100 Ways to taste Azores
It is not by chance that Ljubomir Stanisic is passionate about the Azores – and that S. Jorge tops the list of his favorite islands… This small point in the Atlantic, famous for its “fajãs”, is small only in its dimension, but huge in the treasures that can be found within its limits (such as yams, bananas, herbs, unique clams, fish of all kinds, cheese, milk, butter and even coffee).
Therefore, it was not surprising to see how the chef of 100 Maneiras restaurants and main character of Papa Quilómetros book and tv show immediately accepted the invitation of the Calheta City Council to carry out a training action with almost two dozen cooks from local restaurants. The goal? To teach these professionals creative ways to use the indigenous raw produce and thus distinguish the gastronomic offer of the island, fundamental for the development of sustainable tourism.
In this “Meeting with Gastronomy”, the local cooks had the opportunity to learn basic techniques of cooking, organization and mise in-place, but also several recipes for the valorization of native ingredients, with the help of the Yugoslav-Portuguese chef and the executive chef of 100 Maneiras restaurants, Vítor Adão. In the 32 hours training, some basic notions of service were also included in a module led by Nuno Faria, one of the partners and F&B director of 100 Maneiras.
The final test of the training took place last March 13. The trainees joined the team of 100 Maneiras to cook a dinner for over 200 people, based on local products. The menu included products such as the clams of Fajã de Santo Cristo (served with yam purée, smoked garlic cream and fennel from the island), São Jorge cheese, in which an island fish rice was served (rice with largescaled scorpionfish, swordfish and broth of lobster and clams of Fajã de Santo Cristo), and banana from the Azores, used in the dessert (sericaia mille-feuilles, caramelized banana and vanilla cream). And even the tables were decorated with flowers, stones and woods collected during this training week a bit all over the island.
The success of the initiative foresees a return. Because the sustainability and identity of the island, of the archipelago, are nouns that are conjugated in a certain Portuguese-Yugoslavian…