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Interview: Chef Gláucia Zoldan

Former of Le Cordon Bleu London, Gláucia runs her own restaurant as chef of Vivamo Enogastronomia, in Santa Catarina

From Environmental Engineer to chef de cuisine, Gláucia Zoldan decided to pursue a new career and follow her dreams, taking to the kitchen the flavor of preparing dishes and gathering friends and family around the table. This was the inspiration for Gláucia to go to London, where she obtained the intensive Diplôme de Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu in 2016.

Today, the former student runs her own restaurant, Vivamo Enogastronomia, on the coast of Santa Catarina, where she applies the techniques learned in the institute. She already has her own culinary style, the slow food, with special preparations of sauces and reductions in slow and tasty cooking! Get to know the success story of Gláucia Zoldan.



What were your inspirations that led you pursue the gastronomy career?
Gláucia Zoldan - I was a big city child, but Italian family, so the food had a very special meaning. The family moments were around a table, when my ninth was preparing all lunch, with the utmost care. And that touched me early on. After being a grown-up I did not cook regularly, I had no obligation every day, but the times I cooked were very special times of social gathering, or simply a way of absorbing myself in the colors, aromas and flavors of what I was doing and the complex routine of my profession.

And when did you really decide to pursue gastronomy as a profession?
Gláucia Zoldan - I am an environmental engineer and have had a very successful career with many leadership roles, but the last few years have been absolutely stressful and cooking was an act of relaxing, chatting, having a wine in the kitchen and filling myself up. For very troubled days I left work only thinking about cooking, making nice recipes and risking different dishes, making great dinners, and this was increasingly growing on me the passion for cooking. That way the cooking began to catch my attention. And in all those moments I always received positive feedback, so I began to believe that it was possible, that I really knew how to cook.


I clearly saw my development, my maturation, the understanding of combinations, textures, and what classical techniques were for. Now as professional, working in gastronomy, entrepreneur of the food business and also chef leader of my kitchen, I see how important was this solid formation that I had in Le Cordon Bleu.


What were the first steps to start a new career?
Gláucia Zoldan - I decided that I would make the kitchen a profession, and since I was not young enough to learn the routine of day-to-day work, I decided to study to get access to classic techniques and also to start a certified business with a good reputation. I thought it was a profession that I could develop with love, without weight on my shoulders, in a lighter, more fun, more passionate environment.

How was the decision to study at Le Cordon Bleu?
Gláucia Zoldan - Until then, I had never imagined going to Le Cordon Bleu, but one day, for curiosity, I began to make research and I saw that, indeed, it was possible. I was able to spend a year studying in the most traditional cuisine of the world, because this would bring me not only security for the knowledge acquired, but also a signature. I would not only be an adventurous cook, but a solidly trained professional, starting a career with certain prerequisites. I chose London for the use of language, as I had doubts about staying in Paris as well. In my research I found that the school in London would similarly give me the classical techniques and content I would like to seek and mature.

How was the course chosen?
Gláucia Zoldan - Gastronomy is, in fact, my career. I decided to study the Diplôme de Cuisine because I do not think that the Pâtisserie was one of my affections, after all I have always preferred salty and slow cooking. I decided to study the Intensive course and I do not regret it, however, today I would choose the standard and maybe obtain Le Grand Diplôme with Pâtisserie, to have a longer maturity time in the kitchen.

What was the difference of studying at the Institute?
Gláucia Zoldan - I clearly saw my development, my maturation, the understanding of combinations, textures, and what classical techniques were for. Now, as professional, working in gastronomy, entrepreneur of the food business and also chef leader of my kitchen, I see how important was this solid formation that I had in Le Cordon Bleu.

In the kitchen of Vivamo Enogastronomia, Gláutica shows its talent in special sauces produced with fresh ingredients


How would you describe your culinary style?
Gláucia Zoldan - My culinary style is very ethereal, although based on French techniques, which was my training. I like slow food, marinating meats, and slow cooking. I have a very strong tendency towards seafood, even because I'm part of a beach region and people are looking for this kind of dish. Therefore, I really like marinating these elements, so that they can be served in a fresh, immediate way. I have a lot of respect and a real affection for classic French techniques, but I always give a very personal touch.


I imagine the reactions of the person who will eat it, the smell of the food and how it will be after the first taste. This is very stimulating and makes me increasingly want to study and research more.


What kind of ingredients do you prefer to use in your kitchen?
Gláucia Zoldan - I use absolutely nothing industrialized, and invest much in the preparation of large broths, with plenty of fresh herbs and spices, to achieve, in a simple cooking, to transmit authentic flavors to food. I like to use the base of a classic sauce and turn it with a singular touch, totally mine. I believe that sauces and reductions today are one of my specialties because they not only enrich the taste of food, but also make a cleaner and more interesting completion of the dishes. I usually cook feeling the smell. It is fundamental in the kitchen, because it is directing me, giving the tone of my seasoning. I use fresh produce, mainly herbs from the region, making it possible to present a warmer and more fresh food for the clients.

What are your inspirations when preparing a plate?
Gláucia Zoldan - I imagine the reactions of the person who will eat it, the smell of the food and how it will be after the first taste. This is very stimulating and makes me increasingly want to study and research more. I work six hours a day on average and I devote four more to research and studies daily, and even working ten hours, sometimes even more, I always feel a lot of lightness in my soul. Making a meal is one of the most complete moments for people, it is when they can strip and access parts of affective memory, memories of childhood as smells and tastes. And being able to provide this to others is very complete, because when you can elaborate a dish and get people smiles and eyes up, that's what motivates me to seek out new techniques and take the gastronomy in a more professional way.

What are your advices for anyone who is starting to study at Le Cordon Bleu Brazil?
Gláucia Zoldan -
I always recommend Le Cordon Bleu to other people. For those who have availability I would say: do, do without thinking, because you will change your mind, your life and your way. Study, research and practice. There is no other way to become a good professional.

What are your plans for the future?
Gláucia Zoldan - My plans for the future are what is already happening. I opened a bistro on a lovely beach on the coast of Santa Catarina. A very elegant bistro, with an open kitchen where dishes are set up. And the service is done with a lot of affection and respect to the client, to leave you at ease in a very welcoming environment. I am very accomplished in my profession and with my business.

What do you like most in the profession?
Gláucia Zoldan - At first my inspiration came from satisfying people during a magnificent meal, when they smell, see the colors of the presentations of the dishes, the flavors and the accompaniment with the wines, a moment of total relaxation. Allied to this, today I realize that it´s really what I expected, a work with more love, dedication, lightness and smiles. The cuisine provided me with this and I´m very happy working with gastronomy.

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