Members of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Bailliage de L’Algarve and their guests gathered on Tuesday, February 25 at Restaurant Aquarelle in Almancil to celebrate Carnival 2020 with a themed dinner from “The Roaring 20’s”.
Suitably attired, the flappers and gangsters from the exciting frivolous years of prohibition and excess in the last century gathered to enjoy a welcome drink of sparkling bubbles Praça Palácio dos Marqueses from Bairrada.
Would any of the celebrities of that era such as Josephine Baker, famous for her banana skirt, Marlene Dietrich with her deep voice, gangster Al Capone or Bonny and Clyde be joining the group? Anything is possible at Carnival!
Loris Verganista and his chef Manuel Farla had created a menu inspired by the sentiments and innovations of that famous time.
An amuse-bouche served with a vinho verde, Casa Santa Eulália Sauvignon Blanc 2018 cleansed the palate and the dinner began with tuna tartar served with Adega Mãe Chardonnay 2018 from the Douro. Pan-seared foie gras accompanied with pumpkin chutney and a balsamic glaze followed; this was served with a red Douro wine, Aneto Colheita Tardia 2013.
Lively music from the 1920s played by the Cool Manouche Gypsy Jazz Band with Betty M. enhanced the theme and soon many had taken to the dance floor to display their Charleston moves.
The meal continued to the strains of “Sweet Georgia Brown” and other classics in the background, allowing everyone to enjoy the main course of herb-crusted lamb with celeriac purée and mint sauce with a wine accompaniment of Niepoort Diálogo 2018 again from the Douro region. A dessert of panna-cotta and raspberry with a glass of Kopke fine ruby port ended the meal.
Dr Jean Ferran, Bailli Regional, Sul do Tejo, took the opportunity during a short intermezzo to thank both the kitchen brigade and front of house staff for such an enjoyable evening and to present them with a souvenir of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ visit. The added dimension of live music together with the historic tenures and the decorated restaurant had enhanced the meeting and given it a special elegance.
Will the new decade of the 20s be as exciting and bring as much innovation, in gastronomic terms too, as the previous one had? Who knows, but, in the meantime, the evening continued with much dancing and enjoyment.
This event, as with all Chaîne des Rôtisseurs events, generates funds and supports Chaîne charities including the voluntary Cookery School in Évora for children from underprivileged backgrounds.
Should you wish to read more information about the global gastronomic organisation Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, visit www.chainedesrotissuers.com
By VALERIE LANTAU