the chef

VítorSobral

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The Chef

Vitor Sobral

About ten years ago I wrote that in any future treatise on the recent history of the restaurant business, Vítor Sobral – then 37 years old – would be entitled to the longest chapter in the book. If I’m now repeating the idea it’s because on the one hand, an introduction always lasts longer than a magazine article, and on the other, the Portuguese habit of rushing to every new restaurant that opens on a daily basis, affects their memory. Even for the most absent-minded among us, it is worth remembering that many years ago Vítor Sobral led the way in modernising Portuguese gastronomy. With his radical approach to our products and recipes, he developed a signature cuisine with dishes that still exist today in the minds of those of us not suffering from memory loss. He did not merely recreate flavours; he diligently devoted himself to the technical aspects of cooking. The treatise – As Minhas Receitas de Bacalhau (Casa das Letras, 2012) (My Cod Recipes) clearly demonstrates what I mean.

Seven years ago, Sobral was the first celebrity chef to create a modern snack bar. ‘Sacrilege!’ said some, ‘the man’s crazy’ said others. Today, which districts in Lisbon or Porto don’t have snack bars, eateries, or gastro pubs? But between the original Campo de Ourique project and the wave that rippled throughout the country, there exists, with few exceptions, the classic difference between art and imitation. This is because in Esquina restaurants (there are already five in the world), there are new snacks on the menu every day. I repeat – every single day! Many people will say, ‘Oh, it’s easy to come up with a few new snacks’. Nothing could be further from the truth! Creating little titbits with harmony, balance, flavour and the ability to awaken the interest of customers is something only a genius can do. Sobral didn’t become a cook to follow fashion; he became a cook because he inherited the gift of cooking from his family. Passion, study, work and learning from life’s mistakes did the rest.

And with this gift, he’s developing his Portuguese cuisine, which is to say that he gives Lisbon customers dishes with Brazilian and African notes and flavors; The customers of São Paulo and João Pessoa all our wealth and that of Angola and those of Luanda, things here and Brazil. One day, I photograph Vitor’s suitcases. They must smell from a distance. They must be a tremendous color of spices, herbs, flours, fruits, sauces and other products from all latitudes. It’s all this that is featured in this Petiscos da Esquina, which will give a great way at home when we want to make good figure with friends. Here you can feel the whole kitchen of Vítor Sobral: the importance of the products, the cooking times controlled to the second, the precise orientation of the aromatic herbs and some nuts, the boldness in the combinations and always – but always – the intensity of the flavor.

This fusion food prolongs the Portuguese, African, South American and Asian conviviality that began centuries ago. Each Tasca is a tasty diplomatic post in the Lusophone world. To my knowledge, no Portuguese chef has created such a thing in three different geographical points. Moreover, our Government would do much more for the image of the country and Portuguese products if it challenged Vítor Sobral to open Tascas on the corners of Beijing, London, New York or Brussels, each with national product stores. That would be economic diplomacy. Active, effective and inexpensive. Take note of Dr. Paulo Portas, that this helped the crop. In any 10 of June they put a medal to the chest of our cook. They did well, but I think that the role of ambassador is better than the commander.

By Edgardo Pacheco - Food journalist and author of the book "Os 100 Melhores Azeites de Portugal" - The top 100 Portuguese Olive Oils

The Achievements

"Boa Cama Boa Mesa" Career Prize

A prize awarded for the decisive contribution to the way in which gastronomy and/or the hotel industry in Portugal has been developed or endorsed, with a professional life dedicated to these sectors, and community recognition.

See Video

Tasca da Esquina

www.tascadaesquina.com

A very creative and avant-garde kitchen with solid foundations of traditionalism. A relaxed informal atmosphere, where the pleasure of sitting at the table gets a new meaning.

PORTUGAL

Rua Domingos Sequeira 41C – Campo de Ourique 1350-119 Lisboa

+351 919 837 255|info@tascadaesquina.com

BRASIL

Alameda Itu, 225 Jardim Paulista, São Paulo – SP 01423-001 – Brasil

3262 – 0033| reservas@tascadaesquina.com.br

Peixaria da Esquina

peixariadaesquina.com

More than a restaurant, Peixaria da Esquina, the new concept from Vitor Sobral, Hugo Nascimento and Luís Espadana is a sea of flavours with a Lusitanian soul.

PORTUGAL

Rua Correia Teles, 56 – Campo de Ourique, 1350 – 102 Lisboa, Portugal

+351 912 946 155|geral@peixariadaesquina.com

Taberna da Esquina

tabernadaesquina.com

Vítor Sobral's daughter, Tasca da Esquina's sister, Taberna da Equina is born with a new spirit, with a new personality. With an innovation spirit, it recreates a traditional portuguese tavern..

BRASIL

Rua Bandeira Paulista, 812, São Paulo, Brasil

+55 11 3167-6489|reservas@tabernadaesquina.com

Padaria da Esquina

padariadaesquina.com

The most recent page in Vítor Sobral and his Esquinas history, Padaria da Esquina is born with the objective of delivering Brazil, the best and the traditional flavours of Portugal.

BRASIL

Alameda Campinas 1630 01404-002 São Paulo, Brasil

+55 11 2387-0149|contacto@padariadaesquina.com

Balcão da Esquina

balcaodaesquina.com

Balcão da Esquina is the new concept of Vítor Sobral Group. The perfect space for who want to sit at a table with Portugal, a gastronomical Portugal.

PORTUGAL

Time Out Market Lisboa Mercado da Ribeira, Avenida 24 de Julho, Loja Nº2 – 1200-479 Lisboa, Portugal

+351 911 859 144|info@balcaodaesquina.com

The Restaurants

“One thing that impacted me greatly was the simplicity of family meals. Perhaps this is why I’m such a purist, and my own palate also owes much to that influence – simple cuisine.”

Vítor Sobral

Jorge Sampaio on Vítor Sobral's 50th Birthday

“I greatly admire chef Vítor Sobral, first because he reinvented Portuguese cuisine and second because he gave us Tasca da Esquina.”

– Jorge Sampaio

More Videos

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Services

  • Gastronomic Consultancy

    Gastronomic Consultancy

  • The Chef at Home

    The Chef at Home

  • Events

    Events

  • Master Classes

    Master Classes

Awards

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