ATÁ, shortening the distance between man and food

Fire not only destroys, it is an element that serves to melt and mix materials, and thus strengthen structures. Atá, which in the Guarani language means fire, is an institute that aims to use exactly that power, and in that sense, to serve as a sort of "melting pot" among various organisations, joining forces to strengthen Brazilian gastronomic culture.

The premise of the Instituto Ata, promoted by the chef Alex Atala, is the research and promotion of Brazilian indigenous ingredients, from a multidisciplinary approach. It aims to "enhance, protect biodiversity and expand the portfolio of local produce for chefs and consumers". It sets out to design strategies to make the most of little known natural ingredients, which, besides tasting delicious, are also healthy and highly appreciated. It assembles synergies and cooperates with producer-oriented initiatives, looking to share with diners worldwide the wonders hidden in the Amazon rainforest.

This is the case with Retratos do Gosto, for example, a project also founded by Alex Atala, with which he aims for renowned chefs to research and explore the uses a particular product may have. These chefs then lend their image and media outreach to promote them, as is the case with Helena Rizzo and Daniel Redondo, from the restaurant Maní, who gave their support with the exhibition and knowledge of the use of the Grandu beans produced by Patrick Assumpção. So far, Retratos do Gosto has also focused on mini rice, granolas and corn products.

Atá places special emphasis on the Amazonian pantry. It is linked to the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), founded by the anthropologist Beto Ricardo to promote the consumption of the Jiquitaia chilli and help producers, who are mainly women from the Baniwa indigenous tribe. Another project carried out in the area focuses on research, alongside the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) they explore and catalogue edible mushrooms from the forest.

Among its lines of work, it seeks to promote the production of seaweed and the incorporation of insects to people's tables. It also promotes the production of Cerrado vanilla, recently signing an agreement with the Fundação Banco do Brasil.Another partnership seeks to alleviate the problem of access to drinking water. Supporting the global organisation Waves4Water distributing filters in the Amazonian communities and transporting water to the Jardim Gramacho area of Rio de Janeiro