Atera Guest Chefs: Rafa Silva and David Toutain

This past January we had the pleasure of attending Atera’s guest chef dinners. The first one helmed by the ever so popular chef David Toutain. It was a great night. This was not our first time trying his cooking. We have been fortunate enough to try David’s cooking on our trip to Paris a few months back so for us many of the dishes were not a surprise but we were more than happy to give some of them a second spin. More from that dinner at Agape Substance here.Some of the standouts was the eel dish and the cumins and egg – I can eat those dishes every single day!. David is a globetrotter these days popping up in kitchens all over the place. In fact Jose ate his food once again this passed weekend at a collaborative dinner at the new L’air du Temps, in Belgium. We will have dedicated post about that meal coming soon. So let’s let’s focus on the pictures in this post:

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The real surprise for us at the Atera dinners was Chef Rafa Costa E Silva. A chef that has spent the last five years working at Mugaritz in Spain. Knowing a bit a bout Rafa’s background we went into the dinner expecting flavors and techniques similiar to Mugaritz, but what we experienced was not that at all and exceeded our expectations.

Instead of concept driven food we were served dishes that seemed near and dear to Rafa’s Brazilian upbringing. Each dish was brilliantly simple and refined, with most plates not exceeding 4-5 ingredients but those 4 ingredients worked perfect together. Rafas flavors are bold and confident, something special and unique given the current food environment. One of our favorite dishes of the night was Rafa’s simple approach to breakfast. It was not only beautiful but incredibly tasty. The egg rested on a fluffy and wonderfully gooey bed of taro and coconut. It was such a different combination from other egg dishes we have had one we would could easily eat over and over again. The compliment to the egg was Rafa’s fantastic paper thin dry bacon slice. The bacon crisp, if I can call it that, served as a salty spoon to break into the golden, perfectly undercooked yolk. Incredible!!

From what we have heard from a few of our chef friends is that Brazil is the next spot to blow up. After eating Rafa’s food and knowing that he is soon to open his first restaurant I have no doubt that these speculations are more than just that. This meal convinced us both that a trip out to Rio is in order. Who wants to join??

A sneak peak of Rafa’s coming restaurant:


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