With an Emmy award to his credit for his coverage of Hurricane Irene (August 2011) and the coverage of superstorm Sandy on October 2012, Raphael Miranda could have easily layed in bed to take a rest after working days into nights to keep the public updated and informed of the weather to come.
That’s typical in the life of this half Brazilian reporter and weatherman. I met Raphael when I was at NBC 4 New York’s studio cooking for a segment with Merck, as we promote our campaign Cuida Tu Diabetes Cuida Tu Corazon.
His path to this ascending career has been an unusual and interesting one. Raphael Miranda was born in New York to an American mother and a Brazilian father, who immigrated to the US in the 60’s. All of his father’s family still lives in Brazil and Raphael grew up flying back and forth between the two countries.
His words are ever measurable, his diction is perfect, his accent is crystal clear of any other language influence—and his Portuguese, impeccable.
Recounting all this, Raphael, 36, chats in his articulation of words, which is well balanced and very high in Brazilian spirit, even when the weather he delivers is far from Brazilian tropical weather; the rain, the snow, and the chill. On January 7th of this year, when half of the country was frozen into record low temperatures, Raphael was a source of heat and hope announcing that in only two days, temperatures would go back to normal.
Watch him on TV; through his toned voice and earnest smile, he’ll bring peace to your day even when reporting nasty weather. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter and you’ll feel the warmth of his personality through constant updates of the weather forecast.
As we sat for lunch at the new NBC’s Cafeteria at Rockefeller Center, he worked his way through sushi and talked about his career, how none of this was actually planned, and how it’s been close to five years that he ‘s been at NBC.
He didn’t know what path to take right after college. When he graduated from NYU with a degree in Spanish literature, he spoke broken Portuguese and decided it was a good time to live in Brazil. At first, he went to Minas Gerais, where his father’s family is based, but then, relocated to the sunny state of Recife where a cousin was living.
In Recife, Raphael taught English to children in school, but after two years, he started to miss the crazy lifestyle of New York City, while also realizing that he might have other ambitions.
Turns out that life takes Raphael in directions that even he gets surprised. Planning, he tells me, has never been much of his personality.
Career. Flow. Brazil. With those words, suddenly he started telling me about a boyfriend he left in Brazil, how he went back a few times to try to bring him here, and then excitedly about his husband Douglas, and how this is an aspect of life that he is extremely proud of: to be openly gay in broadcast journalism, and active in the LGBT community.
Upon his return, Raphael got a job in retail as a manager of a fancy store at Madison Ave—a job he didn’t enjoy very much. Eventually he got sick with meningitis, which set him back for a while, forcing him to do some thinking.
“One day, I reached out to Craig Allen, a weather man who I really admired, and to my surprise, he replied”, said Raphael. He asked the veteran for career advices and in a few short years, Raphael received degrees from Brooklyn college and Mississippi State University in broadcast journalism and meteorology. He prepared a reel, sent to a few stations, and got an offer at the Westchester News Channel, in New York. From there, he went to NBC.
To write about him is to gradually succumb to our own hopes and dreams, in a very inspiring way. There just doesn’t seem to be any lack of energy around this man. Raphael is elegant in his own work, incredibly talented, and entirely committed to his profession.
Schedule wise, broadcasting the weather is a job that demands nothing less than total submission to the craft. “I am out of rhythm with the rest of the world. That is the hardest part of my job,”, he said. Most days, he has to go to bed around 7 pm and wake up at crazy hours. “But not every job is perfect, and I like the camaraderie between my colleagues. We are all on the same boat. “
During our conversation, I asked Raphael about his eating habits and his link to Brazilian cuisine. Raphael has been a “on and off” vegetarian. Now he is on the “on” phase, but with a little more flexibility, eating fish and chicken.
To end this article in “food” style, I asked Raphael to share with us one of his favorite recipes.
Below is Tilapia with a Lemon Butter Sauce, which I adapted for this blog.
Tilapia with a Lemon Butter Sauce
½ cup all purpose flour, plus 2 teaspoons
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb tilapia filets (about 2 whole filets)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup white wine
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚F.
2. Place the flour in a large plate, season with salt and pepper and whisk well.
3. Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper and dredge on the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.
4. In a large saute pan, melt 2 tablespoon butter over medium heat and cook the fish on both sides until opaque, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a plate and keep warm at the stove.
5. Add the wine and bring to a boil over high heat, reducing almost entirely. Add the remaining 4 tablesppons of butter to the pan and lower the heat to a minimum not to break the butter.
6. Add the 2 teaspoons flour and whisk well. Pour the lemon juice and cook the sauce until thickened. Stir in parsley. Return the fish to the pan and baste the fish in the sauce on low heat. Carefuly transfer fish to warm plates and spoon sauce on top.