Taste Portugal Festival, London

With six Michelin starred restaurants in the Algarve alone, Portugal has become a gourmand’s dream destination...

Sadly, the one time I visited the country was to attend the 2005 MTV Europe Awards in Lisbon - and  I don’t recall eating anything other than sandwiches (provided in the press room) and a lot of Milka chocolate while I frantically typed up my feature the next morning.

So an invitation to “an Iberican Epicurean Extravaganza” to launch The Taste Portugal Festival was most welcome.

The party, which kicked off a programme of Portuguese gastronomical events in London, was held at fine dining restaurant, Notting Hill Kitchen.  Head Chef, Lisbon-born Luís Baena together with chef Matteo Ferrantino, who works at Michelin starred Vila Joya in the Algarve, created a spectacular menu of gourmet offerings.

Foodie delights included Oyster Croquettes, Spider Crab Donuts, Accorn fed black pork with Algarve prawns dim sum and Fois Gras Praline – which looked like mini toffee apples!

I especially loved the Sour Cream, Oyster and Caviar as well the delicious Azores Cheese and dried Algarve figs maki. Guests also enjoyed wines from leading Portuguese winery Niepoort, which led  some of us to bemoan about how relatively underrated Portuguese wines are compared to their European cousins.  

Vila Joya was recently named in Restaurant Magazine’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” Its Head Chef Dieter Koschina will be taking part in the Taste Portugal Festival which runs in London until March 2015.

This year’s programme also includes ‘Street Food Safari’ and a Degustation Dinner with harmonized wine menu, featuring chef Angela Hartnett at her Michelin starred Italian restaurant Murano in Mayfair.

For further details about the Taste Portugal Festival visit www.tasteportugal-london.com

 

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The Taste Portugal Festival in London launch.