New Generation Of Chefs Makes Alagoas A Gastronomic Attraction

Traditional ingredients move to the spotlight with the use of new techniques and recipes borrowed from other parts of Brazil

Marina Merlo
Sururu, a local shellfish, in coconut sauce - Divulgação

Besides the bright blue sea and the constant sea breeze, there is another good reason to visit Maceió: the city's restaurants, headed by a new generation of cooks who value traditional ingredients not only in local cuisine but also in new recipes adapted from other parts of Brazil.

Alagoas gastronomy gained more popularity after local chefs started to appear at national reality shows.

Chefs Simone Bert (Wanchako) and Paulo Quintella (Aratu)m for example, were part of the cast of last year's edition of MasterChef Professionals. Together, they have more than 90,000 followers on Instagram.

At Quintella's restaurant Aratu, named after a small red crab that lives in saltwater marshes, dishes use local ingredients in different ways: an appetizer that uses cassava as a tortilla with shrimp and curd cheese; an entrée with the same cassava in the form of couscous, as a side dish for a grilled fish with sauteed shrimp.

The restaurant is located at Marechal Deodoro, 25 minutes away from the capital Maceió. A small village inside the township, called Massagueira, enjoys its privileged position next to a lagoon and is considered a hub for seafood restaurants.

The Manguabá lagoon is the largest in Alagoas and supplies the state with crabs, catfish, and tilapia.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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