American news giant CNN has published a story on its website about how chef José Avillez is “revolutionising Portuguese food”.
The article written by CNN’s John Krich “complements” the latest episode of the Culinary Journeys TV series, which featured Avillez as a guest star.
For those who might not know, José Avillez is the 37-year-old man in charge of the only Portuguese restaurant to boast two Michelin stars, Belcanto.
Over the years, he has become something of a national celebrity with several restaurants, cookbooks, and even a popular TV series.
His influence can even be felt on the streets of Lisbon, where his food offers something completely different from the rest, according to CNN.
“All around the historic centre of Lisbon, there are dozens of ‘tascas’ – traditional hole-in-the-wall taverns lined with flowery patterns of blue tile.
“Each offers a nearly identical menu of salted codfish or sardines and boiled potatoes, strong Douro wine and ultra-sweet puddings,” writes Krich.
“But there’s only one place to sample an edible ‘stone’ made of codfish. Or liver mousse, or a flower-garlanded ‘bouquet’ of tuna from the Azores, butter flavoured with a popular local sausage, sea barnacles combined with pickled strawberry.
“Or a hearty Portuguese cozido stew reduced to a single cabbage leaf and paste essence.”
“That’s because there’s only one Jose Avillez,” the article reads.
CNN says that Avillez is the “main force in redefining his homeland’s cuisine” in a “cosy country where one man can still make a difference”.
“In Portugal, he’s almost omnipresent, thanks to his six restaurants, four cookbooks, daily tips on radio and a popular TV series.”
According to the US news channel, Avillez is “singlehandedly steering Portugal’s tradition-bound cuisine toward its rightful place in modern-day haute cuisine”.
“Our ancestors travelled all over the globe,” the chef told CNN. “Now it’s our turn to present the new gastronomic face of our country to the world.”
To read the full article, (click here).