Alex Atala: Bringing Brazilian Cuisine to New Heights

The star of South American cuisine is rising in global gastronomic circles, with recipes and ingredients from the region making it onto the plates of diners around the world. Chef Alex Atala has played a central role in this ascendance by unveiling the previously-hidden local flavors of Brazil. For this important contribution, Atala has been named the recipient of The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award – Latin America 2014, which will be conferred during the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony on September 3, 2014, in Lima, Peru.

Diners Club International® is excited to share this video with the chef’s initial reaction to what this award means to him and his mission to promote Brazilian cuisine:

Atala’s São Paulo restaurant D.O.M. – which stands for Deo Optimo Maximo, or “To the greatest and best god” – opened in 1999 during a time when French and Italian cuisine dominated in local restaurants. Formerly a punk DJ who trained as a chef in Europe, it’s no surprise that Atala set out on a pioneering course to change that.

Beyond popularizing Brazilian cuisine at home and abroad, Atala is known for leading expeditions into the Amazon, alongside anthropologists and scientists, to discover and then promote indigenous ingredients.

Alex Atala signature dish

As a result of his passion and innovative approach, D.O.M. has since received numerous accolades, appearing on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for nine years in a row. Ranked No. 7 by The Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy at the prestigious awards ceremony this past April, D.O.M also received the Chef’s Choice Award sponsored by Gaggenau and was named the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in South America.

Atala helped the world rediscover the treasures of Brazil, bringing the endlessly diverse and exciting flavors of the Amazon into full focus. He is an artist in the kitchen, and a guide to a new frontier of cuisine in Brazil.

Diners Club International is proud to honor Atala’s imprint on the culinary world and celebrate his contributions to global dining. Join us here at our Diners Club Blog, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to get an insider’s view into the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants event in Lima on September 3. We look forward to celebrating Chef Atala, and the accomplishments of the next class of best chefs in the region with you!