Michelin Starred restaurants in Rio & São Paulo 2020

Michelin has announced the restaurants in Rio and São Paulo to be awarded the prestigious Michelin Star for 2020. With two stars are Oro and Oteque in Rio de Janeiro and D.O.M. and Ryo Gastronomia in São Paulo. One Star was awarded to Cipriani, Lasai and Mee in Rio; and Evvai, Huto, Jun Sakamoto, Kan Suke, Kinoshita, Maní and Picchi in São Paulo.

In “Michelin 2020 Bib Gourmand,” the category that recognises more informal restaurants with good quality and good value cooking, six restaurants in Rio de Janeiro are listed in the 2020 Michelin Guide (Artigiano, Didier, Miam Miam, Lilia, Pici Trattoria, and Maria e o Boi) and 33 in São Paulo (AE! Cozinha, Ama.zo, Arturito, Baianeira, Balaio IMS, Banzeiro, Barú Marisquería, Le Bife, Bio, Bistrot de Paris, Brasserie Victória, Casa do Porco, Casa Santo Antônio, Cepa, Charco, Corrutela, Ecully – Perdizes, Fitó, Kith 2º Andar, Komah, Manioca, Mimo, Mocotó, Nit, Petí Gastronomia, Petí Americana, Piccolo, Più, Più Iguatemi, Tanit, TonTon, Tordesilhas, and Zena Caffè).

According to Michelin 85%, as of 20 September 2020 of Michelin Starred restaurants worldwide at 35 destinations are currently open for dining either inside or outside. In Brazil 72% of the Michelin Starred restaurants are now open, but in the US just 14% of Starred restaurants are welcoming guests again. In Europe, Belgium has 95% of its Michelin Starred restaurants back open; in Spain and Portugal, the percentages have risen to 86% and 93% respectively; while the UK it is at 73%.

“Narcissus off Duty”: Caetano Veloso documentary premieres in Venice

The documentary “Narciso em Férias” (“Narcissus off Duty”) will premiere out of competition on 7 September during the 77th Venice Film Festival. The documentary looks at the great Brazilian sing songwriter, Caetano Veloso’s experience during the military coup in Brazil in 1968 which resulted in him being imprisoned for 54 days.

“Narcissus Off Duty,” paints an intimate portrait of Caetano’s incarceration as he recalls painful memories and performs songs that marked his imprisonment. He also presents new information about why he was detained, exposing the regime’s view of him and shedding light on the arbitrary brutality of the time.

On 13 December 1968, the Brazilian military dictatorship passed Institutional Act Number Five (AI-5), and it marked the beginning of the regime’s most repressive and violent phase. Two weeks later Caetano was arrested. He was taken from his home in São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro, where he was shut in solitary confinement for one week and ultimately imprisoned for 54 days. It was the most difficult experience of his life.

Written and directed by Renato Terra (“A Night in 67”) and Ricardo Calil (“Cine Marrocos”), “Narcissus Off Duty,” is produced by Uns Produções (Paula Lavigne) and co-produced by Walter Salles and João Moreira Salles’s VideoFilmes.

Gajos d’Ouro – New restaurant for Ipanema

Some positive gastronomic for Rio de Janeiro with the opening in Ipanema on  22 July of Gajos d’Ouro.

The reason for the excitement is that many of the people involved in the project (front of house and in the kitchen) are well known for their time at Antiquarius, considered for decades to be Rio’s top Portuguese restaurant – and generally one of the city’s best – until it closed its doors two years ago.

So as well as familiar faces, diners will also find at Rua Prudente de Moraes, 1008 some familiar and favourite dishes on the menu. For the moment Gajos d’Ouro can handle 30 guests in the main room and 20 in the garden-patio.

The group is also responsible for the bar-restaurant Entre Amigos Gastronomia in Botafogo.

Covid-19 impact on Carnival 2021

Sadly it is looking increasingly likely that Rio’s carnival in 2021 will be badly disrupted by the impact of Covid-19, including the famous parade of the top samba schools – scheduled for 14 and 15 February – as preparations require people to work in confined spaces and close proximity.

