Brazil

A Continental Cuisine Series

Brazil

Day 4 - Christ The Redeemer, a false start

6:30, I’m up and ready to go. When I get to breakfast I’m the only one and this time make sure I get a table outside, just to please the boss! It’s a warm, balmy winter’s day in Rio, like a perfect summer’s day in the UK. I order coffee and skim through my script and call sheet to see what we are up to today. I never look more than one day ahead as filming can change so quickly. The others arrive and we all tuck in. I have to say the service at the Copacabana is very good indeed and always with a smile, something we seem to have lost in many of our hotels in the UK.

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The van turns up and off we go again, this time to film one of the most famous landmarks in the world, Christ The Redeemer. Its not often I get really excited but I really was for this, very similar to seeing the sunrise over Machu Pichu in Peru. Well I say film, it transpires we have not got permission, or it has not been processed. So, we drive up the very windy road and can see the statue in the distance, and do a couple of pieces to camera, but not ideal. Right at the top of the hill is a police station, next to a fairly large Favela, one of Rio’s many slums. It transpires our security man, Paulo, is an off duty policeman and goes off to see what can be done about getting permission. Low and behold, 10 minutes later its sorted, funny that! But we have to do it tomorrow, early.

As I have said, best laid plans and all that….We have a rejig and decide to go fruit tasting in the local market with cook school owner and tourist guide Cristiano Nogueira. We all pile back into the bus and set off to town. It takes a little while as the traffic is shocking. I get a chance for a quick nap, before we arrive and do all the introductions. The market is full and buzzing. Our security man is quite nervous and staying very close to us. Fruit and veg stalls are full and the quality is amazing. I have to find some ingredients for my cooking slot later, so we set off filming and buying. Cristiano really does know his stuff and I taste many fruits, most of which I have never seen before in my life. Vegetables are a little more scarce and consist of greens like spinach, garlic and spring onions. We taste passion fruits the size of footballs, custard fruit, sweet and succulent and a small black fruit that looks like grapes, but with a stone, sadly can’t remember the name, but its on the film. We do a couple of pieces to camera and then I buy some guava, passion fruit, limes, papaya, lemon grass, mint, coriander, spring onions and three huge avocado! All for my cooking sequences.

Its lunchtime now and we head off to a Brazilian buffet for lunch and a catch up on what we are to film in the afternoon.

After stuffing ourselves at the buffet now we head to the beach to film more pieces to camera. Alison is Alison and the blokes flock around her for selfies. The beach is stunning and the water looks so inviting, but its very cold !! its winter, the locals remind me. We film some very beautiful people and have a laugh. Then its back to the hotel for a lesson on making Brazil’s most famous drink the Caipirinha. Its hot now and I’m really thirsty, so cool off with a cold drink whilst Paulo the barman sets up with G the cameraman.

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Paulo is very cool and really is a wonder, he bags the take in 10 minutes flat. The trouble is I have to taste, which I do, several times. Note to self, you never learn. I then stagger upstairs to deliver the final piece to camera for the day. Filming from the balcony of the premier suite at a cool £1,500 per night, as the late afternoon sun starts to disappear behind the hills. Can I get the words right? I try several times; with everyone laughing more each time I fluff! Its been a lovely but very long day but its not over just yet.

We pack our bags and say goodbye and set off to our next location for filming in Rio, La Suite Hotel, Joa. It takes a good couple of hours to go just 20 miles or so, the traffic is terrible, but we finally arrive in the dark, tired and hungry and perhaps a little hung over in my case. The place is stunning; set on the side of a hill with a full view of Rio in the distance the view is breathtaking even at night.

We all choose our rooms which are simple but well appointed. Mine is the red room, any guesses why? Yep, its red, even the bathroom. I shower and head back upstairs to meet the crew and a cool beer outside before dinner. Its dark now and Rio looks very impressive, you can just about make out Christ The Redeemer against the starry night.

Dinner is the best meal we have had so far, but not really Brazilian. The starter was Buratta, tomatoes and pesto all simple can’t really go wrong. With Steak for a main course with mushrooms and vegetables, yes vegetables. After a few more beers we all head of to bed

 

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