Our neighborhood bakery is a crowded place in the morning. Tables are crammed together. And when your toddler likes to spread their toys on all unoccupied surfaces, you end up making small talk (often apologetic) with fellow diners. And that is how Georgia and I met Diana.
In all honesty, I first noticed her tee shirt. It was a simple lived in looking white cotton tee. The kind we never want to lend or lose. And it was filled with intricate black ink drawings. I knew it was done by hand. And as soon as Georgia put her first toy on the young girl's table, I jumped at the opportunity to ask about it. "Oh this...I made it," she responded. "Are you an artist?" I asked. "Actually, I am a chef (at an incredible restaurant, no less)." She replied. And well you can just imagine where we went from there.
And now several months later, Georgia is modeling our own very thoughtfully designed custom tees. (Mine doesn't quite fit over the belly right now.) And I've asked Diana if she would let me post them along with a little interview. And I couldn't thank her more...because she has big plans and very little time on her hands these days....a talented chef/artist with a bright future.
Profession: Chef and Artist
Favorite Recipe: I think this is one of the most difficult questions for a chef to answer. But, for its simplicity, I have a certain attachment to Carpaccio Queimado (Burnt Carpaccio). It is nothing more than a piece of filet mignon (20 cm thick), seasoned with salt, black pepper, and rosemary and cooked in a very hot pan drizzled with olive oil...tossing the meat as all sides become golden--no more than 8 minutes. Afterwards place the meat in the refrigerator for several hours. Take it out and cut it in extremely thin slices. It is ready. I like to add it to pasta with black olives or cherry tomatoes with green salad, adding some fresh olive oil, herbs and lemon on top. It really is good any way it is served...even adding a bit of a good olive oil and some slices of manchego cheese on top. But this is just one of my favorite recipes. In reality, on a daily basis, what I really like to eat, make and serve at home is rice. I like to chop up lots of things (whatever I find in the fridge)...everything becomes a lovely rice party. I have many recipes that involve rice and diced ingredients...ingredients must be fresh, served hot and in little bowls.
Favorite Dish: When you are raised by your Grandmother, who happens to be the greatest cook in the world, anything she makes at that moment is your favorite dish. My favorite meal is one which involves affection, memories...something that comforts you for some reason at that determined moment. My favorite dish for years was good old comfort food here in Brazil: rice, beans, tomato and grilled meat. Later, I fell in love with pumpkin and white beans and then, for a while, I needed to eat ceviche almost every day. Today I would say that anything with sweet potatoes comforts me more than any other option on the menu.
Favorite Ice Cream: I am probably capable of eating "stone" flavored ice cream every day!! Seriously, I like all flavors. But I love doce de leite most.
Best place to buy things for the kitchen in São Paulo: Multinox on Rua Paula Souza for specific items and for everyday items of the best quality, Spicy.
Favorite restaurant outside of São Paulo: For quality and perfection (food and service), I would choose 1884 in Mendoza, Argentina. For simplicity and unpretentious caring style, I would select Marcinha's little restaurant at a hidden beach in Paraty - Rio de Janeiro...for affectionate reasons, I will always remember the food there.
Hobby: Draw, draw, draw, paint and illustrate anything that moves me in a curious way. I am very hyperactive...a trait that I have always had. But when I draw I am taken to secure and calm territories...where time can stand still. I can actually lose track of the clock. I can be by myself, in silence, discovering me. Paper becomes a mediator between myself and serenity.
Preferred artist: I really like so many! I have difficulty choosing one thing in most of these questions! As one of my friends comments, I have many opinions...a problem. But I really remember the first time I was in Frida Kahlo's Blue House Museum in Mexico. I cannot say why but I was very involved emotionally with her art at the time. And when I was in that place, I felt my heart stand still. I spent six hours in the museum. I couldn't leave. Even today I remember the smell, the colors...being there was so different than seeing it in a book. I would say it was the first time an artist stole a piece of my heart. I left it there with her and have never taken it back. And, well today, I like many other artists. But, at this moment my favorites are Stephan Doitschinoff and Lauren Nassef.
Thank you so much Diana! Beijos Tammy and Georgia...Boa Sorte com tudo!