Alex Atala Stokehouse for Good Food Month
One laments the fire and tragic loss of The Stokehouse recently. An icon of Melbourne dining, there are a plethora of memories and it tells a story of the fabric of Melbourne over the years. It's great to hear that The Stokehouse is back on deck at the same site for Valentine's Day 2014! This is a pop up, and it's so exciting to see The Stokehouse family bounce back so quickly!
In this article I'm highlighting a recent event involving The Stokehouse, one of many fine moments, when Alex Atala visited for Good Food Month.
As part of Good Food Month supported by Margaret River The World Loves Melbourne was invited to the Stokehouse for an evening with Alex Atala, one of the most influential chefs in the world. Alex appears on the cover of the latest Time magazine, emblazoned on the front cover with David Chang and Rene Redzepi under the banner "Gods of Food".
One of the most influential and exciting chefs in the world, Alex Atala’s approach to fine-dining has not only changed the face of Brazilian gastronomy but created a whole new culinary movement around uniquely Brazilian ingredients, techniques and traditions, and fresh and seasonal ingredients. His restaurant, D.O.M. in Sao Paolo, was recently ranked second in Latin America – sixth on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.
Here Alex Atala is being interviewed by Jan Appelgren... Alex's new book D.O.M - Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients is the culmination of years of research and profiles more than 40 uique products from the Amazon and beyond. Alex describes the story of each ingredient’s remarkable rediscovery, and the fascinating farmers and producers he has met along the way.
The World Loves Melvbourne jumped at the chance to meet this extraordinary culinary figure – at no ordinary book launch event. We headed to the beach for a pumping Brazilian party, based on the regular “chicken nights” Alex Atala holds at his restaurant in Sao Paolo. Alex spoke about his new book and gave us some wisdom about social media, then let loose with great food, music and drinks from Stokehouse as well as Alex’s famous home-style Brazilian chicken feast (galinhada), usually served after midnight!
Stokehouse served up some top notch canapes...
King prawns with BBQ flavour...
I recognised several foodies at Stokehouse that night. This was not a formal evening usually associated with Stokehouse but more like a beach party with guests traversing between indoors and outdoors.
Stokehouse had prepared this Alex Atala signature chicken dish for hours - the Brazilian style home cooked chicken or galinhada... Like many great dishes it's about the harmony and balance. The chicken itself was tender and the flavours imparted in the slow cooking process were rustic and hearty, with a little kick. Served with okra. Confession - I had a few of these...
We lined up for 45 min to meet Alex Atala and get a signed copy of his book. Worth it for sure. Alex has a reputation for being engaging and meeting with all and sundry who line up to meet him. It was getting late, but even so Alex stayed on to the end. And it wasn't just "sign and go" - Alex chatted with each person in the queue at length. What a dude!
Stokehouse excelled in hosting the night, the perfect venue for an Alex Atala party. Having visited Sao Paulo myself I was part emotional to engage again with such passion and culture. And thrilled to meet a living legend of the culinary world who is exceptionally inventive and creative and in touch with the environment.