It is also seen as impossible to have the normal crowd of 75,000 plus in place unless a vaccine for Covid-19 is found. The same for the schools to parade as each would have over 3,000 people dancing and performing in close proximity, a total of over 50,000 performers over the two nights.

Until an official decision is taken by LIESA (League of Samba Schools), probably in September 2020, the schools will continued their preparations for carnival 2021, that might even get pushed back to later in 2021.

Viradouro, the current champions, hope that if the carnival parades do go ahead in 2021, it can defend its title with a theme that will focus on the carnival and Rio of 1919, the first carnival after the First World War and  the “Spanish Flu” pandemic of 1918 that killed so many people in Brazil. The samba is “Não há tristeza que possa suportar tanta alegria” (“There is No Sadness That Can Endure So Much Joy”).

70 Best Games played in Rio’s Maracanã Stadium in 70 Years

O Globo newspaper has polled 70 experts to come up with the top 70 games played in Rio’s iconic Maracanã Stadium since it first opened 70 years ago in June 1950 prior to the World Cup.  The panel’s top ten most memorable and important games were: 

1º — Brazil 1 x 2 Uruguay

World Cup Final, 16 July 1950

2º — Vasco 1 x 2 Santos

Campeonato Brasileiro, 31 August 1969 (Pelé’s 1,000th goal)

3º — Germany 1 x 0 Argentina

World Cup Final, 13 July 2014

4º — Brazil 2 x 0 Uruguay

World Cup Qualifications, 19 September 1993

5º — Santos 1 x 0 Milan

Copa Intercontinental, 16 November 1963

6º — Brazil 1 (5) x (4) 1 Germany

Olympic Final, 20 August 2016

7º — Fluminense 2 x 2 Flamengo

Campeonato Carioca, 25 June1995

8º — Botafogo 1 x 0 Flamengo

Campeonato Carioca, 21 June 1989

9º — Brasil 2×0 Chile

World Cup Qualifications, 3 September 1989

10º — Brazil 1 x 0 Paraguay

World Cup Qualifications, 31 August 1969

Brazil hosts three of the most viewed art shows in 2019

 

The three most viewed art shows in the world in 2019, by the number of visitors a day, were all organised by the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil.

Occupying the first and second spots in the The Art Newspaper ranking was the free travelling exhibition that offered a behind-the-scenes look at DreamWorks. Co-organised by the animation studio and Melbourne’s Australian Centre for the Moving Image, 11,380 visitors a day went to it at the CCBB Rio de Janeiro, while a further 9,277 daily saw it at the CCBB Belo Horizonte. 

In third was Ai Weiwei’s travelling survey in Brazil— the highest-ranking show by a single artist in the list. More than 1.1 million people in total saw the exhibition in Brazil that started in São Paulo with stops in Belo Horizonte and Curitiba before arriving at the CCBB Rio de Janeiro, where it was seen by 9,172 visitors a day (around 600,000 in total).

The CCBB last topped the Art Newspaper survey in 2016 with another trio of shows, including one on Post-Impressionist masterpieces (9,700 visitors a day). The CCBB, which hosts free exhibitions at its four locations in Brazil, had nearly 5.6 million visitors in 2019—a 28% increase on 2018 and a 36% increase on 2017. Sadly numbers will not be the same in 2020.

Rio’s Top Samba Schools: 2015-2020

Mangueira and Salgueiro are the two most successful samba schools in Rio over the last six years based on the official results. Based on those results of the last six carnivals (2015-2020), the League of Samba Schools (LIESA) ranks the top samba schools in Rio de Janeiro as:

  1. Mangueira (65 points)
  2. Salgueiro (65)
  3. Portela (64)
  4. Beija-Flor (64)
  5. Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel (49)
  6. Grande Rio (41)
  7. Unidos da Tijuca (35)
  8. Viradouro (35)
  9. Vila Isabel (21)
  10. Imperatriz Leopoldinense (19)
  11. Paraíso do Tuiuti (18)
  12. União da Ilha do Governador (7)

[Schools score 20 points for a win, 15 for 2nd, 12 for 3rd, 10 for 4th, 8 for 5th, 6 for 6th, 4 for 7th, 3 for 8th, 2 for 9th and 1 for 10th]

31 schools have paraded in the Grupo Especial since 1985.

