Bet­ter ways to meat up

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Janita Singh

IF BAR­BE­CUE was an Olympic sport Brazil would win a gold medal, chef An­dre Fe­li­cio says.

Fe­li­cio, orig­i­nally from Sao Paulo, runs the BRAZA Chur­ras­caria chain of Brazil­ian bar­be­cue restau­rants across Syd­ney.

He says there is an art to get­ting the meat to taste just right, and it dif­fers from the Aus­tralian method.

“The main dif­fer­ence is that there is no bar­be­cue in Brazil with­out us­ing wood and char­coal,” Fe­li­cio says.

“Bar­be­cues in Aus­tralia are done a lot us­ing gas bar­be­cues. But I think this is slowly chang­ing.

“On the other hand, the rea­son for hav­ing a bar­be­cue is pretty much the same — to bring fam­i­lies and friends to­gether.’’

Brazil­ian food and cul­ture rep­re­sents a mix­ture of na­tive In­dian, Por­tuguese and African flavours and bar­be­cue is in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar.

“Our bar­be­cue is ‘the Brazil­ian way’ of liv­ing and cel­e­brat­ing,’’ Fe­li­cio says.

Fe­li­cio says his own love of bar­be­cu­ing in­spired him to write his first book, Braza.

Fam­ily bar­be­cues were a reg­u­lar event when he was grow­ing up and he picked up tips from his mum and dad.

Fe­li­cio then took these skills into his own restau­rants.

He of­fers ad­vice in his book about cre­at­ing your own au­then­tic Brazil­ian chur­ras­caria ex­pe­ri­ence at home. Brazil­ian chur­ras­caria sim­ply means a Brazil­ian bar­be­cue house.

Ideally the meat is skew­ered and ro­tated over heat — char­coal is what brings out the flavours in the meat, ex­plains Fe­li­cio.

“Brazil­ian cook­ing is very sim­ple but tasty. It uses lots of fresh in­gre­di­ents.

“The most pop­u­lar cut of meat is beef, the Rump Cap — the Pi­canha (which is a Brazil­ian na­tional favourite.

“There is no Brazil­ian bar­be­cue with­out Pi­canha.”

Braza fea­tures eighty recipes and cov­ers how to build a char­coal brick BBQ, cre­ate the per­fect fire and buy the best meat. It is now avail­able in book­stores. RRP $45.

Chef An­dre Fe­li­cio watches as meat cooks over a wood fire at Brazil­ian bar­be­cue restau­rant BRAZA Chur­ras­caria in Dar­ling Har­bour. Picture: John Ap­p­le­yard

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