Take the plunge into the delights of Brazilian culture with a wealth of cooking classes taking place during Central Market’s two-week extravaganza, Passaporte Brasil. Savor the tastes of Brazil with these internationally-recognized, award-winning Brazilian food and wine experts.
Featured Brazilian Chefs:
Leticia Moreinos Schwartz
Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where her passion for food began at an early age. Along with food, she was also passionate about languages. She studied French, English and Spanish and she started to translate recipes into Portuguese as a hobby. Leticia then spent a semester in Switzerland exploring and discovering the culinary wonders of Europe. After her semester in Switzerland, she returned to Brazil and received a BA in economics and worked briefly in finance. She then decided to follow her dreams to pursue a career in the culinary industry. In 1997, she moved to New York and graduated from the French Culinary Institute with degrees in both Culinary and Pastry Arts. She continued her training as a chef at several legendary New York restaurants.
After Leticia married and started a family, she moved to Connecticut and created a boutique culinary company, “Chef Leticia,” offering a wide range of services. In February 2010, her first cookbook “The Brazilian Kitchen: 100 Classic and Contemporary Recipes for the Home Cook,” was published and became the number one reference on the subject. Soon after, Schwartz won the 2010 World Gourmand Cookbook Awards in Paris, for Best Latin cookbook. She has made many TV and radio appearances including Martha Stewart Living Radio Program, Better Homes and Gardens Better.TV, NBC’s LX TV and The Today Show.
Yara Castro Roberts
Chef Yara Castro Roberts began her culinary education with her mother, who owned a catering business and a cooking school in Brazil. She is a graduate of the Boston University Culinary Program, and took classes at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, l’École Ritz-Escoffier in Paris and food history at Radcliff College. Yara has traveled the United States and Canada, teaching Brazilian cooking classes at universities, schools and culinary organizations. Yara also hosted the PBS Cook’s Tour television series that was nominated twice for an “Emmy” award. Following completion of the series, she moved to Paraty, Brazil, to operate the Academy of Cooking & Other Pleasures with her husband.
Chef Yara Castro Roberts is the author of “The Brazilian Table,” the first Brazilian cookbook written in English. The book includes over one hundred recipes and provides an in-depth cultural lesson on the regions and their unique food.
Nilton Borges, Jr.
Chef Nilton Borges, Jr. was born in Brazil and his early culinary influences stemmed from classic Portuguese flavors and traditional Brazilian cuisine. In 2001, Nilton moved to New York and began working and gaining experience in top New York kitchens.
Nilton then enrolled to the French Culinary Institute and received a degree in Culinary Arts. After he graduated, he worked for a prominent New York family as a private chef and on the executive committee of a storied banking institution. Nilton joined the opening team at Amali, a Mediterranean restaurant, and became the Executive Chef in May 2012. During his time at Amali, Borges was awarded the New & Notable Newcomer award by Wine & Spirits and the 2012 Diner’s Choice Mediterranean Restaurant award in the Manhattan and Tri- State Area.
Featured Brazilian Coffee Experts
Recognized as a leader within the coffee world, Silvio Leite has more than 30 years of experience in the coffee business. Silvio Leite is a founding partner of AgriCoffee and AgriCafé. Leite dedicated himself to coffee grading and tasting when he got into the coffee business and has worked for multiple coffee companies where he came to prominence as a specialist in coffee processing and quality control at all stages of post-harvest processing.
An expert coffee taster, Silvio Leite is a cupper certified by the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) and has participated as a judge in many coffee quality contests, both in Brazil and abroad. He is the president of the international jury of the Cup of Excellence quality contest, one of the most prestigious in the world coffee market, which recognizes the best coffees produced in each country.
The Baggio family history with the development of growing coffee began in 1886 when Salvatore Baggio, an Italian immigrant, came to the region of Upper Mogiana Paulista in Sao Paulo. In 1890, he bought his first piece of land and his descendants expanded production to the south of Minas Gerais, where the fertile soil and great climate are perfect for growing specialty gourmet coffee. Liana Baggio, great-granddaughter to Salvatore, created the brand of Baggio Café for her family’s company in 2006. Since then, they are now producing about fifteen thousand bags of coffee per year. Baggio Café uses a delicate process for roasting coffee beans produced in the farms to make the most authentic and distinctive gourmet coffee. The warmth and tradition of cultivation were transmitted from generation to generation by this family.
Coffee from Dias’s farm, Fazenda Recreio, has placed in the top five in the Cup of Excellence competition five times out of the past ten years!
Featured Brazilian Wine Experts
Bruno Motter – Don Guerino
The grandson of Italian immigrant and founder of Guerino Motter, Bruno studied oenology in Argentina and, with his family, manages the Don Guerino winery in Alto Feliz. Don Guerino produces still and sparkling wines using French and Italian grape varieties. The winery is surrounded by 50 hectares of vineyards and is one of the most modern and beautiful in the country.
Morgana Miolo- Miolo
A member of the fourth generation of her family’s business, Miolo carries on a tradition begun by Gluseppe Miolo in 1897 in the Vale dos Vinhedos. The modern winery, with more than 2,000 acres under cultivation, was founded in 1990 and has quickly become a premier brand.
Patricia Carraro – Lidio Carraro
Founded in 1998, the Lidio Carraro vineyards in Vale dos Vinhedos and Encruzilhada do Sul, specialize in maximizing the expression of the terroir. Their wines have won many awards and are exported to more than 18 countries.
Flavio Pizzato – Pizzato, Fausto
The Pizzato family, descendants of grape growing immigrants from Northern Italy, grows grapes in both Vale dos Vinhedos and Dois Lajeados, producing worldclass wines under two labels, Pizzato and Fausto.
Vagner Montemaggiore – Vinicola Salton
As Export Manager for Vinicola Salton, Montemaggiore is bringing the wines of Brasil’s first official winery to Texas. Established in 1910, Salton wines have won more than 200 national and international awards. The winery is the number one major sparkling wine producer in the country for four c
onsecutive years and has a history highlighted by innovations, qualifications and investments.
Rosana Pasini – Aurora
Rosana Pasini works at the largest winery in Brazil, Vinicola Aurora. Headquartered in Bento Goncalves, the capital of Brazil’s wine producing region, Aurora is a cooperative that produces wines under 10 different labels, from still to sparkling varieties.
Eduardo Valduga – Casa Valduga
Eduardo Valduga is one of three third-generation brothers of the Valduga family whose international award-winning wines are exported to more than 18 countries.