Bettina Orrico, pioneer of gastronomic journalism in Brazil, dies


This Sunday (29) Bettina Orrico, culinary specialist and one of the forerunners of gastronomic journalism in Brazil, died at the age of 89.

A graduate of the School of Fine Arts at the Federal University of Bahia, in 1974 she began working as a culinary stylist at Editora Abril, which had opened a studio and an experimental kitchen to test recipes. Prior to that, Bettina had spent three years in Europe studying painting in countries such as Italy, Portugal and Switzerland —where she also learned about food.

From a producer of photos of dishes, Bettina started taking care of the kitchen during the tests, then creating recipes, until she became a gastronomic consultant for Cláudia magazine, she explains in a video published in 2016 on Youtube that pays homage to more than four decades of work in the field.

Her recipes are known by readers for their effectiveness, didacticism and standardization, which she credited to the testing process to which they were submitted.

“Bettina has made cooking accessible to great chefs in a simple and easy way”, says chef and researcher Ana Luiza Trajano in the same video.

Mara Salles, chef at the Tordesilhas restaurant, also gives her testimony on the recording, in which she states that Bettina “paved the way for the demystification of Brazilian cuisine”.

“She paved the way when she wasn’t afraid or ashamed to talk about our dishes as they are. And then a lot of people followed that path”, completes Mara, one of the references in the national cuisine scene.

A gastronomy researcher, Bettina also taught cooking classes and wrote books. Born Elisabetta Luzia Robatto Orrico in Salvador, one of her publications was “Os Jantares que Não Dei” (ed. BEĨ; 2009; 172 pages.), in which she prepared imaginary menus dedicated to personalities for those who would like to cook, such as Oscar Niemeyer (1907 -2012), Chico Buarque and Tomie Ohtake (1913-2015).

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