The most Portuguese Yugoslav chef ever

In Portugal, it is said that whoever tells a tale adds a point. Ljubomir Stanisic added 100. To the history of a country at war, the former Yugoslavia, where he was born, he added his escape to Portugal in 1997, where he found peace (and love). A match more than perfect, as this is the literal translation of the name “Ljubomir”.

To escape the fines in his homeland, Ljubo studied. Food Chemistry, Fine Bakery and Pastry, International Cuisine. Later, after arriving in Portugal, he followed courses in Chocolate Technology (France), Italian Cuisine and Sea Cooking, Vacuum Cooking, Molecular Gastronomy…

The “100 Maneiras” (100 ways) were gained early in childhood when his mother, Rosa, cooked the ubiquitous potatoes in many different ways, day after day, stimulating the imagination of Ljubo, who has already earned the title of the most creative chef to work in Portugal.

Anyone who knows Ljubomir Stanisic knows that a croquette is not just a croquette. The chef of 100 Maneiras and Bistro 100 Maneiras, in Lisbon, manages to combine chaos and harmony and even delight those who swear not liking certain things, such as offal, for example

Mesa Marcada, July 2016

The experience with Vítor Sobral, with whom he worked and who, more than mentor, became almost a second father, was essential for the cook (chef is a title that doesn’t excite him) that he has become today.

The opening of the first 100 Maneiras, in Cascais, (in 2004)  was a bittersweet story. It was in the restaurant of the Hotel Villa Albatroz that Ljubo published his first book, that he became known by the world, won prizes. The Medal of Business Merit and Development of Culture and Tourism 2007 awarded by the Câmara de Cascais or the title of Best restaurant of Contemporary Cuisine 2007 by Veja Magazine were some of them. But it was here, too, that he went bankrupt at the end of 2008.

He rebuilt himself. He realized that author’s cuisine could be more democratic and not so aristocratic. Close instead of haughty. After the first 100 Maneiras in Cascais, Ljubomir left for Lisbon. In January 2009 he opened the Restaurant 100 Maneiras, in Bairro Alto, following a conviction: to democratize the author’s cuisine, offering a unique tasting menu at more affordable prices. To share one of the greatest pleasures of life with as many people as possible.

The city tasted and liked it. Ljubo, restless, continued. From the ideas brought from the Lumière Festival (Montreal/Canada ), Bistro 100 Maneiras was born in Chiado in September 2010. Affectionately known only as “Bistro”, it quickly became a reference in the city with a menu designed to fit the seasons and flavors that are a reflection of the experiences, trips and experiences of Ljubomir, tempered with the Portuguese traditions and the irreverence that is known to him.

In 2011, Ljubomir became closer to the Portuguese, as juror in the first Masterchef Portugal, transmitted by RTP1. At the end of the same year, a new declaration of love for the country that made became home: the edition of his second book, “Papa Quilómetros – Uma caminhada pela gastronomia portuguesa“, distinguished with two world awards, one from the International Academy of Gastronomy and another from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

For the food lovers, seeing a foreigner speaking our language like many of us can’t, and spreading our story, our gastronomy and our country, is a reason for pride. It is a pleasure for those who, like me, see in the making of food, a way of sharing friendships.

Helena Sacadura Cabral, Delito de Opinião, September 2014

In spring 2012, the adventures of the book jumped to the small screen, with the tv show Papa Quilómetros, broadcast by Fox International Channels – first in Portugal and then a little throughout Europe.

Ljubo became an ambassador: of the flavors, the products and the producers, the traditions and the national landscapes. The journey was over. Not his curiosity. In 2013, with his family on board a motorhome, Ljubomir embarked on the Papa Kms Europe project, traversing the “old continent” with open senses, with the aim of getting to know the gastronomy of the various countries included in the itinerary.

In the gastronomic world, it’s not new to see a foreign chef discovering the ingredients and flavors of other lands. In Brazil, we have for example french Claude Toisgros and, why not claiming that, in Portugal, the Yugoslav Ljubomir Stanisic

Chef Magazine, Brasil, April 2012

Having said this, chef Ljubomir Stanisic is, without doubt, the most creative chef working in Lisbon (and maybe in Portugal).

Onde Vamos Jantar,  July 2014

The trip was shared online, in weekly chronicles on Expresso newspaper and, later, in a book, Papa Kms Europa – the second written in partnership with his wife, journalist Monica Franco.

Always looking for new ways to share his passions with the world, Ljubo also became the first Portuguese chef to launch an iPhone and iPad App in early 2014: Papa-Quilómetros. A journey through the regions and recipes published in the book and displayed on television, accessible through a simple touch.

In 2015 he packs again and departs on a short but prolific voyage that inspires the book “100 Cocktails 100 Maneiras“.

Across the country, Ljubomir Stanisic and the 100 Maneiras team look for products, producers and landscapes that inspire new cocktails, more than a hundred of which are published at the end of this year in an unpublished work in Portugal, showing the connection of the kitchen to the cocktails.

More than a book, it is a declaration of intentions, a breach of prejudices: a trend that marks the identity of Ljubo and 100 Maneiras.

2016 begins with an award that touches him deeply: the David Lopes Ramos Gastronomy Award, awarded by the Revista de Vinhos.

In the same year, he assumes the role of consulting executive chef of the first hotel of the prestigious chain Six Senses in Europe (the Six Senses Douro Valley), dividing his time between Lisbon and Douro. Here, he deepens his love for the land, the products, he explores a cuisine with direct connection to the health, the well-being, the sustainability, without compromising the pleasure.

Because a challenge never comes alone, it is still in 2016 that he’s invited to host the Portuguese version of the program Kitchen Nightmares, broadcasted by TVI since March 2017, which soon becomes an audience winner. In the Summer of 2017, to the recognition of the public, is added the international recognition: Bistro is distinguished as number 1 in the world in the Monocle Restaurant Awards 2017.

It is also between March and the Fall of 2017 that Ljubomir accepts a new role, as consulting executive chef of Sublime Comporta, a luxury hotel in Alentejo, where he practices a seasonal cuisine in communion and with total respect for nature. His work is recognized with the “Mais Chefe” award, in the Oscars of Alentejo, given by Mais Alentejo magazine.

At the beginning of 2018, a new prize for the chef of the 100 Maneiras: this time, the distinction of “Personality of the Year in Gastronomy” 2017, awarded by Revista de Vinhos. An award that is followed in June of the same year by two distinctions: third place in the list of Monocle Restaurant Awards 2018 for Bistro 100 Maneiras, and the Brand/ Concept award from AHRESP. A “hot” Summer that is not complete without the announcement of the participation of Ljubomir Stanisic in the second season of Kitchen Nightmares and, above all, with the opening of a new 100 Maneiras. But as unpredictability is one of his main characteristics, it is likely that the news do not stop there. But that… not even Ljubo knows.

Awards and Recognitions

Best chef 2005, Nectar Magazine

Restaurant of the Year 2005, Revista de Vinhos

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Portugal 2005, Revista Q

Medal of Entrepreneurial Merit and Development of Culture and Tourism, 2007, Cascais Chamber

Best Contemporary Cuisine Restaurant 2007, Veja magazine

“One of the most creative chefs working in Portugal”, em 2007, critic Rafael Santos

Top 3 Wine Menus, 2008

Top 20 Restaurant Guide Time Out Lisboa 2013

Featured on “No Reservations” Lisbon episode by Anthony Bourdain, 2012

Ljubomir Stanisic is one of the speakers in TEDx, Unversity of Porto, 2013

David Lopes Ramos Gastronomy Award 2016, Revista de Vinhos