Manoella “Manu” Buffara, Manu restaurant, Curitiba in Brazil
The fight for a better world
The facade of her restaurant is brightly spray-painted with floral shapes, not unlike those seen during the hippie movement (and some of that spirit lives on in the young chef and mother of two). She has already made waves in her hometown – and not just with her food. She has put Curitiba on the map for food journalists and gourmet tourists and her restaurant is ‘one to watch’ for the world’s 50 Best Restaurants. It’s already on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.
She has changed Curitiba with her work as a committed campaigner for a better environment, waste reduction and better nutrition. It was in this city that she introduced urban gardening on a large scale. Parts of the city have since been turned into green oases which can even feed the population. Waste prevention is also one of her concerns – and this applies not only to her own restaurant, but it’s a message she also communicates to children and, above all, the poor, who have completely different concerns in the context of their daily struggle to survive. Just like her former teacher René Redzepi, Manu has created her own local producer network and she also forages in meadows and forests for useful ingredients for her kitchen. The awards for the 50 Best Restaurants are important to her, she says, because they will give her a platform for her messages.