In 2009 Slevin moved from Brazil to her husband’s seaside town in Sicily where they relaunched the family restaurant, located in the old Spanish quarter. Renaming it Pachamama after the Andean Mother goddess, and including Tapas and Paella on the menu gave it a distinctly Hispanic flavour.
Locals called it “Bacia-mama” after the old mafia greeting baciamo le mani and perused the new menu with suspicion, much of which was directed at her – what could a foreigner possibly know about good Sicilian food? And where was she from anyway – was she the Brazilian wife rescued from the Amazon or was she really Spanish?
Pachamama overcame petty mafioso mentality, plentiful staff issues and interference from corrupt inspectors, even garnering an award of Excellence on Trip Advisor.
However, in October 2015, to the dismay of the dedicated bunch of regulars, Pachamama served its last cocktails and paella. It was time to embark on different projects. However, creating and running Pachamama brought unexpected satisfactions, inspirations and friendships that will outlast the restaurant.
Much of the ups and downs are recorded in Slevin’s blog, Sicilian Diary, begun as an essential catharsis when Pachamama first opened and now telling tales from the heart of this volcanic land…