by Jorge Grimberg
In São Paulo, a new restaurant has taken the search for local suppliers to the next level. “All we have planted here is eatable, from the greenhouse to the front garden,” Ivan Raslton Bielawski—the eatery’s 29-year-old chef—tells CH.
Tuju, located at Vila Madalena (the original bohemian neighborhood of São Paulo) is a symbol of the recent and ongoing evolution of the area, which is transitioning from a hippie town to a design-conscious and forward-looking place.
Bielawski’s menu is succinct, but playful, blending Brazilian traditions with global tinges in dishes like beans with foie gras or paella with local crayfish. “I create uniting product, technique and culture. For example, the duck cannelloni in tucupi [a traditional yellow sauce made from manioc root] is the gathering of Brazilian and Italian cultures with our in-house spices.”
The design of the restaurant has been meticulously defined by studio Vapor 324, where partners Rodrigo Oliveira, Thomas Frenk, Fabio Riff and Fabricio Lenci created an environment defined by the chef’s desire to have all the ingredients on hand—with some extra style lent from the use of local materials. The furniture was designed specially for Tuju by Garupa Estudio and includes modernist wooden chairs and benches.
When diners enter the restaurant, they step right into an open kitchen—”the central space of any Brazilian house.” The same flooring takes customers from the street into the bar and then the main dining space. This openness creates a transparency in the processes and creation of each dish that makes the restaurant friendly and oozing a fresh vibe.
Tuju is located at Rua Fradique Coutinho, 1248, Vila Madalena São Paulo.
Images courtesy of Tuju