Neighborhood Kitchens

Meet Muqueca Chef Fátima “Fafa” Langa

By Margarita Martinez

July 13, 2012

alt title
Chef Fátima Langa (Patricia Alvarado/WGBH)

Fátima “Fafa” Langa was born in Espírito Santo, on the southeast coast of Brazil. Early in her adult life, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a tour guide for visiting tourists.

clay pots
Brazilian clay pots
The second phase of her life began when her husband, Antonio Gomes, was visiting Cambridge Massachusetts. Fafa had always dreamed of opening her own Brazilian restaurant, and in the area between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Antonio saw a little Brazilian buffet up for sale. It seemed like the perfect blank canvas upon which to create Fafa’s dream.

The buffet was transformed into Muqueca, which aims to give Americans a taste of real Brazilian cuisine.  It uses a different kind of cooking that emphasizes long cooking times and indigenous tools. Fafa can take an entire day to make one pie filled with seafood and vegetables. She orders clay pots directly from Brazil to use in the kitchen. The Association of Clay Pots of Goiabeiras in Espirito Santo, which has made these pots for almost four centuries, is one of the only authentic sources for these pots.


Watch Neighborhood Kitchens online to find out more about Muqueca, part of Inman Square in Cambridge.


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About Neighborhood Kitchens

Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

Saturdays at 4pm on WGBH 2
Fridays at 7:30pm on WGBH 44

About the Author
Margarita Martinez Margarita Martinez
Margarita Martinez grew up in the Bronx, NY and Ossining, NY with a Puerto Rican father and a Franco-American mother. She now calls New England home. Margarita has always had an insatiable appetite for travel and food. She made her first empanada as a teenager visiting Argentina, satisfied her sweet tooth with poffertjes and stroopwafels while studying in Holland, engorged herself on Thai street food for a month in Bangkok, and continues to search for authentic international cuisines in the Northeast. Margarita loves to discover new ingredients, flavors, and cooking approaches that she can bring to her own home kitchen.

On the Go

In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Find a Neigbhorhood Kitchen
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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi


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