From Brazil to LA, ‘Abundancia’ author shares life in recipes

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Natalia Pereira came to the United States from Brazil for dental work, then found herself cooking for families. She opened Woodspoon in downtown Los Angeles 15 years ago. Photo courtesy of Crosstown Press.

“I wanted to continue to share this intimacy. I just felt it was a proper way to introduce myself to those who just know me for my cooking,” says Natalia Pereira of her book, “Abundancia: My Life in Recipes.” With a collage of photography, art, poetry and recipes for food and self-care, Pereira chronicles her journey of an unconventional upbringing in the Brazilian province of Minas Gerais, where she started making art and fashion out of found objects, to traveling to the United States and opening Woodspoon in downtown Los Angeles.

“I missed home, I could taste those memories,” she explains of the project, which reads more as a personal journal than a mere cookbook. A meal at the restaurant and the gift of Pereira’s book are on Evan Kleiman’s list of Valentine’s Day dinner and gift recommendations.

Using paper pulp and vegetable matter including lentils, corn, and yucca, Pereira makes handmade paper-mâché bowls. Photo courtesy of Crosstown Press.

Pereira and her friends set out to clean their town and craft garments from the recovered trash, putting on a fashion show in 1995. Photo courtesy of Crosstown Press.

Natalia Pereira combines photography, art, and poetry in “Abundancia: My Life in Recipes. Photo courtesy of Crosstown Press.



Evan Kleiman