O EMPREENDEDOR Nascido e criado em São Paulo, Isaac estudou nas melhores escolas. Dos três aos 15 anos, passava 40 dias das férias na parte francesa da Suíça com a família, esquiando. Daí, veio a paixão pela culinária francesa e a fluência na língua. “É meu segundo idioma. Me perguntam de que parte da França eu sou”, diverte-se. Sua grande inspiração é a mãe, Jeanette Azar. “Ela fazia da nossa casa um grande restaurante. Ela cozinha muito bem. Certa vez, em um trabalho na escola, eu a desenhei com um avental perto do fogão. Achava aquilo lindo”, conta. Quando iniciou a vida de chef, ela sempre vistoriava a cozinha. Hoje, vai para ver como está a produção – quando o filho está fora do Brasil – e também tem um prato: fígado acebolado com batata frita. Depois que terminou o colégio, Isaac morou seis meses na Inglaterra e, em seguida, foi estudar Direito em São Francisco. Abandonou após três anos para se dedicar ao trabalho – na época, atuava no mercado financeiro. Em seguida, foi trabalhar com a família, no ramo de automóveis. Tinha 22 anos. Começou vendendo carros e, após 11 anos de dedicação, comandando uma concessionária, largou tudo. “Meu irmão trabalhava com importação e tinha alguns produtos parados. Resolvi vender essas mercadorias”, conta. O que ele não sabia era que entre aqueles itens parados estaria sua nova paixão: o azeite de oliva. “Sempre fui muito envolvido e apaixonado pelo que faço. Para vender qualquer coisa, você precisa ter conhecimento sobre ela. Então comecei a estudar o azeite e me encantei por suas variedades e sabores”, conta. Ele foi o primeiro brasileiro formado pela Onaoo (Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio di Oliva), na Itália. Em junho de 2004, decidiu abrir uma loja de azeites em São Paulo, que acabou tornando-se o restaurante Azait. Em pouco tempo, tornou-se um premiado na capital paulista. O restaurante fechou em 2008. O espírito empreendedor fez com que, em 2006, abrisse outro restaurante. Em uma homenagem à França pós-Revolução Francesa surge o Paris 6. Em dez anos, não acumulou muitos prêmios nem elogios de críticos gastronômicos, mas, sim, muitos fãs de seus pratos e sobremesas. “Comecei a encarar as criticas como uma forma de elogio. A casa vive cheia, isso que importa para mim”, diz.
Azar has many famous friends. Maybe this is one of the aspects that have made Paris 6 so popular. It all began when he supported a theater play, Um Certo Van Gogh, and traded tickets for the play, that the gave to his clients, for meal for the actors. One of them, Bruno Gagliasso, made a joke: “Make a dish and give it my name”. And so the menu full of celebrities was born. “It was very spontaneous. I made it a way to honor people that share the Paris 6 history. Many of them help me to create the plate, they give me recipes,” tells Isaac. He swears he does not give food for free. He asks the same amount of money in tickets for the plays and distributes them through the social midia.
During the interview for the GPS|Miami, the businessman makes a stop to greet someone. “I came to pick up Wolf Maia (Globo Network actor and director), I want to take him to dinner here in Miami,” Isaac told, and said to Wolf, “I’ll take you to Cipriani, my restaurant of choice here, after Paris 6,” “He is nice. He has a way to make us feel so comfortable, he demystifies the artist, treating him like a normal person, an informal friend. However, he is not the one who comes after us, we go after him,” asserted Wolf Maia. He has his dish, carioca minced meat, and is Isaac’s partner in one of the restaurants in São Paulo. Isaac moved to Miami a year ago, but has to go frequently to São Paulo. He lives in Florida with his wife for 15 years, Caroline, who is also his partner in the business administrative area. They have three children: Sophie, 15; Catherine, 13; and Jean Luc, 3. And there is also Oliver, the dog. “Everyone has a French name,” he laughs. “We live in Aventura, and I love it there. Very diferent from São Paulo, and there is the beach, but I hardly get to go there.”
THE ENTREPRENEUR Born and raised in São Paulo, Isaac always studied in the best schools. Starting when he was 3 years old, until he was 15, he spent 40 days on vacations in the French part of Switzerland, skiing with his family. From these vacations came de passion for the French cuisine and the fluency in French. “It is my second language. People use to ask me in which part of France I was born,” he laughs. His great inspiration comes from his mother, Jeanette Azar. “She transformed our home in a big restaurant. She cooks very well. Once I draw her in her apron, near the stove, for a school project. For me, that scene was very beautiful,” tells him. When he began to work as chef, she was always checking the kitchen. Today, she goes to look at the production – when her son is not in Brazil – and she also has her dish: liver with onions, and fries.
After finishing high school, Isaac spent six months in England, and then he went to San Francisco, to study Law. Three years later he dropped the course to devote himself to work – at the time, he worked in the financial market. Then he decided to work with his family, that worked with cars. He was 22 years old. At the beginning, he sold cars. Eleven years later, he was in charge of an authorized dealer, and decided to drop everything. “My brother was in imports, and there were some products that he couldn’t sell. I decided to sell those things,” he tells. Unbeknown for him, among those products was his new passion: olive oil. “I have always been passionate in everything I do. If you want to sell a product, you need to know what it is. Then I began to study about olive oil, and was charmed by its varieties and tastes,” remembers him. He was the first Brazilian to graduate at Onaoo (Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio di Oliva), in Italy.
In June, 2004, he decided to open an Olive Oil store in São Paulo. This store ended up being the restaurant Azait. Soon he began to receive awards in São Paulo. The restaurant closed in 2008. The entrepreneur zest led him to open another restaurant, in 2006. The Paris 6 came about as a homage to the Post French Revolution France. In ten year, he didn’t receive many awards, nor gastronomic critics’ praise. However, he had many fans of his dishes and deserts. “I began to look at the criticism as a kind of praise. My restaurant is always full of clients, and this is what matters for me,” says he.
GPS-Miami « 51