We have such a wonderful mix of people working with us at Cookery School, people from all different backgrounds, cultures and walks of life. We thought we’d showcase a bit of our diversity here on the blog in a series of interviews. Today we’d like you to meet Marcela Moukacher, Cookery School’s kitchen manager.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Campo Grande MS in Brazil.
What brings you to London and Cookery School?
I came to London to experience a totally different culture and language and to be able to work and enjoy life – working in Brazil can be limiting. I was head waitress at Carluccio’s when I came to Cookery School at Little Portland Street to work as part of the back of house team on events. I was offered a full-time position and gradually given more responsibility such as prepping for all the classes. I became the Kitchen Manager in 2009 and I’ve now been at the school for six years! Having learnt so much I now also teach some of the classes. My favourite classes to teach are Middle Eastern, Fish & Shellfish and corporate events. I just love meeting all the people that come through Cookery School.
How does your home country factor into your cooking?
I have learnt so much here – the cooking styles are very different, as are the recipes. A great example of this is an English pie which is not something you would find being cooked in a Brazilian home. Although I do not cook Brazilian food at work, at home I cook a LOT of Brazilian dishes.
What are your favourite ingredients and dishes from your home country?
Feijoada – this is a traditional black bean stew made with pork, all parts of the pig!
Moqueca – a fish stew made with white fish, dendê oil, onions, peppers and coconut milk.
Fricasse de frango – a baked chicken dish made with catupiry [soft spreadable cheese often used in Brazilian cooking], corn, a white béchamel sauce and a finely diced potato topping.
If someone wants to experience the food of your country, where should they start?
There are lots of shops in London where you can stock up on ingredients; I shop in Victoria, Brixton and Streatham. For eating out there are several Brazilian BBQ restaurants like Rodizio Rico, and Preto in Angel and Putney. My favourite place is Brazuca in Camden. They have a great chef who makes real homemade food with a proper Brazilian taste.
Marcela and Josh Eggleton