Chef Henrique Fogaça reopens Sal in a bigger house in Jardins – 03/28/2024 – Restaurants

Chef Henrique Fogaça reopens Sal in a bigger house in Jardins – 03/28/2024 – Restaurants


Sal, chef Henrique Fogaça’s restaurant, came of age with a big change. At the end of last year, when he turned 18, he was transferred from Higienópolis to a larger property in the Jardins region, west of the capital of São Paulo.

The house was founded with just 16 seats and was expanded over the years, until it reached 75 seats. The space, half-hidden in an art gallery close to Avenida Paulista, no longer met demand. The insecurity of the region, surrounded by viaducts, was one of the main reasons for the change, says Fogaça.

“I was there since 2005, it’s a long time, we have to take bigger steps. The restaurant was isolated in a corner where there was nothing gastronomic nearby. I think the new region will help a lot with the movement”, he says.

The restaurant, still smelling of fresh paint, has been occupying the ground floor of a high-end residential building on Rua Bela Cintra for the past month. The new address has twice as many seats and is just 1.5 km away from the original.

Upon arrival, the customer is faced with salt tanks at the entrance and a concave wall that references “Questão de Tempo”, a work by American sculptor Richard Serra, who died this week. You go up a flight of stairs to reach the first room, with 60 seats and a waiting bar that serves classic and signature drinks.

On the floor above is a more spacious space, with capacity for one hundred people, surrounded by plants and windows that let in natural light, plus a balcony and wine cellar. Steel, wood and leather are used in the decoration, with an industrial feel, closer to the visual identity of Sal’s second unit, opened in 2017 in the Cidade Jardim luxury shopping mall. Skulls, Fogaça’s trademark, are everywhere.

The kitchen was divided into two: one for production, on the first floor, and one for finishing, on the second. A team of around 70 people is behind the restaurant’s operation. His brothers Guilherme and Raquel are also part of the society. On a day-to-day basis, the chef in charge is Douglas Chavez, who has worked with Fogaça for a decade.

The São Paulo native presents contemporary Brazilian cuisine and prepares new dishes for the change. Among the creations that should be on the menu are a sole fillet with champagne cream served with Moroccan couscous made with pistachios, lemon, green apple, zucchini, raisins and mint.

His most successful recipe is aligot, a puree prepared with potatoes and cheese, with an elastic and soft consistency. It can be served with the filet mignon medallion with Paris mushrooms and asparagus, served on a layer of port wine reduction sauce for R$159, or the lamb loin with shimeji and jabuticaba sauce (R$178).

As a starter, the filet mignon steak tartare, made with fried quail egg and potato chips (R$ 53), is a good choice. Another suggestion is the heart of palm roasted with chestnut slices and Brazil nut oil (R$48). Don’t leave without trying the cumaru pudding with red fruit syrup and poppy seeds, which costs R$39.

The restaurant is open every day. As soon as it opens for lunch at noon, the new place is already full. From Monday to Thursday, an executive menu with starter, main course and dessert is offered for R$99.

When Fogaça is in the kitchen, it is not uncommon to see requests for photos from customers, who come from other states and even other countries to see him. In addition to running Sal, Fogaça is a partner in the restaurant Jamile, heads the gastro-bar chain Cão Véio, has the rock band Oitão and is a well-known face for being a judge on MasterChef since 2014 — with a hiatus last year. The reason for leaving, he says, was exhaustion.

But there are no plans to stop. He is recording a new season of the culinary reality show, aimed at professional pastry chefs, and plans to open Jamile franchises and Cão Véio units in other states.

The 49-year-old chef, born in Piracicaba, in the interior of São Paulo, began his career in the capital with a small food truck, where he sold hamburgers and hot dogs. In 2005, he founded Sal and started in professional gastronomy with more original dishes, created from the ingredients he gathered at Ceasa and Mercadão. “I did everything on instinct,” says Fogaça.

Salt Gastronomy
R. Bela Cintra, 1958, Cerqueira César, western region, tel. (11) 3554-4460, @salgastronomia


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