UK’s youngest chef returns to the Sheraton

By Cristina Alcock [email protected]

There has been much talk about the young Luke Thomas, considered by many to be one of the most promising chefs of his generation, and on March 23, the Algarve Resident got the chance to see what all the fuss was about.

Just hours ahead of the third ‘Cooking Through Generations’ event, which took place at the Sheraton Algarve & Pine Cliffs Resort, Britain’s youngest head chef received members of the national and British press at a special Chef’s Table Lunch to preview the menu for the main event.

Seated at a table set up in the kitchen of O Pescador restaurant, where the dinner took place that same evening, guests were treated to the 19-year-old’s four-course menu, comprising reinvented British classics and paired with the wines of local producer Quinta do Barranco Longo, Dona Maria in the Alentejo and Quinta de la Rosa Port wine from the Douro.

Alongside an amuse bouche of whipped chicken liver parfait, Madeira jelly and truffled brioche, the menu featured a starter of “Fisherman’s” pie, a main of slow-cooked sirloin, blackened onions, watercress and horseradish, followed by a dessert of brioche bread and butter pudding with pistachio and rhubarb.

“These are basically my signature dishes,” said Luke, who was visiting the Sheraton Algarve for the second time following an event in October. “I’m a fan of taking classics and playing on them, putting my modern twist on dishes to bring them to life and make them exciting to eat.”

Having recently appeared on the Great British Menu on BBC2, Luke became the UK’s youngest head chef when he opened Luke’s Dining Room at Sanctum on the Green in Berkshire last March, aged just 18. With great feedback and fully booked every weekend, the restaurant is the first of many in the chef’s plans for the future. With a new restaurant expected to open in Worcestershire in May, and a further venue in London also in the pipeline, the teenager will be launching his own recipe book later this year.