When the "world's hottest chef" opens his Peruvian food kiosk on the sidewalk in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro will be even more beautiful. Peruvian Franco Noriega, 30, is not just a handsome cook.
An international model for brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gaultier, he opened its small restaurant Baby Brasa (also the name of the kiosk) four years ago in the Lower East Village, in New York. The place soon became too small. Later, it expanded to a house with more than 100 seats in the West Village.
But it was in 2017, when he launched his YouTube channel, that Noriega earned the nickname "world's hottest chef." There, he began to teach shirtless recipes, showing all the exuberance of the six-pack that he also displays in fashion campaigns.
Between a vegan ceviche and an apple cider vinegar, he was invited to participate in programs on American television, in some of them with only an apron replacing the shirt.
"There is a reason for all this," justified Noriega to Folha last week. "A lot of people asked me what I ate to keep my body like that. So the idea here is to show that by eating properly, you can achieve your goal."
His Peruvian cuisine is light ("perfect for the heat of Rio," he says), based on organic foods and, as the name of the restaurant says, with a lot of things done on the grill, such as meat and fish.
He comes from a family of restaurant owners in Peru, hence the jump from model to chef.
It was with them that Franco came to Brazil for the first time when he was 12 or 13 years old.
"And I came back last year, for a campaign by Gaultier with the participation of Portela. Rio de Janeiro is still beautiful."
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon