosto restaurant for over 10 years, in São Paulo. The respect for culinary traditions, the valuing of ingredients and producers of each region, the search and diffusion of this knowledge – that’s her focus. In other words, Brasil a Gosto Institute reflects the desire to build a consistent legacy of national gastronomic studies and, of course, to share it. Crazy about manioc and roast suckling pig, the chef never understood why risotto has become the official festive dish in so many Brazilian households – and from her early days she decided to help changing that, and to restore to Brazilian food its status of main dish (and appetizer, dessert, afternoon snack…).

In her childhood in Franca, in São Paulo countryside, Ana Luiza was the girl who would joyfully leave her dolls to stay by the stove with her grandmothers (one from Ceará and the other one from Minas Gerais state), or to climb trees or to fetch eggs in the chicken coop. She graduated in Business Administration from Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP), attended the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreign Professionals in the Italian region of Piemonte, and the Instituto per la Promozione della Cultura Alimentare, in Milan, ending the European period with a internship at Beccofino restaurant in Florence.

Back in Brazil in 2003, she decided to expand her research and went on a journey through 47 Brazilian cities to better understand regional ingredients and how they are traditionally prepared, as well as the cultural importance of each dish. Ana recorded the nuances of Brazilian diversity when visiting and absorbing the wisdom of local residents and cooks. She discovered characters, stories, festivities and traditions of local cuisines.  

This extensive research originated Brasil a Gosto restaurant, opened in 2006 in the city of São Paulo, where the chef presented a world of colours, scents and flavours with all the immense knowledge acquired in her country’s culinary incursions. In this trajectory of a decade, Ana Luiza received several awards, such as that of Veja São Paulo Comer e Beber publication, in Brazilian Restaurant category; and Guia 4 Rodas, as remarkable kitchen’s quality and most promising new chef. She has also created more than 50 menus (implying more than two hundred recipes inspired by the culinary traditions of Brazilian states). Plus, Ana Luiza recorded “Fominha”, TV show presented by GNT channel, and since 2017 is columnist of Claudia magazine (the biggest women’s magazine of Brazil).

All these years of research also gave rise to four books. Brasil a Gosto (Melhoramentos, 2005, awarded for best gastronomy book in photography category by Gourmand Cookbook Awards, 2009) portrays Brazilian cuisine through elements such as folklore, handcrafts and folk legends. Cardápios do Brasil (SENAC, 2014, also awarded by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards), tells the eight-year trajectory of the restaurant. This publication brings recipes, travel experiences, food production processes and an illustrated glossary of 167 ingredients. The third publication came with Misture a Gosto – Glossário de Ingredientes do Brasil (Melhoramentos, 2015), which presents an important reference material with illustrations and information of national ingredients. The most recent book, Básico – Enciclopédia de Receitas do Brasil (Melhoramentos, 2017, awarded by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Health and Nutrition category), brings together 512 Brazilian recipes and is the first publication of Brasil a Gosto Institute.

Brasil a Gosto Institute, founded in 2016 by Ana Luiza and presided over by her , was born out of the desire to expand the role of this showcase of knowledge and flavours of Brazilian cuisine. Brasil a Gosto Institute is an instrument for the diffusion of culture and national traditions through gastronomy. It is based on theoretical and empirical research throughout the country. Its mission is to foster projects that value national ingredients and ensure their accessibility to the public – after all, each one of them represents a relationship between man and nature and reinforces its cultural identity. Through dialogue and exchange of experiences, Brasil a Gosto Institute strives to ensure that authentic Brazilian cuisine, rooted in techniques, knowledge and products, is a reality in the stoves and tables of every house in the country.