Brazilian chef Manu Buffara : a champion of change
- n°35 on Latin America’s Fifty Best Award 2023
- Restaurant Manu in Brazil
- “Best Female Chef” in 2022 by 50 Best
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Manu Buffara is the Executive Chef and Owner of Manu located in Curitiba, Brazil, which has received critical acclaim for its tasting menu that has been recognized by World’s 50 Best.
Paving the way for gastronomy in Brazil, Manu celebrates the culture and produce unique to the region of Paraná. Formerly studying journalism, Manu found her passion for cooking, realizing her way of communicating was not through words but taste. Inspired by her family and background, Manu learned the value of land and animals growing up in the countryside and incorporates this in her everyday technique. At Manu, she uses organic ingredients from carefully selected suppliers and her own garden.
Manu’s devotion to sustainability and quality ingredients stems into her commitment to Curitiba, working with local communities to transform abandoned sites into urban gardens and educating locals on how to care for the gardens and feed themselves.
In a city best known for its Botanical Gardens and as a major manufacturing hub, chef Manoella ‘Manu’ Buffara has been making waves in gastronomy, creating an alternative reason, other than business, to visit Curitiba. Since opening Manu in 2011, she has built an entire community of loyal producers and has invested as much energy into developing the neighbourhood as her own restaurant.
“We need to concern ourselves not just with our restaurants and the food we serve,” she says. “We need to think about the amount of litter we’re producing, the amount of water we use, the quantity of food we’re wasting. Why are we producing more? What will happen in the future? It’s important that those of us who win these awards, and are given a voice, really use that voice.”
Over the last few years, the chef has focused on building urban gardens in Curitiba, transforming abandoned parts of the city into areas where communities can feed themselves. The project involves educating lower classes with little understanding of trash, let alone how to turn it into food. There are now 89 urban gardens, with 5,000 families involved.
In 2022, she has been named by the 50 Best, Best female chef LATAM.