Manu, Recipes and Stories from My Brazil

Image of Manu: Recipes and Stories from My Brazil
Release Date: 
May 10, 2023
Phaidon Press
Reviewed by: 

a gastronomic adventure . . .”

Chef Manu’s first cookbook is a captivating personal narrative that sheds light on her journey in a male-dominated culinary industry, showcasing her remarkable ascent as one of the world’s finest female chefs. It not only serves as a culinary guide, but also provides an inspiring account of her journey.

This cookbook is a delight for cooks and chefs worldwide, particularly those who appreciate the value of using fresh, locally sourced ingredients such as produce, fish, meats, and seafood. Chef Manu's emphasis on transforming cherished family recipes into unique culinary experiences resonates with us, as it allows us to create our own stories to share with loved ones.

One of the book's highlights is Manu's menu collections, which not only feature her recipes but also share the accompanying stories, memories, and emotions that offer a glimpse into her creative process. Through her narratives, readers can vicariously experience the rich tapestry of flavors she weaves. Each country, region, and family may have their own signature dish, and for this reviewer, it's the fresh huckleberries harvested from our nearby mountain streams, combined with local cream, honey, and crumbled sage picked from our own lands. These recipes and stories resonate deeply with many of us, creating a sense of relatability and connection.

Above all, Chef Manu generously shares a piece of herself within the pages of this cookbook. Great chefs are known for their empathy and their ability to infuse their creations with love. By offering her personal touch, Manu not only imparts the love she feels while cooking but also invokes memories of cherished meals shared with special individuals. This cookbook serves as a priceless treasure and a semi-autobiography of a woman who places family, friends, and community at the forefront of her culinary journey.

Chef Manu's cookbook is a must-read for anyone passionate about cooking and seeking inspiration from a talented chef's personal triumphs. It not only presents a collection of awe-inspiring recipes, but also encapsulates the essence of Chef Manu's culinary prowess, allowing readers to embark on a gastronomic adventure while connecting with her remarkable story.