Hernan & Renata
Hernan and Renata are founders of Cocina Shoreditch, a dining club where they host experiential dinners once a month where they collaborate with artists and create an immersive dining experience which is all plant based.
Hernan got in touch because he loved the sound of Sunday Dinners and wanted to be part of the project. After looking into Cocina and falling in love with the concept I couldn’t wait to meet Hernan and Renata. Together they are a very inspirational couple. Renata is a fashion designer and Hernan the chef and they live, work and host their dinners from their beautiful warehouse studio in Hackney. When I met them I fell in love with them, their space their concept and their food. They invited me to be part of the dinner and it really was a dream to shoot, eat and spend time with some wonderful creative people.
Where in the world are you from?
Hernan De Majo: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Renata Brenha: Votorantim, Brazil
What’s your occupation?
Hernan De Majo and Renata Brenha: founders and chefs of Cocina Shoreditch project
Renata Brenha: fashion designer for her own brand to be launched in 2018.
What kind of food do you enjoy cooking?
Food that tastes like food and looks like food. We specialise our practise on experimental plant based Latin American cuisine.
Who does most of the cooking in your household?
What’s your favourite kitchen gadget?
Yogurt maker; it shows me how brutally life transforms.
What ingredient can’t you do without?
Cassava, cashed nuts, Olive oil, Maldon sea salt
What’s your earliest memory of a Sunday Dinner and what did it entail?
Coming from Argentina where you almost eat a big barbecue at lunch time every Sunday, dinner is a light meal done usually with left overs. I always remember Sunday dinner as a moment of un-planned encounters; suddenly there was a bunch of friends from my end and my two sisters, so was always a chilled and relax time; dinner was also very fluid, everyone eating at their time, quite different to the typical Argentinean eating protocols!
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up on a Sunday?
Having a long breakfast.
Do you have any long-standing family traditions?
For Renata in Sao Paulo, Sunday dinners were usually a home-made pizza time!
Who do you spend your Sunday with?
We don’t have a routine but usually Renata and myself ensuring we do something we really enjoy, like doing yoga or watching an independent movie.
What do you enjoy most about Sundays?
I feel Sundays are always sunnier, I like the fact people feel more relaxed, they walk in a slower speed!
What’s on the menu?
Copal smoked beetroot Carpaccio, Plantain Moqueca, Brazilian white rice, crunchy farofa, herbal salad and vanilla ice cream with whisky infused kumquats.
What’s your inspiration for cooking this meal?
It is a honour to South American indigenous cuisine, Moqueca is a traditional curry from Bahia, north east of Brazil.
Who’s cooking the meal?
Hernan and Renata.
Where are your ingredients from?
Some of them from Brazil, some of them from Mexico, and most of the rest are locally sourced.
Who are you sharing the meal with?
- Frankie and her girlfriend Janny (both from China): Frankie is a photographer and whisky aficionado, Janny is a great fashion designer.
- Martin Navesi (from Argentina): musician and a wine expert. He will bring the wines for our dinner!
- Annie, our neighbour, from Bulgaria. She is a psychologist that works for the NHS
- Pascal, an old friend, form France. He is a surfer and works in an advertising agency. Pascal also makes pottery so we would probably bring some of his work in order to serve some of the dishes.
- Sara (from Italy) and her girlfriend Bruna (from Brazil). Sara is an art curator and Bruna an actress. Bruna is making the playlist for our Sunday diunner ;)
- Kathrine (from Chine). Another great friend, she works a sustainability expert and consultant.
Where are you eating the meal?
In our studio. The place where we normally run our pop ups.
Plantain Moqueca and Crunchy Farofa
1. Cut red peppers in cubes. Fry them but taking care they don’t lose the hard texture. Leave them aside.
2. Make a curry paste blending all the ingredients.
3. In the serving pan, sauté the onion (grossly chopped) and garlic (minced) in the Dende oil, then add 2 table spoons of the curry paste, cook it a bit, and finally add the tomatoes. Cook everything for about 10 mins.
4. Add the coconut milk and leave the mixture to boil; add the basil and the plantain, leave to cook for 5 mins.
5. Season with sea salt and black pepper and add the red peppers, smelly chilli, lime juice and serve with fresh coriander on top.
Serve near to a bowl of white rice and a bowl of Farofa.
Melt the butter, add the minced garlic and leave it to cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the cassava flour and mix well.
Finish the dish adding sufficient sea salt.
Plantain Moqueca ingredients
- 500g red pepper
- 45 ml red palm oil (Dende oil)
- 60g chopped onion
- 1.5 teaspoons minced garlic
- 50g chopped tomatoes
- 4 cans coconut milk
- 750g plantain
- 1.5 teaspoon fresh basil
- 1.5 tablespoon fresh coriander
- 1 lime juice
- 1.5 teaspoon smelly chilli
- Salt and pepper
- 9 seeds black pepper
- 1.5 teaspoon curcuma
- 1.5 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
- 9 coriander seeds
- 9 cumin seeds
- 1 small spicy chilli, no seeds
- 45 ml red palm oil (Dende oil)
- 500g Cassava flour
- 250g margarine
- 3 garlic cloves
- sea salt