What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
My earliest memories come from about the age of 5 or 6 when I became really interested in my mothers cooking. She would allow me to help her cook and being in the kitchen with her are some of my fondest memories.
What would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
My mother istrulymy biggest inspiration. Her, and great masters such as EckartWitzigmann.
Describe your culinary style…
Traditional with a modern twist. The most important aspect for me isflavor, and the freshness of the product.
What would you say is the main focus/concept for the restaurant in Vila Joya?
My very personal goal is to really please our guests, and we do our utmost for them to leave happy and to return timeand time again. When I receive positive feedback from our guests this is what makes me and the Vila Joya team really happy.
What do you think had made this restaurant so successful?
Vila Joya is successful because of its unique attention & differentiation in what concerns details, very special and heartfelt customer care and of course amazing food servedin an incomparable location, truly Paradise.
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
Everything that is fresh and seasonal. Especially a high quality olive oil and a well preparedflavorsomestock.
What kind of experience do you aim to give guests at your restaurant?
Our main goal isn’t necessarily to constantly achieve awards but more so to really fulfill ourguests wishes every single day, especially hotel guests that stay with us for a week, or two or three. We change the menu on a daily basis so that they never eat the same course twice. This is a very special way of cooking 2 star Michelin, with the urge to create every single day from scatch. Because of that they return time andtime again, and many regular guests become family. They visit and are welcomed back like old friends. The informality of Vila Joya and of course the changing menus makes us stand apart from the rest. We really want you to feel special, pampered and at home.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
Of course it isachievingtwo Stars for Vila Joya, and yes, the moment we were awarded the Number 22 of The World´s 50 Best Restaurants.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?
Haha, I wouldn’t change a single thing…
What’s next for you? What projects do you have lined up?
Our Tribute to Claudia, Vila Joya’s International Gourmet Festival is in the oven at the moment, and a few culinary summer festivals where I will travel to.
What is your guilty pleasure?
A day out on my Harley Davidson and a night of Heavy metal…That or a wonderful meal, amazing wine and a really good Cuban cigar!
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
I am really curious about JoseAvillez’sMini Bar in Lisbon.
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