Members of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs from the Algarve met in Ayamonte, Spain, on Saturday, September 17 for the first part of a culinary journey through the gastronomic creativity available in their region.
LPA The Culinary Bar, close to the yacht harbour in Ayamonte, has a reputation for being a sophisticated tapas bar, and Italian owner/chef Fabio Zerbo delighted the group with a lunch made from fresh local ingredients, each dish prepared using a different technique and often Fabio’s personal vision.
On the menu was cod bonbon, baby ceviche, a Peruvian fish dish, fresh oysters, foie gras ice cones, fried prawns, langoustine tempura, queen crab maki, duck croquettes together with a dessert of choice. The food was served with an accompaniment of Spanish wines, Albariño, Rías Baixas from Pazo Cilleiro, Verdejo, Rueda from Jose Pariente and Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero from La Planta Roble.
The group continued their journey returning to Portugal for the second venue, at the Monte Rei golf resort in Vila Nova de Cacela. They were welcomed by their confrère and the resort CEO Salvador Lucena, Officier Maître Hôtelier.
The peace and tranquillity of the spacious resort refreshed the party before convening for dinner in the Vistas restaurant which holds a well-deserved Michelin star. Chef Rui Silvestre had created an exciting menu and sommelier Nuno Pires had selected the accompanying wines.
After the welcome drink and amuse bouches, the meal started with a vegetable dish with basil lemon and olive oil accompanied by Quinta dos Carvalhais 2021, followed by tuna with oyster mayonnaise, cauliflower and wasabi accompanied by Alfaiate 2020 and continued with a course based on a fish dish from the Azores akin to bouillabaisse which traditionally was buried underground for 12 hours to obtain the flavour. The wine served with this course was Quinta do Valdalágea 2021.
Iberian lamb accompanied by a red wine from Quinta dos Termos Reserva 2018 was served before the desserts which were goat yoghurt with beetroot followed by a celebration of the “black gold” of the Algarve, carob with barley and cardamom, with a glass of Madeira wine, Cossart Gordon 10 Anos Bual, bringing the successful evening to a close. Thanks went to the skilful front of house team and the meticulous kitchen brigade who together had created and served such spectacular and delicious dishes.
After a refreshing night spent in the tranquillity of the resort, the group reconvened to travel the short distance to Vila Real de Santo António and the Grand Beach Club for the third location of this gastronomic event.
Again, the emphasis was on fresh local produce. The Grand Beach Club uses flor de sal from Castro Marin and olive oil from Moncarapacho in their food preparation and proceeded to delight the group with a light lunch, which consisted of Mediterranean gazpacho with peach and scallop, followed by the Club’s twist on the traditional dish of Pica Pau with tuna with sweet potatoes and aioli, served with a selection of wines from Morgado do Quintão.
The dessert of baked peaches with honey, Amarguinha and Madagascar vanilla ice cream brought the leisurely Sunday lunch and convivial Chaîne des Rôtisseurs meeting to a close.
Dr Jean Ferran can be contacted at [email protected] for further information regarding the Chaîne des Rotisseurs global activities and/or the activities in the Algarve and Alentejo.