First Brazilian woman with a tasting menu
Opened in January 2011, Manu Restaurant is the first ever in Brazil headed up by a woman chef to serve only a tasting menu. Manu Restaurant has five tables, serves 20 people per night and are in tune with the cutting-edge trends of culinary, working with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and 60% of the products used in the recipes are plant based. Manu knows each ingredient she uses in her preparations, as well as each person who supplies them, 80% of whom live within a 300 km radius from the restaurant.
From November 2022 to November 2023, Manu will run Fresh in the Garden, a year of Manu Buffara kitchen at Soneva Resort, at the Maldives Islands. Part of her Curitiba team’s will move to Maldives for a year and cook with the incredible ingredients from the island gardens as well as from Sri Lanka, India and Asia. The restaurant will have 35 seats and a menu with 30% vegan recipes; 30% vegetarian recipes and the rest based on seafood.In 2023, Manu will open her second restaurant, Ella, in the Meatpacking District of New York, USA. The New York restaurant’s design was conceived by architect Márcio Kogan to accommodate 60 diners and aims to show Manu Buffara’s most straightforward side and will have shared dishes and appetizes. Always made with fresh, natural ingredients and a Brazilian touch.
A sustainable Chef
Since Manu Restaurant day one, Manu Buffara has been involved in sustainability actions aimed at causes such as preserving native Brazilian bees and incentivizing young producers not to abandon the areas of fishing and agriculture in Paraná, and Urban Gardens, that encourage the plantation of vegetables in vacant lots all around Curitiba city.In 2020 she created Manu Buffara Institute, responsible for various programs including the annual event known as Alimenta Curitiba which distributes food and holds educational and social inclusion events in the more needy areas of Curitiba. She is also one of the chefs involved with Mulheres do Bem, a group of women chefs who serve 400 lunches to street dwellers once a week at a restaurant of the Curitiba city government.
In recent years, the chef has received numerous national and international awards and distinctions, including The Best Chef Rising Star (2020), The Best Chef Followers (2021), and a 48th place ranking in The Best Chef Awards’ global list for 2022. Married since November 2012 with lawyer and owner of the law firm Borges de Liz Logística Jurídica Especializada, Dario Borges, Manu has two daughters, Helena and Maria, eight and five six old, respectively. And a border collie named Snow.