Frank Sinatra in Rio: January 1980

40 years ago, in January 1980, the unlikely figure of the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra, arrived in Rio de Janeiro. He landed on 21 January at Rio’s international airport to be the star attraction at the opening of a new five star hotel on Rio’s Copacabana Beach, the Rio Palace. A property that has been recently renovated and is now the Fairmont Rio.

Sinatra had been brought to Rio by the head of the Artplan advertising agency, Roberto Medina, a name familiar now as the man behind the famous Rock in Rio festivals. But it is unlikely that without the visit of Sinatra in 1980 that Rock in Rio would ever have taken place five years later, or that the gates would have opened for other major performers and artists to come to Brazil.

Medina had already worked with Sinatra, having used Ol Blue Eyes in an advert for the Brazilian bottled Scotch Whisky, Passport. Medina had also used David Niven and Burt Bacharach as part of the campaign. Sinatra also had his own links to Brazil having performed and recorded an album with Tom Jobim in 1967, which they followed up with a second in 1969.

Medina paid Sinatra a reported US$1 million for five shows in Rio. Four of these would be for an exclusive nightly audience of just 700 in the Rio Palace’s ballroom on the 22, 23, 24 and 25 of January 1980. The fifth show was altogether more ambitious, a stadium show on Saturday, 26 January at the Maracanã Stadium, which would also be broadcast in Brazil on TV Globo.

The shows at the Rio Palace were the place to be and be seen in Brazil that week of January 1980 (each ticket costing over US$1,000), and did what they were intended to do by putting the hotel on the map, both in Brazil and internationally. Few hotels outside of Las Vegas had the clout to attract Sinatra.

The famous concert at the Maracanã Stadium nearly did not take place, however, due to the weather. It was an open stage located right in the centre of the pitch. The special seats on the grass, closest to the uncovered stage, had been the first to sell out at US$160 each, with tickets in the stands costing just US$6.

Due to the persistent rain on the Friday and through Saturday, it was impossible to mic and wire the orchestra, and for a time it looked as if the concert would be called off and fall foul to the weather. And there was no back up date as Sinatra had to return to the US.

At 21.00, on the night of 26 January, Sinatra walked on stage just as the rain stopped and performed to the largest crowd of his career, 175,000 people, a crowd that went into the Guinness Book of record as the largest paying audience for a single act.

In honour of Brazil, Sinatra started with “The Coffee Song” which he followed by his repertoire of hits including “The Lady is a Tramp”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “Someone To Watch Over Me”, “My Way”, “Strangers In the Night”, which the crowd sang with Sinatra when he appeared to forget the lyrics, and his new hit that year, “New York, New York”. In all Sinatra performed for one hour and forty-five minutes.

Not only were Sinatra’s shows in Rio historic, but it showed that Brazil could hold major concerts. Sinatra was followed at Maracanã by Sting, Tina Turner, Kiss, Madonna, The Police, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, and the Pope, no-less, and in 1991 Medina’s own Rock in Rio II with headline acts such as Prince, Santana, George Michael, Guns’n Roses, A-ha! and INXS among others. But it was to be Sir Paul McCartney who, on another wet Saturday, would break Sinatra’s record for the paying public for a single act, when he sold an estimated 180,000 tickets for his show at the Maracanã

Sinatra was to return to play Brazil one more time, in August 1981 when he played the Maksoud Plaza hotel in São Paulo.

Rio Star: Giant Observation Wheel is new Rio attraction

Rio de Janeiro gained a major new attraction, its own Rio Eye, or rather Rio Star, on 6 December 2019. 

The giant wheel is 88 metres high (compared with the London Eye’s 135 metres) and has 54 cabins that each can hold 8 people. Tickets cost R$50, or about £10 (compared with London’s £30). The wheel, the largest in Latin America, is located in the port area, close to Centro, overlooking the bay of Rio, and close to the city’s new aquarium and the excellent museums of Tomorrow and Rio Art.

For more information and to book tickets CLICK HERE