Sea urchin, squash, almond oil, seaweed and key lime
Fradique Coutinho 1248, São Paulo
Chief reason to go: A beautiful restaurant set in São Paulo’s Vila Madalena neighbourhood, Tuju is well worth a visit for the urban garden and open ‘kitchen theatre,’ as well as chef Ivan Ralston’s heavily researched seasonal cuisine. Desserts are exquisite, presenting native products from the region.
A few words on the chef: Ralston, who comes from a family of successful restaurateurs, opened Tuju in 2014. His experience at world-renowned restaurants Maní, Nihonryori RyuGin, El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz was central to his professional development. He is one of the new generation of Brazilian chefs reshaping the country’s cuisine with respect for tradition but with a modern perspective and technical knowledge.
Typical dishes: Ralston’s creations include a bouquet of foraged plants; duck egg, wild porcini mushroom soup, toasted pine nuts and jabuticaba fruit vinegar; momotaro tomato, cucamelon and canastra cheese broth, and brazil-nut homemade bread.
Sustainability: The chef has many successful informal partnerships with artisans, artists and producers – in particular with Cauê Tessuto, a young chef and fish specialist who works directly with fishermen and is creating a network of sustainable fishing in São Paulo state.
Image: Ilana Lichtenstein, Pedro Napolitano Prata, Roberto Seba