Roberta Sudbrack, who has a restaurant in Jardim Botânico in Rio de Janeiro, has been named Veuve Clicquot Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2015.
A self-taught cook who started out pushing a hotdog cart in Brasilia, Roberta Sudbrack was the head chef at Brazil’s presidential palace for eight years where she cooked for the likes of Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro and Prince Charles, as well as all of Latin America’s heads of state. She is the only female head chef to have been awarded three stars in the Guia Quatro Rodas, the Brazilian equivalent of Michelin, and her restaurant is listed No.13 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.
A key trait of her philosophy, according to the award organizers, is the emphasis on natural techniques. “From the beetroot ravioli to the pumpkin tartare, everything at Roberta Sudbrack is made by hand. The chef shuns machinery and modern equipment and prides herself on her 100% artisanal approach, but her cooking is anything but basic: she presents intricate, complex dishes such as her signature smoked okra with semi-cooked prawn, served with vegetarian caviar made from okra seeds,” they say.