Morena Leyte, Capim Santo, Sao Paulo: Short-term restaurant turned everlasting
Chef Morena Leyte turns into an octopus at will. After having to desert Capim Santo’s new headquarters and lay off greater than 300 of the group’s 500 workers early within the pandemic on the eve of the opening of the brand new headquarters of Capim Santo, its iconic Sao Paulo restaurant, it created a number of offshoots of motion to show round. The most recent is its first occasion area, Casa Capim Santo, situated on the Instituto Tomie Ohtake in Sao Paulo, which opens subsequent month.
What was the usual operation of 5 eating places and buffets in São Paulo and Rio till early 2020 has since turn into a “meals conglomerate” with a reconfiguration of the construction for various moments and areas: at residence, at a celebration, within the workplace. on the hospital, at college, on the resort. And seeking to shut this yr with gross sales 10% larger than 2019, “if issues proceed on the tempo we envision,” she says.
The primary bid was to buy a restaurant at Sirio Libanes (SP) Hospital, open from breakfast to dinner, with room service for accompanying individuals. He additionally created a large-scale construction to serve as much as ten faculties with do-it-yourself and wholesome meals. He’s at the moment in command of the cafeteria at San Luis and Beacon (SP) Colleges serving over 4,000 college students per day.
So as to have the ability to partially perform through the lockdown, he took Capim Santo to the gardens of the Casa Brasileira Museum, the place his restaurant Santinho was working. It labored so effectively that the change is now official. In Bahia, it opened in Trancoso, a spot for gourmets. And from the facet, from the second half of the yr, what’s “the seed of the hospitality undertaking” opens.
This has given much more power to the social facet with the Instituto Capim Santo (created in 2009) which has distributed over 200,000 lunchboxes to the homeless within the final two years when the varsity kitchen in Rocinha (RJ) was additionally opened. . This yr, 180,000 lunch packing containers are anticipated to be distributed. Since 2009, greater than 1,500 individuals have been skilled in class kitchens situated in Itacare and Trancoso (BA), São Paulo and Barra do Saxi (SP).
As if that wasn’t sufficient, later this yr the chef is launching a line of ready-to-eat meals that shall be offered to the entire household solely by means of the digital platform “Capim Santo para Casa”. With all these fronts, the chef has already managed to rent “nearly the whole unique workers.”
“I’m fortunate to have an excellent construction behind me with ten cooks, a few of whom have been with me for over 15 years, my companion Adriana Drigo in São Paulo and Junior Alexander, who has been working with me for over 15 years and concerned within the buffet society in Rio,” she says.
In the home of Capim Santo, she has a brand new companion, businessman Nelson Soto. With a capability for as much as 150 individuals and a twin perform, the occasion area at Tomie Ohtake will occupy an space of about 400 sq. meters, the place one of many divisions of the Santinho restaurant (the identify ought to seek advice from the brand new enterprise mannequin underneath examine, espresso) used to work.
At lunchtime, will probably be an à la carte restaurant the place you’ll be provided a mixture of Brazilian dishes with Japanese influences. And at evening there shall be events from birthdays and weddings to company events. “I’ve all the time wished to have a celebration home. Due to this fact, I made a decision to adapt the present construction for this,” says the chef, who has a concession to make use of the premises of the Institute for an additional 10 years.
Impressed by a flower shop-restaurant visited in Tokyo, the brand new format, signed by buddy and architect Paulo Alves, will embrace terrarium tables that convey extra shade and modernity to the grey area. “We have already got our first occasion scheduled for June eleventh,” he says.
Within the second semester, the primary 4 rooms of the Alma Ninho resort undertaking in Trancoso are formally open to the general public. Hooked up to the Casa Alma occasion area, which opened in December, the place a month-to-month visitor chef hosts a particular dinner for 12 visitors every month, it was constructed to be “an grownup playground with a baby’s soul.” Good with my face,” says Morena.
Meaning an excellent kitchen geared up with Viking home equipment and Le Creuset pots, a slide that drops proper right into a jacuzzi, a Pilates room, a roof prime with a gazebo for stargazing, a sauna, an natural backyard. “It needs to be a home of experiences just like the one in (Chef Massimo) Bottura (on the outskirts of Modena, referred to as Casa Maria Luigia),” he explains.
The area has been examined by the visitors solely since January, however the subsequent step in direction of the growth of the undertaking has already been taken on one other piece of land close to the river, in a forested space. There, she and her husband, Taschen author and writer Julius Wiedemann, are making ready to construct extra bungalows and “nests” in 2023, following in the identical footsteps as their dad and mom constructed the Capim Santo Inn in Trancoso in 1987. . . .
The nice thriller is how she nonetheless manages to discover a place on the agenda to advertise Brazilian delicacies all over the world with Itamaraty and to work on two extra books, Maniba and Devorações, nonetheless with out a writer. Discover out extra concerning the chef’s return within the following interview:
When the pandemic started, 15 days remained earlier than the opening of the brand new home of the Capim Santo restaurant within the São Paulo Jardins space. Why cancel slightly than freeze the undertaking?
Virtually 15 years later, we had been leaving Rua Ministro Rocha Azevedo for a 140-seat corridor on Rua Padre João Manuel (a constructing shall be constructed on the bottom). However with out ending the work, every thing was closed because of the pandemic. We determined to return the property in an effort to have money and with a heavy coronary heart to formally lay off over 300 of the five hundred group workers who had been related to the central kitchen and buffet (which catered for greater than 10 occasions on the identical day) than danger going into the pink. It was one of the crucial tough moments in my life.
