Alex Atala on turning 50, the future of food and opening D.O.M. Hotel

This June, Alex Atala turns 50. As one of the most respected chefs in the world, he has made a global name of Brand Atala, with four restaurants in São Paulo, a catalogue of awards and now a hotel in the pipeline. But the Brazilian cook says his name is “much bigger” than him, and he enters a new decade reflective and ready to prioritise projects beyond his flagship restaurant, D.O.M.

“As I turn 50, I want to focus on the work that most motivates me, which is the Atá Institute, my work at Pinheiros Market and the Amazon,” he says. “I’ll be a cook forever, but now it’s time to make space for the young generation of chefs.”

With one million followers on Instagram and Facebook combined, Atala has a powerful voice not just in the world of gastronomy but also in Brazil, a country of more than 200 million inhabitants. But he stresses that a chef can only dedicate himself to a cause if he or she is doing the best possible job in the kitchen – be they Massimo BotturaRené Redzepi or Gastón Acurio.

Read the full interview on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants website

Image credit: IKRA