The future of Portuguese cuisine, the new generations of chefs. Chef Álvaro Costa – an example

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Portugal has a huge tradition in gastronomy / cuisine and has a largest and richest cookbook in the world. Along with various products, from the sea to land, from the coast to inland, whose quality is already recognized internationally. And today, with this incredible tourism boom, protecting this heritage is something absolutely necessary, I would even say indispensable. We must welcome well, very well, to show the best we have to offer, but also to tell a little about our history, our traditions, the reasons for this or that recipe, its ingredients, its seasonality, its importance in our lives and how we appreciate them.

For this there are many players, from the producers to the tables where we host and serve. But there is a profession that is essential to build this bridge, this dissemination, and to keep the tradition above all: chefs.

There, too, we have a long tradition, although there have been ups and downs, and even a great dream with a certain type of European cuisine, nowadays fallen into disuse. But there is a generation of cooks / chefs, still young enough to change the way they look at cuisine and who are reviving our traditional cookbook, long forgotten and some even at the risk of disappearing. One of these chefs is the chef Álvaro Costa, who was born and currently resides in the municipality of Famalicão, and where he maintains his connection with his origins.

With a degree from Escola de Turismo e Hotelaria do Porto (School of Tourism and Hospitality of Porto), he soon got into the job market and worked in several restaurants and hotels in Portugal, before going to France, Corsica and Italy, where he drank very important experiences. He returned to Portugal and continued in this line of work that is now his life and that he truly likes. From an early age he devoted a small part of his time to teaching, but it is has the head chef of a kitchen team that he likes to be, whether is cooking, training and teaching, sharing what he knows and his already great experience. And, over the last few years, he rediscovered the Portuguese cuisine, with a long tradition, that definitively embraced and that is a strong bet of today, but certainly for the future. This is what he likes to do and what he wants to do. To use the excellent Portuguese canned food or take a cottage cheese and pour it with olive oil, adding some herbs and some lettuce leaves and make it a starter, or making some alheira (bread and garlic sausage) small balls, also to start a meal. To revive the codfish small fillets served with codfish rice or prepare a fresh fish malandrinho (soggy) rice, almost dripping of the dish. Regarding meat, the grilled meat but also the roasts, as well as the excellent stews. And then preparing the fantastic Portuguese confectionery, which he does very well and who is a true lover, be it the aletria (sweet vermicelli) and custard, the orange pie and the egg pudding, the sponge cake (pão-de-ló) and the Abade de Priscos pudding.

Wines are another passion of Chef Álvaro Costa, and the immense possibilities of pairing it with traditional cuisine, especially appreciating its great versatility. As a true Minhoto (person born in the Minho region) who enjoys Vinhos Verdes, especially the Alvarinho grape variety, but who also enjoys the Douro, Bairrada, Dão, Tejo, Lisboa and Alentejo wines, never forgetting the Port wine and the Madeira wine, which considers them to be two of the world's greatest liqueur wines.

Today he is a project consultant in Porto, Matosinhos, Vila Praia de Âncora and Torre de Moncorvo, and has a complete dedication.

And we are grateful...