TUESDAY MAY 1 -We were at Jeronimos in Cabanas for a showcase dinner hosted by Chef Noellia.As always her personality shone through in a menu of non-stop traditional Algarvian dishes being brought to the table.Entradas included Butarga, Muxama, marinated anchovies,the best caracois (snails) I have ever tasted in the Algarve and a most delicious newly discovered artesan cheese from the Alentejo.These were followed by "Canja com ameijoas" "Porco e fava algarvia" Polvo com batatas, and Linguado frito with a tomato migas.The evening finished off with a Noellia triumph, her Tarte laranja which we ate while Noellia, with 24 Kitchen´s host Chef Meneses, performed to the cameras sampling my contribution to the evening, Chocolate caramel brownies with Flor de sal Limao ,which they washed down with a couple of tots of "Medronho",( Algarvian fire water). An evening that celebrated the cuisine of the East Algarve was enjoyed by all.Obrigadinhos a Noellia.
WEDNESDAY MAY 2 -Masterchef Portugal meets Masterchef UK. "Let the battle begin".It is a friendly match,totally non competitive.Formerly having worked in advertising, Meneses became a charismatic participant in the Portuguese version of Masterchef. He quite clearly has a passion for food, travelling within Portugal and discovering the richness and diversity of his national cuisine. The day after Noellias dinner he meets myself, a former contender for UK Masterchef who fell at the first hurdle, not on my cooking skills I hasten to add, but on my screen test.I am the complete opposite of Meneses, whose personality, confidence and charm exude without a doubt. I play host at the location, Casa Rosada, and hand our kitchen over to him and his film crew. I introduced him to our local town butcher Senor Antonio who provided him with the cut of Vazia Novilho that he required to cook "Bife Na pedra" steak on the stone. He also chose from the deli a local Castro Marim fresh queijo de cabra to demonstrate the flavour combinations that can be achieved with Jorge Raido´s product Salmarim Flor de sal.
Watch the episodeson Channel 105