The Algarve Wine Society’s annual gourmet dinner took place on April 15 at Restaurant São Gabriel, situated on the road between Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo and whose Chef Leonel Pereira has just been awarded a Michelin star.
Chef Leonel prepared a menu specially matched to the wines of the Herdade Paço do Conde which were presented by Pedro Schmidt, general manager of the winery situated near Beja, Alentejo. The estate comprises some 4,000 hectares and produces around 1.2 million bottles of wine per year and one million litres of olive oil per year.
The evening commenced in the courtyard outside the restaurant with canapés and Paço do Conde white, red and rosé wines.
Once inside the restaurant, Paço do Conde extra virgin olive oil was served with four types of bread and pure sea salt from Tavira. An amuse bouche of foie gras was then served with the Herdade Paço do Conde White 2014. This wine was also served with the starter of crispy prawns in Kataifi pastry which was served with a mini exotic fruit salad with chilli and ginger.
The fish course was a wild gold bream fillet steamed in mushroom dashi, celery cream and green asparagus matched with Paço do Conde’s Colheita Seleccionada Antão Vaz & Verdelho 2013.
The main course was French Barbary roasted duck breast with gratin potatoes, grilled vegetables and lavender jus paired with Paço do Conde’s Reserva 2011.
Dessert was moistened chocolate cake on a wild fruits warm soup with eucalyptus scent and orange tangerine ice cream paired with Paço do Conde’s magnificent winemaker’s selection 2011. The meal was rounded off with coffee, petit fours and Port.
After dinner, Chef Leonel and his brigade were asked to come out of the kitchen where they were thanked by Anne Green, the Wine Society president and were given a standing ovation by the members, most of whom felt that this was the best gourmet dinner they had ever attended.
Photo: From left: Pedro Schmidt, Anne Green (president of the Algarve Wine Society), Delfim João (Maitre d’), Leonel Pereira (Chef), Derek Lambert (AWS) and Geoff Harnett (AWS)