On September 30th and October 1st, Inhotim, in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, hosts the second edition of the Fartura Festival, one of the main gastronomy events in the country.
At the open-air museum, the main theme of the attractions will be “discussing Brazil’s original food, what happened here before the colonizers and what are the originally Brazilian products”, says Carolina Daher, one of the festival’s curators.
Musical attractions, gastronomy workshops and chefs cooking live are part of the program, along with round tables to debate the different characteristics of indigenous cuisine in the country.
While Inhotim will host the event for the second time, the Minas Gerais city of Tiradentes hosted the 26th edition of Fartura this year.
The theme of the festival held in the historic city between August 18th and 27th was the journey of food from origin to plate. There, Fartura is known and expected by the population and, according to Daher, occupies around 95% of beds in inns and hotels. She defines the city’s atmosphere, during the festival, as receptive and intimate, “with people strolling through the streets while drinking glasses of wine, talking and eating.”
However, he says, the first edition of the event held at Inhotim, in 2022, had a different, less festive proposal, with round tables to debate Brazilian gastronomy. For 2023, the organization’s objective is to unite the two proposals at the Brumadinho museum event.
Based on the festival that took place in the historic city, what can you expect from the party in Inhotim? At the invitation of the organization, the Sheet was at the 26th Tiradentes Culture and Gastronomy Festival. The city built at the beginning of the 18th century was the first to host the festival.
This year, the attractions were divided into three spaces. A total of 14 restaurants developed menus for the event; chefs from different parts of the country presented tasting workshops; There was also a fair with local producers, musical attractions and festivities, haute cuisine dinners created by a different pair of chefs every night.
Entry to all squares was free, with the exception of festivities. Participation in the workshops was done by prior registration, online.
In addition to teaching the preparations live, the chefs invited to the classes shared a little of their history and relationship with the event’s theme with the public. This was the case of Roberta Sudbrack, chef at Sud, in Rio de Janeiro, who claims to have defended the valorization of the food production chain since the beginning of her career.
For her, reducing the possibility of waste is not just “a trend” but is essential for the kitchen today.
“Wasting food is you, chef, not using your knowledge, your intelligence and your curiosity to transform the ingredient. How are we going to make beautiful dishes and forget what’s happening around us?” For her, more chefs should take an active stance on topics such as sustainability.
All feasts were signed by women. According to Daher, from Fartura, this was a way of valuing the origins of Minas Gerais cuisine, because, on a daily basis, Brazilian cuisine is mostly led by women, but the prestige of haute cuisine goes to men.
Bruna Martins, who heads an all-female team at Birosca, in Belo Horizonte, agrees, and says she sees “Minas Gerais cuisine as a feminine cuisine”.
However, increasing the recognition of women who pursue a career in professional cooking depends on a cultural change, he says. And this goes beyond visibility, it involves the redistribution of power and influence, often restricted to a small number of men. Roberta and Bruna signed the menu for the last dinner offered at Fartura.
To try the dishes from the guest restaurants, the festival set up a structure with stands and open-air food courts, located at Praça da Rodoviária and Santíssimo Resort. The classes and tasting space took place in tents, set up in Largo das Forras.
All spaces are in the city center, whose architectural complex has been listed by Iphan (Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage) since 1938.
On sunny days, the public was able to make the most of the squares and even attend classes outside the tents — for those who were not registered in the reserved places. However, with the rain that hit the city on the last day of the event, the use of the attractions fell. There were no covered places for visitors to sit and eat. The umbrellas installed on the tables in the food court were unable to shelter those fleeing the rain.
When observing the public, due to hetero-identification, the majority of people enjoying the attractions were white, in the organization and maintenance of the event, however, the presence of black people was noticeable.
More than 65 thousand people attended the festival, according to data from the organization, of the total, 74% are over 31 years old and 56% say that gastronomy was the motivation for the trip. Daher states that visitors mainly come from Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília and other cities in Minas Gerais.
At the event that will take place at Inhotim, according to Fartura there will be the presence of guests “bringing flavors from the north of the country to Minas Gerais, as well as a guest from Portugal, the cradle of national culture”. Despite dealing with the cuisine that gave rise to Brazilian cuisine, there is, to date, no mention of Afro-Brazilian cuisine.