Vila Vita’s Ocean collected Best Restaurant and Best Pastry Chef awards, while Salmarim was named Best Producer/Supplier of 2022.
Following two years of virtual events, the eagerly awaited Mesa Marcada award ceremony returned to its presential format this Monday, with more than 300 guests gathering at Gare Marítima de Alcântara in Lisbon.
The 14th edition of the awards was marked by plenty of novelty. For the first time, the top honours for Best Restaurant and Chef were awarded outside Lisbon. Vila Vita’s Ocean restaurant, led by Austrian chef Hans Neuner (two Michelin stars), was crowned Best Restaurant of 2022. And Vasco Coelho Santos, of Euskalduna in Porto (featured in the 2023 Spain and Portugal Michelin Guide edition with one star) received the Best Chef accolade.
This result marks the end of Feitoria (one Michelin star, Lisbon) and João Rodrigues’s six-year reign in both categories following the chef’s exit last April.
The complete list for “Mesa Marcada’s 10 Favourites” included 380 restaurants and 268 chefs. The jury panel comprised 235 voters, including journalists, bloggers, gourmets, chefs and other gastronomic and restaurant professionals, which, according to the organisation, “constitutes one of the largest participations ever”.
In the restaurants category, the “Mesa Marcada’s 10 Favourites” list features Euskalduna; Prado (Lisbon); Belcanto (two stars, Lisbon); Alma (two stars, Lisbon); The Yeatman (two stars, Vila Nova de Gaia); Ó Balcão (Santarém); Fifty Seconds (one star, Lisbon); Cura (one star, Lisbon) and Essencial (Lisbon).
The promoters of the awards highlight Ó Balcão by Rodrigo Castelo with its entry in 7th place (up five positions), while Alma by Henrique Sá Pessoa (5th), and The Yeatman by Ricardo Costa (6th) climbed four places.
As for chefs, the list of the “10 Favourites” also includes José Avillez (Belcanto, two stars, and Encanto, one star, in Lisbon, and Tasca, one star, in Dubai); Hans Neuner (Ocean, one star, Porches); João Rodrigues (Matéria Project); António Galapito (Prado); Henrique Sá Pessoa (Alma, two stars, Lisbon); Marlene Vieira (Marlene, Lisbon); Alexandre Silva (Loco, one star, Lisbon); Ricardo Costa (The Yeatman, two stars, Gaia) and Filipe Carvalho (Fifty Seconds, one star, Lisbon).
The organisers highlight Marlene Vieira’s entry in 7th position, rising 10 places compared to 2021.
Special Awards were attributed to chefs, sommeliers, producers and many more essential elements of the Portuguese gastronomic scene for their outstanding performance and contribution in 2022.
Highlights include the Maria José Macedo – Producer/Supplier of the Year award, handed to Salmarin, owned by ‘Fleur de sel’ producers Jorge Raiado and Sandra Madeira. Boasting a solid connection to catering, Salmarim stands out for the quality of its packaging, which predominantly uses cork and cardboard to enhance its products’ preservation. Salmarim also takes great care to protect the purity of its salt flats, through which seawater circulates, avoiding possible sources of pollution and contamination.
Another highlight, which saw the Algarve shine, is the Nescafé’s Roastelier Special Award for Best Pastry Chef 2022, which went to Ocean’s Márcio Baltazar.
The Makro Revelation Chef of the Year Special Award was collected by André Cruz, who took over the kitchen at Feitoria. The original menu he created took him up 194 positions to 19th place; a huge leap led that earned him the prize.
As for last year’s novelties, the “long-awaited” Marlene fine-dining restaurant, by Marlene Vieira” achieved the best classification, also in 19th place, receiving the Sogrape New Restaurant of the Year Special Award.
Based on the same panel’s vote, the 2022 Mesa Diária (Daily table) São Jorge Cheese PDO Special Award for the best moderately priced restaurant distinguished Lisbon’s O Velho Eurico, by Zé Paulo Rocha, for the third consecutive year.
A new distinction was also awarded, the Nutrifresco Gastronomic Event of the Year Special Award, won by the Chefs on Fire festival, organised by Gonçalo Castel-Branco’s company, Lohad.
The Cutipol Career Special Award distinguished chef Paulo Morais, who earned his first Michelin star in the 2023 edition for his restaurant Kanazawa in Algés.
“Whether at the Hotel and Tourism School in Estoril or the various restaurants he has led, Paulo Morais has been a reference for many chefs who worked with him and who today have made Japanese cuisine one of the most popular among us”, highlights the organisation.
Two other awards highlighting respect for the environment – the Studio Neves Sustainability Special Awards – were given to the Herdade do Esporão (one Michelin star and one green star, in Reguengos de Monsaraz) in the Rural category and to SEM (Lisbon), by Lara Espírito Santo and George McLeod in the Urban category.
Discover the complete list of awards below: