Chef Interview: Chef Fernando of our Seaside Portugal Cooking Vacation
With more than a thousand miles of coastline, Portugal is a beautiful country to visit at the seaside. One charming town along the Estoril Coast is Cascais, which began as a fishing town and transformed into a destination favored by kings in the early part of the 20th century.
Just a short ride from this town, discover the culinary traditions of the region with Onyria resort’s Chef Fernando Monteiro and his collaborators in the kitchen. With his focus on modern techniques and mixing Portuguese and Italian cuisine in his cooking classes, you’re sure to experience a unique culinary adventure there with The International Kitchen.
When did you first start cooking? What’s your first cooking memory?
I was 19 years old and my first recipe was Tirol burgers with mango chutney and sweet potato chips.
Where (and from who) did you learn about cooking?
I did all my education and training at Faro Hospitality and Cooking School, in the Algarve.
What’s your favorite ingredient or food to cook with? Favorite dish to make?
My favorite ingredients are sweet potato and grouper due to their versatility and delicate flavors. My favorite dish is Stuffed free range chicken with mandioca.
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to someone just starting to cook?
To succeed in this job, it is very important to be humble, love food and to like being creative with food.
What do you hope people gain from your cooking programs/classes?
Mais saber, conhecer os melhores produtos e aprenderem a fazer os cozinhados com amor. More knowledge about food, different ways of cooking and to put love and dedication in all the dishes.
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Chef Fernando is no longer offering the culinary program for our travelers, but you can check out all our culinary vacations in Portugal, or we are happy to design a custom tour for you to Sintra and Cascais!
Interviewed by Liz Hall
Our chefs, and their passion for cooking, are the heart of all of our vacations. In this series of blog posts, hear the chefs in their own words as they talk about their background, their love of food, and what they hope you gain from your next culinary vacation.
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Originally published October 17, 2013.