Algarve student Filipe Santana

Aspiring Algarve chef wins national competition

Algarve student Filipe Santana has been crowned one of the winners of a contest that brings together students from every Hotel and Tourism School in Portugal.

The 19-year-old from Quarteira who studies at the Algarve Hotel and Tourism School (EHTA) was the winner of the Apprentice Cook category in the ‘Concurso Interescolas’, which was held at the Porto Hotel and Tourism School between February 22 and 24.

The competition featured 150 students, including students from the Instituto Médio Politécnico from Mozambique, who competed in 12 categories.

Filipe Santana, who is studying Cooking Management and Production, stood out for his “passion” in the three events carried out.

Algarve student Filipe Santana

In his solo trial, Filipe was given a mystery box from which he had to create his own dish. The result was ‘Porquinho Escondido’ – pork tenderloin on a bed of vegetables and potato foam.

His cooking technique and creativity played a huge role in his victory, which came as a surprise to the young aspiring chef.

“I had the opportunity to participate in this important competition and I accepted it, putting all the love I have for cooking into it,” said Filipe Santana.

“I tried to outdo myself in order to make everyone who is a part of my professional journey proud. I dedicate this victory to all of them,” he added.

Filipe has always loved cooking and was just 14 years old when he decided to enrol in the level 4 course of Cooking Techniques and Pastry at the Algarve Hotel and Tourism School. He loved the course so much that, after three years, he decided to pursue his passion even further and enrolled in the level 5 course of Cooking Management and Production.

With his win at the national contest, Filipe Santana will now represent Portugal at the European Meetings of the European Association of Hotel and Tourism Schools, which will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania, in November.