FOURty Seconds With Luis Batalha

15 Apr 2018
2 min read
Following the news of his recent appointment as the new executive chef at Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa, FOUR chats secrets to culinary success with award-winning chef Luis Batalha.

What inspired you to become a chef?
After I left art academy, I realised I wanted to use my artistic knowledge and passion to create incredible and memorable culinary experiences.  Food is an art form in itself.  You start with a blank canvas which needs talent and passion to create food with soul.

How did you get into the industry – where did you train?
I started as a kitchen porter in a city hotel which was a really good grounding for me. On a daily basis, I saw what it took to run a top restaurant, and I soon began to understand the complexity and passion of the industry.  It inspired me, and I realised I wanted to be at the heart of it.  From there, I worked in a wide range of restaurants and hotels in Lisbon and learnt invaluable skills from each place.

 Do you have any role models?
There are so many inspirational chefs, but my particular role models are Alain Ducasse and Pierre Gagnaire. They are not afraid to push boundaries with their creative talents to offer amazing and unique culinary experiences.

What’s your favourite spring ingredient?
Asparagus because it represents the start of spring and new growth. Its delicate flavour stands out on its own and doesn’t need to be complicated with too many other ingredients. 

What can guests expect from the menus at Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa?
The opportunity to sample contemporary Portuguese cuisine which is now being recognised as world-class, using only the freshest of ingredients from local suppliers.

Why do so many foodies love the Algarve’s food scene?
I think it’s the high standard of the ingredients from the rural, mountainous and coastal areas of the Algarve. Portuguese cuisine needs only simple preparation and represents the real culinary heritage of the region.

Describe your cooking style in three words.
Healthy, creative and balanced

What drew you to Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa?
Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa’s beautiful mountain location is the perfect place to showcase inspirational regional cuisine using only local ingredients, which appeals to both international and local visitors.

The Monchique area is authentic, pure and undiscovered, which allows us to put a little twist on what Algarve is usually associated with. The resort’s priority is to position the customer at the heart of everything we do, and our staff delivers impeccable service which reflects this.   

What’s next on the cards?
My aim is to create a unique culinary identity within the resort which complements the hotel’s high standard of guest experience. 

Find out more via MacDonald Monchique resort’s website