Exclusive Interview with Acclaimed Brazilian Chef Marcos Antonio Gouvêa
Photographs © 2012, Joyce Hata

About the Chef

Marcos Antonio Gouvêa was born in Campo Grande, Brazil, near the Bolivian and Paraguayan borders, and learned to cook from his parents, gourmands of Portuguese/Mediterranean descent, as well as from other members of his extended family, all of whom introduced him to specialty dishes from all over Brazil—Bahia in the north, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais in central Brazil, Santa Catarina in the south. As a young man, Marcos studied at local culinary schools in Belo Horizonte, in Minas and, following his parents' lead, traveled throughout the country, tasting local specialties wherever he went and perfecting his skills at cooking signature items such as feijoada, the hearty national dish; Bobó de camarão, a succulent shrimp stew; picanha na chapa, grilled tri-tip of beef; and baked chicken "a zas-tras," not to mention delicious appetizers such as pão de queijo (cheese puffs) and quibe (beef croquettes), and exotic desserts like cheese-and-guava and passion-fruit mousse. After moving to the United States ten years ago, he expanded his menu, adding dishes from Indian, vegetarian, California, and Italian cuisines; he also expanded to an international clientele. Marcos prides himself on his dedication to the art of cooking and to enhancing his knowledge about food and creative ways to prepare it, in producing meals made with love that his clients will remember long after the kitchen lights go out.