He is seen as one of the most exciting chefs of his generation, and the first Brazilian chef to become well known outside his own country. Alex Atala is a mega-celebrity in Brazil, and his name there is a synonym for fine food.
He was a punk and a DJ, with tattoos and an irreverent attitude, working in a night club in São Paulo. He was restless, curious, and wanted to see the world. When he was 18 years old he saved a little money, sold his records and left his country to backpack through Europe. In Belgium, he first worked as a wall painter to survive, washed dishes in a restaurant, until he was convinced by a friend to enrol in a catering school. This was not a career choice, but an easy way to get a work permit. He never thought that this accidental choice would give his life a new direction! After graduating, Atala was in Italy, France, and in Belgium where he worked at Jean Pierre Bruneau’s Restaurant and with the legendary Chef Bernard Loiseau at the Cote D’Or Hotel. In 1994 he returned to Brazil with a solid foundation in French cuisine, and with a great desire to find his own culinary identity. He developed this identity in the following years after his return. In 1999 he opened the restaurant D.O.M. (an acronym for a Latin phrase meaning “God, the best and greatest”). Thus began a new era in the Brazilian Gastronomy. – Source (article by Luciana Bianchi)
There is a reason why Alex Atala’s D.O.M. is rated the top restaurant in São Paulo, Brazil and Latin America, year-after-year… and this year, D.O.M. is ranked #24 in the World by Restaurant Magazine. Alex now has a new restaurant in the same neighborhood in São Paulo. The restaurant is called Dalva e Dito, a culinary tribute to 100% Brazilian food.