By Teresa Geer, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A month after the World Cup festivities; Rio continues the celebration of passion with another favorite Brazilian past time – food. The city serves up the 2014 edition of the annual Rio Gastronomia culinary festival on August 14th to the 24th, and this year is set to be bigger than ever.
Along with the events centered at the Jockey Club, more than three hundred restaurants throughout Rio will partake with special festival menus. Visitors to the Jockey Club will experience the height of Brazil’s flourishing food culture expecting not just delights for the boca (mouth) but a rich plate of films, debates and concerts.
“After the World Cup, Rio keeps up the party atmosphere by hosting the biggest event for the country’s food. The Rio Food Festival doubled in size this year and also promises to double the pleasure. The event’s arrival to our calendar only confirms the vocation of Rio for the food and the pleasure of living.” says Sandra Sanches, executive director of O Globo.
The festive bill kicks off with the Rio Show Gastronomy Awards, rewarding not only the best chefs in haute cuisine but the prestigious title of ‘Best Feijoada’ to the deserving Samba School. The rest of the week invites Jockey visitors to immerse themselves into the indulgent world of Brazilian cuisine, with restaurants and kiosks from the likes of Roberta Sudbrack, Antiquarius, Gero, Lima Restobar, Sushi Leblon and Siri Mole.
Outside the Jockey Club’s racetracks, Rio Gastronomia takes to the road with the Caminhão Cozinha Show (Kitchen Truck Show). The truck will travel around the city offering cooking classes and free tastings in public squares including Madureira Park, Cinelândia, Lido Square and Saens Peña.
The cultural program of activities takes attendees beyond Brazil on an international food journey. Food related films will be screened with the added chance to immerse fully into the spirit and taste the corresponding national cuisine from each title. The first lucky fifty arrivals will get to take part in the tastings.
The schedule includes India’s ‘The Lunchbox’ (Sunday 17th, 6PM), Brazilian film ‘Confia Em Mim’ (‘Trust Me’, Saturday 23rd, 7:30 PM) and French title ‘Like a Chef’, (Sunday 24th, 6PM).
Those with an appetite for knowledge will also be satisfied with a rich selection of cooking lessons from renowned chefs, held at the Jockey’s Senac Space. Among the chefs who will be revealing their foodie secrets will be Bela Gil, host of “Bela Cozinha (Beautiful Cooking)”, GNT, and Felipe Bronze of restaurants, Oro and Pipo. “Let us show you what we do best in Oro and Pipo: interpreting the Carioca soul!” Bronze promises.
Each day finishes at Rio Gastronomia 2014 with a program of live concerts, featuring artists such as legendary guitarist and saxophonist George Israel (August 15th, 9:30 PM) and samba group Benditos, led by Rodrigo Lamprey and Beto Landau (August 17th, 9PM).
Guests can also bag themselves a selection of the finest ingredients to take home with them at the Feira de Sabores (Flavor Fair) between August 15th – 17th and 22nd – 24th. This year’s Feira boasts more than twenty representatives of the family agriculture business from the state of Rio selling and offering tastings of sweets, cachaça, cheeses, coffees, organic foods, dried fruits, jellies, and other products.
With an ample buffet of tastings, workshops and cultural activities; Rio Gastronomia 2014 will give any foodie a bounty to chew on with platefuls of the very best in Brazil’s flourishing food culture.