Personal Blog

Tribute to Oscar Niemeyer

It was with considerable sadness yesterday that I learned about the death of Oscar Niemeyer. He was just ten days short of reaching his 105th birthday. Niemeyer has long been somewhat of a personal hero to me - not only as a gifted architect, but also as one of those larger than life personalities who enrich our world. His career spanned spanned almost 80 years, with him still being active and advising on projects until recently.

Although Niemeyer designed many buildings throughout Europe and North America, his most well-known masterpieces are in his native Brazil. These include the Congress, Cathedral, and other major state buildings of Brasília.


Feijoada is Brazil’s national dish, and is one of the things (along with Brazilian Churrasco BBQ and Caiparinhas) that you must try when visiting the country. It’s a black bean stew of Portuguese colonial origin, although is more commonly associated with slave era when when slaves would fill out the stew with the less desirable cuts of pork which their slave-owners refused to eat. Nowadays, its made using better quality cuts of pork, bacon and chorizo sausage. Read More...

Coxinhas de Galinha

This is another Brazilian recipe that I've been experimenting with - Coxinhas de Galinha. This is something that you'll find in just about every lunch bar and cafe in Brazil, and is just as much an institution as the humble mince pie is in New Zealand and Australia. Coxinhas (pronounced "cosh-een-ya") were originally based around a chicken drumstick ... hence the traditional shape, however, this has long since been replaced with a chicken filling. Read More...

Brazilian Moqueca Recipe

This is one of my favourite dishes at the moment. Moqueca (or Muqueca) is a traditional dish from the Brazilian state of Bahia.

Historically, Bahia is the centre of Brazil's sugar plantations. With sugar being worth almost its weight in gold in the 16th and 17th centuries, and with it being an extremely labour-intensive process to produce, this region became the the focus for one of the largest forced migrations in history. Read More...
© 2015 Andrew Mercer