Home » Celeb chef, Guga Rocha caps off live cooking series at Brazil pavilion presenting traditional Pampa cuisine

Celeb chef, Guga Rocha caps off live cooking series at Brazil pavilion presenting traditional Pampa cuisine

by Dubai Forum
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The Brazil pavilion at
Expo 2020 Dubai hosted a live cooking show, starring prominent Brazilian
celebrity chef and TV personality, Guga Rocha featuring cuisines from the Pampa
biome in Southern Brazil and introducing dishes that were likely unknown in the
Middle East.

The show was the
sixth and last instalment in a series of live cooking shows hosted by the
Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex Brasil). The series
showcased the unique cuisines and their respective ingredients from the six
different biomes of Brazil.

“We are thrilled to
have Chef Rocha here at Brazil Pavilion to cap off our live cooking series. The
goal for this series was to show people on the world stage that Brazil has more
to offer than just the Amazon. We have incredible diversity that often gets
overlooked. With Chef Rocha’s fantastic recipes and his personality, we hope
people will learn about the Pampa region and its many amazing dishes,” said
Raphael Nascimento, Pavilion Director for Brazil at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“The Pampa biome
refers to the vast grasslands in the southernmost region of Brazil fostering
diverse flora and fauna. The food from the region comes from the gaucho or the
cowboys of Brazil,” says Chef Rocha on the sidelines of the cooking show. His
deep enthusiasm for cooking and the Brazilian food has been rather infectious.

Speaking about why
he fell in love with cooking, chef Rocha said, “If you really want to know
about a culture, you got to go where real people live. Not even us professional
Brazilian chefs know everything that’s in Brazil. We are still discovering the
various ingredients that Brazil has to offer. Brazilian cuisine is constantly
transforming. These are the native foods with the African influence and
Portuguese flair along with influences from The Japanese, the Chinese, the

“There are a lot of
different influences that are changing the food in Brazil. It is evolving,
getting lighter, fresher and more modern in a way that it is more accessible
and universal,” he added.

Given how
intimidating the vast diversity can be for newcomers, Chef Rocha shared his
recommendations for several must-try Brazilian dishes from different regions,
“You must try our barbecue, and the amazing fish dish Moqueca. Feijoada is
another one of our great classics. From the north, you have to try Tacaca, a
dish coming from the Amazon natives. You also need to try Chicken with Pequi that
comes from the central Brazil. Pequi is a fruit, and I would compare it to
truffles because it is so strong and pungent.”

However, his
personal favourite dish is Moqueca, which is a fish stew with coconut milk,
chillies. “I love it and it is my favourite dish to eat.”

His advice for
people who were unfamiliar but wanted to get into Brazilian cooking was, “to be
colourful. You have to have some acidity, like limes, chillies, etc. Lots of
herbs and most importantly, lots of freshness.”

Chef Rocha is best
known for his uncanny ability to merge Brazilian roots with exotic flavours
from around the world and create innovative approaches to cooking beloved,
traditional food.

The Chef prepared a
three-course meal for the audience watching. The starter was Coxinha, a sort of
battered and fried dough dumpling, which was shaped like a teardrop and stuffed
with beef rib and pine nuts. Keeping with the beef theme, the main course was a
slow-braised Picanha or Sirloin dish called Barreado. Finally, the dessert was
an artisanal sweet from the gaucho region called Butia Chimia, served with
tapioca Sagu.


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