100 Maneiras aboard the Presidential Train
On the rails and overlooking the Douro: this was how, last weekend, chef Ljubomir Stanisic served the passengers who embarked on the Presidential Train for a trip that had gastronomy, history, culture and unique landscapes as main ingredients.
Currenlty in its third edition, the project created by Gonçalo Castel-Branco brought back to the railways the train built in 1890 to serve the court of King D. Luis I, then under the name of “Royal Train”. Honorable guests such as Queen Elizabeth II or Pope Paul VI, as well as the Portuguese Heads of State, used the carriages to transport them until 1970, when it was officially withdrawn from circulation. Restored in 2010, keeping its original furniture and charm, the Presidential Train is now part of the National Railway Museum exhibition, leaving its walls only for rare appearances. It’s the case of these trips, which begun in 2016, for which Gonçalo Castel-Branco invites some of the best national and international chefs. And if in the first two editions the criteria for choosing the choice of chefs was based on the famous Michelin star, the Harvest 2017 edition only included Portuguese (and Yugoslav-made-Portuguese) chefs, with or without stars – and Ljubomir was the first “non-starred” chef to integrate the trip.
In his first presidential experience, Ljubomir joined the teams of 100 Maneiras and Six Senses Douro Valley, where he has been working as consulting executive chef since the Spring of 2016, to create a menu inspired by the world. Under the title “The Railway Menu”, Ljubomir Stanisic’s team served a tasting trip that began with the “Take off” (Vine leaves with cheese, Cone with trout and goat cheese, Red mullet, scales, saté and sardine paté) and followed with a journey around the world, passing through Bosnia (Ajvar, Mileram, Lepinja, Flower bread, Pasteta), Italy (Burrata with ricotta foam, crispy bread, beet powder and fake tomatoes), Scandinavia (Pickles and fermented garden), Portugal (Tomato with sardines), From France to Italy (Chestnuts and fennel cream with Périgord truffle and carabinero shrimp), France (Pigeon breast stuffed with foie gras, low-temperature cooked legs, mustards salad and pine nut vinaigrette with red berries), Brazil (pre-dessert: Romeo and Juliet) and, finally, a Return to Portugal (dessert: Fake Serra da Estrela cheese). All of this always overlooking the Douro. And because it was in the Douro that this trip took place, the entire menu was paired, exclusively, with Niepoort wines.
With departure and arrival at São Bento station, in Porto, one of the most beautiful railway stations in the country, the Presidential Train will make its last trip on this edition on October 28 and 29, this time with chefs Vasco Coelho Santos (from Euskalduna Studio, in Porto) and João Oliveira (from Vista Restaurant, in Portimão) in the kitchen. All information about this trip and reservations can be found here.