Michelin-starred chef Leonel Pereira opens new restaurant in Faro

Michelin-starred chef Leonel Pereira opens new restaurant in Faro

Leonel Pereira, the chef behind the Michelin-starred São Gabriel restaurant in Almancil which closed in November, has opened a new restaurant in Faro called CHECKin.

Located on Avenida da República, the restaurant is described by the revered chef as “trendy, modern, laid-back” and a place where “all kinds of food are served”.

“The dishes we serve are half portions as the idea is for clients to try three to four dishes each and get to know a bit more of what we do,” Chef Leonel told Barlavento newspaper.

The menu presently features 21 dishes, but the chef plans to “shake things up” every so often to keep it all interesting.

For now, the menu is divided into four sections, starting with the ‘Check-in’ starters which take inspiration from the Algarve’s traditional cuisine as well as from places as far as France, Brazil and Peru.

‘Mimos da Minha Mãe’ is inspired by the food his mum and the people of Serra do Caldeirão and Martim Longo, where he grew up, used to make when he was a child.
“These dishes bring back a lot of memories,” he said.

‘Momentos Especiais’ (Special Moments) features a variety of Algarvian specialties while ‘Check-out’ includes several mouthwatering desserts.

Diners can also choose from a list of 80 wines from all over Portugal with the help of a sommelier with 30 years of experience.

While quality remains just as important to Chef Leonel Pereira as it did when he ran São Gabriel, prices are more affordable now, with dishes ranging between €6.50 and €15.50.

The restaurant, which is open only for dinner, can serve 50 people at a time, 25 inside and 25 outside.

Chef Leonel says he would like to see the CHECKin concept replicated in other parts of the Algarve and Portugal, although for now he is focused solely on making sure the restaurant in Faro flourishes.

Future of São Gabriel?

According to the chef, while the restaurant’s physical space was sold, the brand “still belongs to us and a new São Gabriel could open with a new Michelin star at any time and place. We just need to find the right space”, he told the paper.

Original article written by Maria Simiris for Barlavento newspaper.

Michelin-starred chef Leonel Pereira opens new restaurant in Faro