|Voltaire, in the toque & beard, voted Best Chef Sensation|
Well, I remember going to that first (for us) tasting treat. Now called simply the Festival Gastronômico, the event was, and still is, held in July, when there’s enough of a nip in the air for me to wear my still chic (I hope) men’s tuxedo jacket over jeans, with my gorgeous YSL scarf thrown around my shoulders in that studied-yet-casual way that I learned from watching Catherine Deneuve movies. (You can take the girl out of the city, etc.) The event took place in a fairly contained area in the center of town, so it was really easy to stroll from restaurant to restaurant, tasting, enjoying, talking to the chefs, meeting old friends; in those years the festival was not very well publicized and it really was just a great big private party for Búzios residents.
|A glimpse of the 2014 version|
I admit that Mark and I boycotted the Festival Gastronômico for several years running. We were grumpy about the new prices, and we never found any dish so irresistibly creative as to drag us out of the house. But this year we decided to give the festival a whirl. It took careful, strategic planning. We selected the few dishes we thought we’d like to taste days ahead of time. We decided which night we’d go to which part of town. And you know, we had a great time! Here’s the dish that we thought was the single most creative and delicious of this year’s festival, from Zuza Restaurante — cocoa-flavored agnolotti with duck filling, with a sauce of saffron, cointreau, orange zest and cupuaçu (a chocolate-like fruit from the Amazon) — complex, textured, and scrumptious!