Chef Bel Coelho and his children Francisco, 8, and José, 5 Photo: Daniel Teixeira/Estadão
The flame of the stove can scare, a sharp knife can hurt. But still, the kitchen can be a place for children. In it, little ones can use the environment as a space for socializing and creating, as cook moms who celebrate the kitchen with their children guarantee.
Bell Coelho no introductions. With a twenty-year career in Sao Paulo, she manages two star restaurants, Clandestino and Canto da Bel. And at home, she does not hide her joy from the fact that her children Francisco and José, six and four years old, are always in the kitchen.
“I like that they show great interest and curiosity in what is being done. They already come and ask that the stool be at the height of the bench, ”says the cook. “Mostly I teach basic skills like how to handle a knife and fire so they don’t get hurt. Today, their relationship with food and cooking is natural and enjoyable. I think we built this because I always wanted them to have a healthy eating and cooking experience.”
the chef’s son Roberta Julio, from Da Feira to Baile, not yet old enough to sit on a stool – Matthias is only a few months old. However, Roberta is already introducing the baby to the colorful and delicious world of food, going far beyond tasteless baby food. Not surprisingly, on Roberta’s official Instagram account, you can see how the baby even tries a bowl of chayote with coriander.
“Eating goes way beyond nutrition. It is to share, to be together, to appreciate, to enjoy. And I want to pass this passion on to my son. I’m trying to show the importance of time spent eating, how enjoyable and fun it can be, a family moment.”
Little Matthias, 8 months old, is actively involved in Chef Roberta Juliao’s daily routine. Photo: WERTER SANTANA/ESTADÃO
It is also a form of communication. “Undoubtedly. That’s one of the reasons I give him the freedom to discover food, eat how he wants and as much as he wants, being the protagonist of his introduction to food, taking his time and respecting his time.”
mother’s day at the restaurant
Yanaina Rueda, Chef of Bar da Dona Onça and d’A Casa do Porco, also understands home cooking as a space for coexistence. But it goes even further, including children in their daily lives and in restaurants. So much so that the professional history of the chef and her husband Jefferson Rueda is intertwined with the memories of Joao Pedro, now 16, and Joaquim José, 12.
“My children were practically born and raised in the kitchen. Joao’s first baby food was published in the press with his recipe and photographs,” recalls Yanaina. “I was cooking on the stove at Bar da Dona Onça, sickening the smell of garlic until Joaquim was eight months pregnant. And he was breastfed in that kitchen. Both Joao and Joaquim worked in the kitchen at Hot Pork and today Joao’s first job is as a caretaker at A Casa do Porco. This is very natural for them, whose mother and father are cooks. It’s in our blood. Even if they don’t want to practice their profession in the future, learning is for life.”
Portrait of chef Yanaina Rueda with children Joaquim and Joao Pedro in the family kitchen. Photo: PHOTO THIAGO QEIROS / ESTADÃO
Lysian Aroca, partner-owner and pastry chef of Origin, tried to involve her daughters Julia, 18, and Luana, 22, in everyday life in the kitchen. But each went his own way. “I have two completely different puppies: the youngest loves to eat and eats with pleasure, and the eldest doesn’t care if she eats or not. I tried, since they were little, to get them to interact with me in the kitchen and want to learn, because my biggest concern was that they be independent.”
Lizian says she always wished there was at least one of the girls in restaurants. “Even so they can continue the recipes and everything we do,” he says. And still does not lose hope. “The youngest, who is now an artist and has this creative side, may at some point become interested in the art of gastronomy. She even approached the waitress, Ori, which was really cool.”
The kitchen as a form of reunion between mother and child
But no matter which path the children choose, the main thing is that time does not erase the memories of the cooks and their children in the kitchen. The environment, even with its burns and setbacks, remains a meeting point even into adulthood. After all, while the relationship between mother and child is marked by comings and goings, sharing a kitchen space remains a form of reconnection.
Floriana Breuer, 39, is the chef’s eldest daughter. Carla Pernambuco, has always been involved with Carlota, bringing new ingredients to the bistro kitchen. “Floriana has always been our ‘gatherer’ who researched the products and brought these new products to Carlota,” says the chef.
From the desire to communicate these tastes and knowledge to more people, SinestesiXLab was born, a mother-daughter partnership that generates recipes, audiovisual content, new products to market, classes, and synesthetic and biodiverse experiences. “Having me by my daughter’s side in such a cool project she designed strengthens both Carlota and our mother-daughter relationship. In such a stressful world, this is another reason to get together,” the chef proudly says.
Another good story about a chef and a baker. Claudia Resende, by Zestzing Bakery Artesanal. Her three children are now 26 and 28 years old. And they love to cook. “At home, I have always enjoyed sharing the kitchen with my children and my husband. And today I am very proud, because I know that I planted this seed in them to eat food prepared by my own hands, ”explains the chef in an interview with Estadão.
Claudia Resende from Zestzing Padaria Artesanal proves that the kitchen can remain a space for coexistence with children. Photo: Michele Minerbo
Each child has a different relationship with food. Michelle, 26, asked her mother for a cooking class when she moved abroad. “Today she often cooks dinner,” says Claudia. Raphael, the same age, lives alone and cooks very well. “When the family gets together, he cooks with the help of his brothers, they hardly let me into the kitchen.”
Camila, 28, has decided to go vegan. “She made it a rule to cook food. I wasn’t even allowed to buy the ingredients. Today she lives in Portugal, and I don’t even have to say that she’s very good at it,” says the baker, who still gives cooking advice even when her children are in charge: “[Eu quero] always try to show the best way to do it. Chef. Or will it be the mother?