Farofa is toasted Cassava flour. At Atlas, we season ours with blitzed popcorn and fried shallots. It has a unique sandy texture and can be found with almost every meal in Brazil. The best I tried was at Casa de Teresa in Salvador. See casadetereza.com.br
Every cashew nut grows from a fruit. The fruit is widely eaten in Brazil and is super delicious, which really proves how little we know about certain ingredients sometimes. I tried this at the markets in Morro de Sao Paulo.
The juice is toxic when raw and is made by peeling and grating the manioc root. This ingredient can be used almost like a thickened citrus juice in dishes and is delicious. I really get inspired when I see interesting techniques like this while abroad. I tried this when I ate at restaurant Lasai in Rio. See lasai.com.br
I had the privilege of cooking with Dada – "the Queen of Bahia" – a famous Afro-Brazilian chef with her own restaurant in Salvador, Sorriso da Dada. She has cooked for the likes of Hilary Clinton and Michael Palin. Dada taught me how to make this dish – it's like a really thick curry made by cooking the vegetables as a paste until thickened. It's very moreish and could be eaten all day.
This is the Brazilian cooking technique where they grill on huge skewers and slice the meat at the table. It's a lot of fun. You should try picanha which is beef rump cap. Wow. I tried this in Salvador at Boi Preto. See churrascariaboipreto.com.br
FISH WITH TOMATO AND BANANA
I was really thinking this combination just wouldn't work, but I couldn't have been more wrong. I tried an amazing dish of amazonian fish with banana and tomato in Sao Paulo at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant off Paulista Avenue, the main strip. But it's a combination you can find across Brazil. The sweet and salty combination just works.
We have included a dish on the Atlas menu inspired by a crab salad I tried in Salvador. It is spanner crab cooked with egg, fake palm oil (we make our own for sustainability reasons) and farofa. I tried this salad at Al Mare in Salvador. See almaresalvador.com.br
Charlie Carrington – Australia's youngest hatted chef – changes his menu at Atlas Dining in Melbourne every four months, to showcase a new culinary destination. He travelled with LATAM Airlines to South America for his Brazilian menu, which will be served until December. LATAM will increase Melbourne to Santiago direct flights to five times a week from January 1. See atlasdining.com.au latam.com