Connector April 2024

CONNECTOR.AE 26 CONNECTOR.AE 27 Dining Around Dining Around Chef ’s Corner: Chef Fernando Ray Golfarine In an interview with Connector, Chef Fernando Ray Golfarine, theesteemedheadchef at FogueiraRestaurant and Lounge, Delta Hotels by Marriott Jumeirah Beach, shares insights into his culinary expertise rooted in Brazil’s rich gastronomy. Originating from the Gaucho culture, Chef Fernando specialises in churrasco, a renowned culinary style from Brazil’s Gaucho region. Reflecting on his culinary journey, Chef Fernando talks about his earliest cooking experiences and his midnight cravings, offering a glimpse into his passion for food and dedication to his craft. 1. How did you get started in the food industry? In my case, it’s more about culture. I grew up in Rio Grande do Sul, where people call us ‘gauchos’. Since childhood, I’ve been involved in the Gaucho Traditionalist Centre (GTC). These are places where you can experience only Gaucho and rural culture. My first involvement was in the kitchen, helping to prepare meats over a fire and skewers for big events. It all started when a friend’s uncle invited me, and since then, I never looked back. 2. What is your earliest cooking memory? Cooking has been in my life since childhood, but one particularly unforgettable memory stands out from a Farroupilha event. During this special occasion, spanning from 7 to 20 September, we managed to cook over 1,500kg of meat to feed more than 1,500 attendees. The event commenced at 3am and extended until 10pm, requiring the relentless efforts of over 20 cooks and profuse amounts of firewood to sustain the cooking process. 3. What is your favourite dish from your country? As surprising as it may sound, my favourite dish is gnocchi with ragú sauce made by my mother. She’s of Italian origin, and this dish is a traditional delicacy we enjoy on the 29 of each month. On the 29 of each month, it’s a cultural tradition in my maternal family, who hail from Italy near Naples, to prepare gnocchi. According to custom, after enjoying the gnocchi, you should set aside the last three pieces, wrap them in cling film, and carry them in your purse. This act is believed to ensure a continuous flow of money into your wallet. 4. What is the one go-to and easy snack you love making for midnight cravings? One of my favourite homemade snacks is a sweet Arabic delicacy called Kunafa. I enjoy making it at home using filo dough and love layering it with plenty of cheese and honey. 5. What is the one raw ingredient you cannot cook without from your country? My favourite ingredient is garlic, it’s an ‘allrounder’. Garlic has a unique and robust flavour profile that enhances the taste of dishes and adds depth and complexity to the simplest dishes. The versatility, flavour enhancement, health benefits and aromatic qualities make it the perfect go-to ingredient. 6. What is the best dish to try at Fogueira? At Fogueira restaurant, we have a strong menu with some outstanding options, but of course there are several exceptional dishes that I would always recommend. One standout dish is the campeira ribs; black angus USA beef ribs slow-cooked for six hours, encased in puff pastry, and served with a special sauce. Another favourite dish is the caldeirada, an indulgent combination of salmon and other seafood, which is simmered in a rich fish broth with coconut milk and cassava, a Brazilian root vegetable.