Traditional Algarve food is being celebrated this summer by a number of gastronomic events promoted by the Allgarve entertainment programme.
From today (Friday), Allgarve Gourmet will be kicked off with Portimão’s annual sardine festival along the city’s riverside area.
At the festival, which is due to continue daily from 6pm to midnight until August 16, visitors will be able to sample some of the region’s finest freshly prepared and grilled sardines.
This year the festival will be enhanced by the presence of different professional chefs each night who will prepare a variety of fish dishes.
Some of these dishes will be of traditional origin, while others will have an original or modern twist created by each individual chef, which allows the festival to deserve its Allgarve Gourmet status.
Tonight’s chef, Rui Paula, comes from Restaurante D.O.C in Folgosa do Douro, while this weekend the festival will play host to chef Justa Nobre from the Spazio Buondi restaurant in Lisbon.
On Monday and Tuesday, chef João Antunes from restaurant Vin Rouge in Lisbon will be serving up his creations, followed by chef Joaquim Koerper from restaurant Eleven also in Portugal’s capital, on August 12.
Chef Jaime Perez from the Monte Rei Golf & Country Club will represent the Algarve at the festival on August 13, followed by chef Luís Américo from restaurant Degusto in Matosinhos on August 14 and 15.
Finally, chef Paulo Morais from QB Essence in Oeiras will give visitors a taste of the sea on the final day of the festival.
Olhão seafood fever
Overlapping Portimão’s sardine festival will be Olhão’s seafood festival between August 10 and 15. As well as featuring some of the best shellfish the Ria Formosa has to offer between 7.30pm and 1am, this traditional annual occasion in the maritime city’s Jardim Pescador Olhanense will also benefit from an Allgarve Gourmet area, where the same highly qualified and experienced chefs will also be cooking.
Entry to both Allgarve Gourmet areas at these festivals costs 10 euros including two “degustações” or dish tastings, two drinks and coffee or 15 euros for four dishes, two drinks and coffee.
During these festivals, visitors will also be able to enjoy live concerts by some of Portugal and Brazil’s most renowned singers and bands such as Tony Carreira, Xutos & Pontapés and Daniela Mercury.
Following these two festivals, Vilamoura Marina will play host to a Cataplana Experience from September 2 until 6.
This event aims to promote the use of the cataplana, a unique Portuguese culinary tool, typically used in the Algarve to cook not only seafood dishes such as seafood rice, but also meat, vegetables and even deserts. The cataplana, a rounded metal pan often made from copper or brass with a tight fitting lid, is the equivalent to Portugal as a tagine is to Morocco.
During these days, chefs will be demonstrating a variety of techniques and dishes which can be accomplished with a cataplana, which visitors can taste.
For more information about these festivals which celebrate traditional food, please visit the Allgarve website, available in Portuguese and English, at www.allgarve.pt