In September 2020, you began operating Capim Santo on the terrace and backyard of the Casa Brasileira Museum, the place one of many three Santinho items was. Was it purported to be non permanent?
Our Plan B turned our Plan A, and that was nice. Typically the answer is in your nostril and you’ll’t see it. Being out within the open, effectively centered and with room for 160 seats underneath the timber, I used to be in a position to virtually double the variety of operations. On weekends, I serve over 900 individuals there. 5 hundred solely on Sundays (when the typical ticket ranges from 120 to 180 reais per particular person).
Virtually on the identical time, he underwent surgical procedure at Sirio Libanes Hospital. The way it was?
It was loopy. Within the midst of a pandemic, I work in a hospital with a small youngster and a five-year contract. My mom nearly went loopy. However the concept was to maneuver away from the company kitchen to tackle one thing extra artisanal, welcoming, so that individuals might nourish physique and soul with caress. There, along with a 160-seat à la carte buffet lounge open from morning to night, we offer room service to assist those that accompany you. You may order from quiche with salad (R$60), pasta or inexperienced bean hummus paying homage to my Lebanese grandmother, to shrimp or ancho steak (R$150). We’ve got a five-year contract there. The motion is step by step rising. We acquired about 120 individuals a day. Now we now have 170.
This healthful and emotional delicacies can be the premise of the work you do in faculties. Might you inform me extra about how this entrance works?
The thought happened in 2017 once I was dwelling in Bali and my daughter was learning at Inexperienced College, and the director of San Luis adopted me on Instagram. They already had a undertaking to maneuver the varsity from Avenida Paulista nearer to Ibirapuera, and so they wished the brand new division to handle the meals. Then a guide from the Instituto Capim Santo (targeted on educating underprivileged youngsters) bridged the hole and collectively we started designing a kitchen for the brand new college. We moved in on the finish of 2019 and every thing closed in March so we solely returned partially on the finish of the yr. Throughout this era, when the chilly rooms had been full and we had numerous free area, with mixed boilers and ovens, we made the headquarters for the Capim Solidário undertaking, by means of which we distributed over 200,000 lunch packing containers.
What number of youngsters do you serve at college immediately? How is the enterprise mannequin?
There are about 4,000 youngsters in San Luis and Beacon day by day, which I joined final yr. I handle all operations, from kitchen meeting, buying, nutritionist, menu growth to upkeep. We’ve got Guardian/Scholar Age Group Committees that meet each three months to debate menus and flexibility, however we now have a number of core pillars: meals security and meals traceability, cooking wholesome, scrumptious, stunning, and efficient meals, and likewise viable each operationally and financially. As a result of it is one factor to make small parts at residence, and one other factor to feed greater than a thousand individuals. In 2016, I additionally labored with World Me, the place I solely developed the menu and skilled the cooks. Because it was a small construction, they had been in command of the operation itself.
How a lot is the menu of Morena Leyte in these operations?
It actually is dependent upon the contract. Length, how many individuals I’ll serve per day, if it is simply lunch or snacks within the morning and afternoon, who payments for water and electrical energy. However this may differ from R$21 to R$35 for lunch and R$12 to R$15 for an appetizer. It is totally different from a restaurant like Sírio, for instance, which I open and do not understand how many individuals I can serve. In faculties, I can have mounted value predictability.
How a lot does this sort of operation make up within the group’s income immediately?
It is rather balanced between eating places, faculties and occasions which are actually making a comeback. (This yr she has already boxed in Sapucaí, SP-Arte and is making ready to participate in Rock in Rio Lisboa and RJ, in addition to Cirque du Soleil). However you may nonetheless go massive in these final two arms. Right now, my construction could be very lively in supporting the service of as much as 10 faculties. I need to be like an octopus.
Is the manufacturing of all these operations centralized?
We stayed at Tomi Otake’s home for some time, however this month we moved to 2 homes in Pakaembu. One accommodates the whole construction for occasions (dishes and uniforms) and the opposite homes the new kitchen, bakery, patisserie, butcher store and nursery. From there, we may also begin releasing Capim Santo dishes for Casa, one other undertaking that’s being constructed to cater for household dinners and small occasions of 10-20 individuals that do not justify hiring the whole buffet construction. Will probably be a line of grilled merchandise that can combine dishes that we have already got with different particular dishes. The sale shall be utterly on-line.
On the finish of the yr, you additionally opened Casa Alma in Trancoso in partnership with manufacturers similar to Le Creuset, Florense, Brentwood, Viking. Was that purported to be a brief undertaking too?
I constructed this home through the pandemic to have the ability to host gastronomic occasions. I did not desire a restaurant open there day by day. It is a effective eating occasion the place I pattern elements and entertain associates. It opens as soon as a month, all the time on a full moon, for particular dinners with fellow cooks (Felipe Schedlet, Thomas Troisgro and Paulo Machado are amongst those that have already been there) or could be rented for weddings and anniversaries for 10,000 reais. as much as 12 individuals or 25,000 reais as much as 30 individuals together with chef, meals and alcoholic drinks.
Is Alma Ninho a part of this construction?
That is nonetheless attachment, the germ of a undertaking that was born out of the need to caress individuals. However to date this isn’t a business undertaking. Buddies are nonetheless coming to us for exams and we now have not but determined whether or not to hire the rooms as a set or individually from the second half of the yr. However it is a undertaking that can develop into hospitality. We (she and her husband) purchased land close to the river, within the forest, in order that subsequent yr we might construct extra bungalows and nests.