He studied cooking at a school in Jujuy and today he is the only Argentine chef in the Michelin Guide of Brazil.

He studied cooking at a school in Jujuy and today he is the only Argentine chef in the Michelin Guide of Brazil.
He studied cooking at a school in Jujuy and today he is the only Argentine chef in the Michelin Guide of Brazil.
  • July 9, 2024
  • 02:41
  • 06 minutes Reading

Summary of the note

  • Pablo Inca is the only Argentine chef recognized by the Michelin Guide Brazil for his restaurant in São Paulo, Cora, which also received the Big Gourmand award for its good value and quality.
  • Pablo’s upbringing in Jujuy influenced his concept of cooking, based on respect for producers, customers, and honesty in work, in addition to the importance of respecting the seasons.
  • Cora, led by Pablo, seeks to offer simple, straightforward and honest food, with standout dishes such as the calamari omelette and duck heart with cauliflower cream and roasted onion according to the Michelin Guide Brazil.

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Born in San Salvador de Jujuy, he studied Law and International Relations but left college to devote himself to cooking. And he made a very good decision to follow his passion: today, Pablo Inca is the only Argentine chef to have received recognition from the Michelin Guide Brazil for his restaurant in São Paulo. “I devoted myself to cooking and did what I always wanted to do,” he says.

Pablo opened his restaurant Cora—which received the Big Gourmand award for its good value and quality—in the central São Paulo neighborhood three years ago, a place with a concept greatly influenced by his upbringing in Jujuy. “The most important thing about my upbringing—and I still apply it today—are the values ​​that my parents passed on to me,” says Pablo, “and I believe they are fundamental to the work I do in the kitchen. Above all, the respect that extends to all areas: to the product, to the producers, to the people, to our clients, to our work, to honesty in everything we do and with everything we serve.”

The seasons of his home province also influenced his restaurant. “It’s a local thing, because Jujuy had very distinct seasons, and we knew that stone fruits were only available in the summer, and strawberries arrived in September or during the spring. The season was very respected, and I think that is fundamental for what I do today.”

The Jujuy chef recognized in the Michelin Guide of Brazil

Pablo He studied cooking at a school in JujuyAt that time, there were few in Argentina, he recalls. Although he had high culinary ambitions, the economic barrier held him back: “I would have liked to study at the Argentine Institute of Gastronomy in Buenos Aires, but well, financially it wasn’t possible,” he says.

Far from being discouraged, she continued on her path and began to do internships: “I started working at the La Comarca hotel in Purmamarca, where I met interesting people, including mentors like Rodolfo Scarpetti—who had a restaurant called Amado in Jujuy—and they also encouraged and motivated me to get to know São Paulo. It was one of the reasons I came here.”

The chef admits that his professional journey through Argentina was not very long, but his desire and hunger to see the world were stronger. After everything he had done in Jujuy, he moved to Buenos Aires to live with his sister who was already settled in the capital. And it was that energy of the metropolis that drove him to travel a little further, this time, the chosen destination was Brazil; he saved some money and took the impetus to go to Sao Paulo: “Going was a quick decision because some friends encouraged me. It wasn’t exactly to work, I felt that I needed that experience of traveling and discovering a little of Brazil.

“My friends had already had experience working here, and I was encouraged. First, I contacted Gabriela Barreto from the Chou restaurant and she recommended that I contact another restaurant, Arturito. In a way it was all a great coincidence”Arturito’s owner is Paola Carosella, the Argentine chef who has been a success in Brazil and host of MasterChef Brazil. The result of the meeting was positive and an auspicious work plan was presented to the young chef: “Together with Paola we opened a network of empanadas that called La Guapa. In a short time I had the opportunity to direct a project in the Villa Leopoldina neighborhood called Mangiare, a restaurant with an Italian profile. In 2016 I did an internship in London, in St. John’s, I returned to São Paulo and in 2018, the idea for Cora began to emerge, the restaurant project with my friend Rafael Capobianco.”

The two chefs understood each other well and had a lot of affinity, they had been thinking about doing something together for a while and so they developed the concept of honest and sincere food inspired by the countryside to work with small producers. But, come up with ideas to open the premises on Amaral Gurgel Streeton the sixth floor of a building located in the heart of São Paulo, was not easy and the project took three more years.

“At the end of 2019 We started with the work and that’s when the world fell apart on us”Pablo says, “because the pandemic started in 2020. It was a very difficult year for us, but thanks to many things, to the universe, to God, to whatever is credited, in 2021 we managed to open. It was a moment that left a deep mark on us, because at that time we didn’t believe it was possible, in the conditions in which the country and the world were, it was difficult to know if we would succeed. But everything went very well since then and until now, it’s been almost three years of work.”

The Jujuy chef recognized in the Michelin Guide of Brazil

Cora is one of the 98 São Paulo restaurants recommended in the Michelin Guide Brazil that was launched in May, and is also one of the 30 establishments awarded with the Bib Gourmand which highlights the best relationship between price and quality. Leading a team of 16 people with his partner, they work on the sixth floor of a completely renovated building. It is not only a gastronomy project but part of the revitalization of downtown São Paulo.

“We are in the middle of the city of chaos! But I think it is a good framework for the parallel between the urban and what the countryside or the land provides you,” says Pablo.

The Jujuy chef recognized in the Michelin Guide of Brazil

According to the comments of the anonymous inspector who wrote in the guide, the following should be requested: “The unmissable squid omelettein which the chef’s roots stand out, and duck heart accompanied by a delicate cauliflower cream and roasted onion. Another surprising option is the ‘olhete’ fish with cashew, lemon and pepper, which is fresh and full of flavor. An excellent selection of wines and other beverages completes the picture.”

The Jujuy chef recognized in the Michelin Guide of Brazil

Cora intends to serve simple, straightforward, honest food. Pablo sums up: “A friend once defined it as a bare kitchen, with a minimum of intervention and things expressing themselves. We simply try to take a little more care of the client and pamper them, show them affection, which I think is very important. And always with the intention that what we do can serve your body and feed you, not just fill your belly, but nourish you and give you a hug inside. In all this chaos, in all this that happens so fast in this big city, Cora makes you feel a little more embraced and comforted. It is an oasis in São Paulo.”

The Jujuy chef recognized in the Michelin Guide of Brazil
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