A dish made by chef David Domingues from the Praia Verde Boutique Hotel’s ‘À Terra’ restaurant in Castro Marim has been named one of the winners of Portugal’s ‘7 Wonders of New Gastronomy’ competition.
The summery dish, entitled ‘Algarve, do Campo à Salina’ (Algarve, from the countryside to the salt pan), was declared the winner in the “vegetarian” category of the contest.
It is made with Algarvian egg plants and tomatoes, Castro Marim grasswort, and Aljezur sweet potatoes.
“To create (this dish), I sought inspiration from the balance between the sweetness of the sweet potato, the saltiness from the grasswort that we find in our salt pans and the freshness of our region’s tomatoes,” said the chef.
“This is a very popular dish, especially on hotter days, and which can be adapted very easily for other seasons by switching the ingredients for those that the lands gives us in autumn and winter,” he added.
The ‘7 Maravilhas’ initiative is organised by the Portuguese government with a long list of partners and aims to highlight several of the country’s best assets, from monuments, beaches and villages to its best food.
This latest edition focused on ‘New Gastronomy’, with the goal being to highlight innovation in the way traditional recipes are presented, how ingredients are used and how recipes are adapted to promote “food sustainability.”
“The 2021 edition of 7 Maravilhas was the first that did not award (dishes) which everyone already knows. This edition sought to contribute to the renaissance of the restaurant sector in a year marked by the Covid crisis, but it also sought the best of what our chefs know how to do,” said the competition’s president Luís Segedães.
“We also seek to raise awareness about the role of food in climate change and in health,” he added, explaining that the contest aims to promote healthy diet choices.
This edition was organised by the Portuguese Association of Hotels, Restaurant and Similar Businesses (AHRESP), the Portuguese Association of Professional Cooks (ACPP), the Portuguese Association of Nutrition (APN), the Portuguese Tourism Schools, the Network of Public Institutions of Higher Polytechnic Education (RIPTUR), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development and the Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition.