As an agriculturist and supplier, I recognize the power that Mani Manioca's chefs have to transform unconventional nutriments into exceptional food. It is a new experience, because you eat and learn about what you're eating and the process that got that food into your plate.
I'll give you an example: we provided chef Helena Rizzo with swamp lilies, plants which flowers have an exquisite smell. With the flower she created an unbelievable sorbet and with the roots, a cream. A unique, innovative dessert was born.
So I've created with this restaurant a mutual relationship of admiration, because I supply them with products that few people would know what to do with, and they teach us how to eat those delicacies that are legitimately ours, Brazilian food.
When I go there I'm like a happy lab rat, because I get a taste of the new flavors they present to their customers. They're not just following a "gourmetization" movement; they're putting our biodiversity's richness to good use, cooking with items that should be better exploited.
The place is full of photos and street wall posters; they have a beautiful terrace in the back with some climbing plants and long tables. Waiters and waitresses dress in a very unusual way. So you're in a place with a very special gastronomy but the mood is totally laid back.