Carrying Paraty in her heart and in tune with the roots and traditions of the historical city, she discovered her culinary potential when, at age 17, she left her hometown, São José dos Campos, to live in Trindade, on Cachadaço beach. It was the 1980s, bordering on the 90s, and life there, amid the exuberant nature, was so simple that it did not even have electricity…
With her remained the memories of the country’s traditional countryside food and, at that moment, the need to survive. Cooking was what young Ana knew how to do best, which she had learned at home… And soon she started to sell on the beach her pies, sandwiches and handmade cakes, roasted in a stove without oven, improvising with trays and baked while blowing air so the coal wouldn’t burn the dough … She remembers well how comfortable she was when a friend one day improvised a batter with a fishing reel – a precious contraption to beat her cakes in those times of so much despoiling…
It was thus, to survive, that Ana Bueno let the kitchen enter her life. Among the vast knowledge, she even managed to grow a small vegetable garden to secure some of the food and to exchange vegetables for fish and other seafood with the local fishermen. What seemed like a joke or rebelliousness of youth was taking other directions and, who imagined, ended up thickening the broth of knowledge and determination of her predestined path to success.
Two years later, the move to Paraty widened her horizons. Ana became a television reporter, becoming recognized in the city not only for her sympathy and liability, but for having a good text and being very communicative. One of her reports reserved future happiness in a double dose: a love story and the return to the kitchen. When interviewing Casé, a young man from Pará who at the time had a passion fruit plantation, Ana could never have guessed that he would be the agent of so many changes in her life. The boy would become the father of her three children, Hugo, Elias and Abel, and also responsible for her famous history with regional cuisine.
Then came the time of courtship and the invitation to help set up a restaurant of homemade and regional food that his parents had idealized and were setting up in the family home – the same house where the Banana da Terra works today. The whole family working together, making new plans and going into new directions, Ana accepted the challenge. She is proud to have prepared that first menu all handwritten, with stylish calligraphy, and to have tested the first courses. In 1992 Banana da Terra was born in Paraty.
From then on, with a lot of determination and a certainty that one can always improve, Ana sunk her teeth into her kitchen. She started taking courses, met with other cooks, sharpened her senses and improved herself. Over time, the house underwent two renovations, to which she added a little of everything she had learned. A visionary businesswoman and a demanding chef, her kitchen surprises with the menu of excellence and excels in the updating of equipment, working in a rare physical structure, comparing even to the most prestigious restaurants in Brazil.
Focusing on the creative and contemporary gastronomy, but always anchored in the strong roots of the caiçara tradition, Ana Bueno does not lose the sweetness nor the seasoning when extending borders. Currently, she is leading a project to re-qualify school lunch at Paraty public schools – a subject that excites and invigorates her.
In 2012, her book Culinária Caiçara – the flavor between the mountains and the sea (Editora Dialeto Latin American Documentary) was being sold in the streets, typically in Paraty fashion. It is the first record of this culinary culture made in the country. On a daily basis, Ana doesn’t stop either… In addition to the Banana da Terra cuisine, she runs her buffet and organizes the Folia Gastronômica, an event already emblematic in the cultural calendar of Paraty and in the Brazilian gastronomic circuit.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays:
6:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and holidays
12:00 p.m. to 04:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Rua Dr. Samuel Costa, 198 - Historical Center
Paraty - RJ
Tel:24 3371-1725 (after 18:00)
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