You can discover a fusion of flavours as a result of the influence of Portuguese maritime discoveries and ties to the colonial era applied to its Mediterranean base. You will taste delicious and nourishing food. Moreover, there is a growing number of acclaimed chefs and new Michelin stars capturing international attention.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Chef José Avillez. He runs the 2 Michelin Star restaurant Belcanto and guided us through the best of the Portuguese cuisine.
We asked Chef José Avillez to share his opinion on what the best Portuguese gastronomy is and what plates we should taste at Belcanto to have an unforgettable Portuguese experience.
According to him, “Portuguese cuisine is incredibly rich and varied. We have a Mediterranean diet. However, because of all the travels our navigators did during the Portuguese Discoveries, our cuisine was enriched and influenced by ingredients and techniques from different continents. Northern Portugal is mountainous, the Central coastal region consists of dunes and pine forests, Southern Portugal (namely in Alentejo) is an area of plains… so each region has different products (olive oil, cheese, smoked sausages, ham, meat, fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs…) and a different cuisine. That’s why the Portuguese cuisine is such a treasure. But what I really love is our fish and shellfish. The flavours and the textures are amazing! I do believe we have the best fish and shellfish in the world. At Belcanto, we serve Portuguese cuisine with a contemporary inspiration and an emphasis on top quality ingredients. I would suggest you try the “Dip in the sea”: sea bass (cooked in a vacuum sealed bag at 54 ºC), seaweed, codium, bivalves (mussels, cockles and razor clams) and sea water (mussel’s water).”