Owner of a Michelin Star, Rafa Costa e Silva began his career in 2003 at The Culinary Institute of America, in New York, where he lived and studied until 2007. At this time, he worked for Jean Georges and René Pujol.
In 2007, Rafa went to Spain to work with Andoni Luis Aduriz, in his renowned restaurant Mugaritz for five years, which won the title of 3rd best restaurant in the world and remained among the top seven restaurants on this ranking during his Chef’s performance. In 2014, back in Brazil, he opened Lasai, and since 2015 the restaurant is been listed among the best restaurants in the world and Latin America.
By the year 2020, Chef Rafa Costa e Silva joined the reality show team Mestre do Sabor [Taste Master, in Portuguese] at TV Globo, to replace the Portuguese judge and Chef José Avillez, who had to return to Portugal due to the pandemic. His participation was known by sharing his knowledge in an objective, straightforward way, to value the perfect cooking techniques and the product quality.
Also in the year 2020, by the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and the quarantine period, Rafa launched Lasai Empório, a delivery service that offers gastronomic kits with fresh, organic, and sanitized ingredients measured to prepare all the restaurant dishes. By the social distancing need, this new service allows customers, in the comfort of their home, to enjoy some quality food made with grains, vegetables, and organic ingredients, with all necessary instructions to the customer to finish the dish on his own, and also to give their personal touch to the dish. Besides it, Lasai Empório has emerged as a strong ally to encourage local traders and small producers, mostly affected by the pandemic crisis. To do this, the Emporium also offers a wide range of products, such as canned goods, sweets, spices, and drinks, selected by Lasai’s crew and sourced from the restaurant’s partner producers and certificated traders.
Lasai, a cosmopolitan restaurant in charge by Chef Rafa Costa e Silva and his wife Malena Cardiel, located in Botafogo, a neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, runs away from established protocols to become one of the best restaurants in Latin America. Opened in 2014, Lasai, which means “tranquil”, is based in an old Rio de Janeiro’s house, with a modern, welcoming, and informal atmosphere with elegance as well. Rafa Costa e Silva, considered one of the greatest Chefs of his generation and known for his haute cuisine using organic and fresh ingredients, is in charge of this restaurant with an unprecedented, vibrant, light, mature and sensual cuisine. In 2015, with only one year of operation, Lasai won a Michelin Star, and since that, it’s been listed among the best restaurants in the world and Latin America.
By using modern techniques and Brazilian inputs grown in his own kitchen gardens, with more than 11,000 square meters, and provided by small farmers in Rio de Janeiro, Rafa creates the dishes mostly with vegetables but also with freshest sea products and good pieces of meat. Lasai’s kitchen gardens serve as inspiration for Rafa and his crew to create new dishes and concepts for the restaurant. The menu changes daily and is based on harvested products from their own kitchen garden and also on products from organic markets on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, such as the “Circuito Carioca de Feiras Orgânicas” [Rio de Janeiro’s Organic Products Circuit, in Portuguese]. Lasai's crew goes on organic fairs three times a week searching for the best and freshest products.
Rua Conde de Irajá, 191 - Botafogo Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Photo/Text Credits: Malgosia Minta, Lasai Restaurante