Celebrating the new and catching up with the old
Members of the Algarve Bailliage of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs met at the five-star Monte Rei golf resort on Friday, February 15 for a gourmet dinner in the elegant Vistas restaurant.
The evening was an opportunity for members to welcome their new Bailli for the Algarve region, Roy Clevenholm, and show their appreciation for the years of work put in by Dr Jean Ferran who is happily continuing in the overseeing function of Bailli provincial, Sud du Tejo, as well as Chargé de Missions National.
Together with the CEO of the resort, professional member of the confraternity and old friend Salvador de Lucena, members enjoyed the innovative menu “Fauna and Flora”, inspired by nature and created for them by the resort’s new Chef Rui Silvestre.
Although new in the Vistas and Monte Rei surroundings, Rui is an old friend of many members as they have followed his career at restaurant Bon Bon where he obtained a Michelin star. The journey through the menu consisted of exciting combinations of local delicacies with wild herbs and foraged seaweeds from the Atlantic shore. The accompanying wines were selected and explained in much detail by the restaurant’s sommelier Nuno Pires.
The second part of the two-day event was lunch in the tiny village of Laranjas at the famous small restaurant Cantarinha do Guadiana. After a leisurely drive from Monte Rei through the beautiful Algarve countryside and past the picturesque dams, the group arrived at Cantarinha.
Here again, they were confronted with new and old as the main course for the lunch was to be lamprey which has been considered a delicacy since antiquity and was, for all present, a new gastronomic experience.
Lamprey, like salmon, migrates from their natural sea habitat upriver to breed (February/March). They are a seasonal delicacy here in Portugal but are also well known in France, England and Finland.
The oldest Portuguese cookery book, supposedly written by Infanta D. Maria in the 16th century, gives instructions on how to cook lamprey. The chosen wine to accompany lamprey and eel dishes is red Vinho Verde, again a new experience for several present.
Every meeting of the Chaîne generates funds for charity through the Chaîne Foundation – AACR internationally and in Portugal through our Gastronomy School which helps youngsters in need.
Further information regarding the Chaîne and its activities is available on the official website www.chainedesrotissuers.com
By VALERIE LANTAU