It would not be a stretch to say that Rodrigo Oliveira is one of the most well-regarded young chefs in Brazil and, quite possibly, the world; his inclusion on this list should be ample evidence of his continued success. Rodrigo was literally born to be a chef- his culinary career began at the age of 13 when he started working in his family’s restaurant, and he attended culinary school in order to gain the skills necessary to update the menu and ensure that their restaurant continued its successful run.
After completing culinary school, Rodrigo traveled all around his home country of Brazil to gain an understanding of different aspects of Brazilian culinary culture, find sources of inspiration and to discover ingredients he could use in the kitchen back at home. As a result, the Oliveira family restaurant, Mocotó, has been the beneficiary of unbridled critical acclaim. The restaurant has been named as one of Latin America’s Best Restaurants in 2014, and it won the award for “Best Brazilian Cuisine” from Epoca Sao Paolo magazine in 2010 and 2011.
For his part, Rodrigo has won his fair share of awards, including mention on Elle a Table magazine’s “5 Most Influential Young Chefs” list, “Best New Chef 2008” from Prazeres de Mesa magazine, and “Chef of the Year” in 2011 from Premio Destaque FoodService magazine.
Specialties & Resources
Rodrigo’s approach to cuisine is simple: honor the traditions and practices of his home country while also striving to improve and evolve them in his dishes. Mocotó has been the beneficiary of Rodrigo’s culinary mission, having received the Michelin Bib Gourmand award, two stars from Guia Quatro Rodas, and “Best Brazilian Cooking” from Prazeres da Mesa, Folha de Sao Paolo and Go’Where.
Offerings include dadinho de tapioca; dadinho de porco with a hint of salami and smoked sausage; cured meatballs with cream cheese; croquet mandioca with cream cheese; couscous capira with corn flour, chicken, smoked sausage and vegetables; pig foot ceviche with tucupi , sweet potatoes and mocopas; octopus and squid vinaigrette with plantain and cashew; gizzard bread; manioc gnocchi with vegetables, tucupi and feta cheese; Amazonian fish with black-eyed beans, tucupi, corn and paio; grilled octopus with angu, chard and sua sauce; duck pacoca with free-range egg, bean vinaigrette and smoked sausage; boar ribs with corn couscous, beans and braised leaves; chicken with rice, corn, pequi and fried egg; cured beef with rice, beans, and red onion confit; angus rib roast with couscous, corn and beans; and catch of the day fish with salt-roasted root vegetables and palm heart vinaigrette.