Once again the Formula 1 Championship comes down to the final race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix. Home to eleven million ‘Paulistas’ and the largest city in the southern hemisphere, São Paulo is famous for being a hive of activity, harbouring a rich cultural scene as well as endless bars and restaurants. It seems apt that this year’s racing season will reach its climax (having already broken several records) in a city of this scale. At Dehouche, we thought we’d give some of the racing heroes our top tips on how to prepare for, and celebrate, the final race of this eventful season.
Pole position in our round-up goes to Sebastian Vettel. The Championship leader is used to topping tables, so the natural choice to celebrate his potential 3rd world championship would be D.O.M., South America’s number one restaurant according to ‘S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants’. Head Chef, Alex Atala, has made it his mission to bring Brazil’s most exciting flavours to his tables, by exploring every nook and cranny of this gastronomically diverse country. Vettel can enjoy such delicacies as Jambu (a herb from the Amazon known for its capacity to deliver an electric sensation through the body when chewed) whilst pondering tyre strategies for next season.
Not far behind Vettel is Alonso who, only 13 points behind, could steal the show. If it’s Fernando’s time to raise his third Championship trophy we suspect he will want to celebrate in style twenty-three floors atop the Tivoli hotel where the celebrated Spanish chef Sergi Arola runs Arola Vintetres, a restaurant stylish enough even for El Nano. From this height, the views of Sao Paulo are astonishing. The city is truly vast and there are few better places to enjoy its panorama. The Arola Vintetres serves up ‘Gourmet Tapas’, a selection of the Madrilenian chef’s most celebrated flavours. At the top of the tapas menu, you will find a rather bold claim: ‘The Best Ham in the World’ (Jamón Ibérico Reserva D.O.“Josep Llorens”). We certainly recommend you take Sergi up on this – but you may need a Grand Prix under your belt to be able to pay for it.
Although Kamui is far from winning the championship we wish him a fantastic end of season race and recommend that he prepares for the race with a taste of home. São Paulo is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan and its culture has been absorbed on a large scale. The ‘Liberdade’ district is the centre of it all, with nearly four square kilometres of oriental restaurants, fresh food markets and Japanese owned shops. Jun Sakamoto is recognised by those in-the-know as one of Brazil’s most talented sushi chefs. He serves only the freshest fish (in a variety of innovative ways) at his intimate, eponymous restaurant in the Pinheiros neighbourhood of the city. Jun’s famous taster menu, featuring sushi made with foie gras and gold leaf, is served over the bar to a lucky eight diners. As with all of these stylish eateries, Dehouche can help you reserve in advance.
Although we are aware that Kimi knows what he’s doing (During his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory earlier this month, Kimi infamously told his team via radio, ‘Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing’ – he later ordered 500 t-shirts for Team Lotus emblazoned with his own words), we’d like to recommend that Kimi seeks out Lebowski for his post-race (or pre-race) celebration. Lebowski takes its inspiration from the 1998 Coen brothers film, The Big Lebowski. In fact, it takes pretty much everything from the cult classic, including bowling-pin lights, an alley-styled bar and The Dude’s favourite tipple, the White Russian. Surely a good spot to celebrate a podium Finnish.
Felipe Massa & Bruno Senna
During a Grand Prix, a driver burns upwards of 1400 calories and loses up to 3kg in weight. It is essential that those energy levels are brought back up soon after the race, to avoid exhaustion. That’s why we are sure that Brazilian drivers, Felipe Massa and Bruno Senna, will want to head straight to São Paulo’s best churrascaria – Barbacoa. For those who have yet to experience one of these Brazilian institutions, diners are given a card on their way in, one side of which is green and the other, red. ‘Green’ effectively means ‘keep the food coming’, whilst ‘red’ means ‘I’m stuffed.’ Barbacoa is certainly a high-end churrascaria; with wood paneling, an impressive wine list and a rigorous selection process that all of their meats must pass through in order to make the cut. Like a Grand Prix qualifying session. Sort of.
Contact Dehouche for our inside track on how to make the most out of a weekend in São Paulo.