Meet Portuguese Chef Joaquim Saragga Leal!

Find out what Chef Saragga Leal’s favorite Portuguese dishes are!

How did he get here?

He was working on a family project that brought him nothing but grief. so he quit to recollect his ideas. He met a girl who quit her job as an architect and was studying to be a cook and after a long talk on a sunny Sunday, he said “What the Hell” and joined the culinary program at the Lisbon school of Hospitality and Culinary Arts. He interned at a Michelin Star restaurant while in Lisbon and also attended a variety of events focused on Portuguese food with one of the top Chef’s in Portugal, Chef Nuno Diniz. He was then chosen to be part of the team that opened one of Lisbon’s best Italian restaurants, Mercantina! He went on to get a masters in Gastronomical Sciences while also putting together the plan for his dream project. After a year, everything aligned and Taberna Sal Grosso opened it’s doors! It is known to be one of Lisbon’s most authentic and rustic Portuguese restaurants where the love of food and hospitality shines through!


Chef’s Best of Question:

What are your top 5 favorite Portuguese dishes?

(1) Rabo de Boi (oxtail) – Just a fantastic outcome of a less noble cut of beef. This dish shows you just how low temperature and time can transform a dish with only 3 ingredients.

(2) Cozido a Portuguesa (portuguese stew) – It’s something very traditional that I was brought up with. This dish combines all less noble cuts and portuguese charcuterie with a variety of vegetables all in a pot for hours and hours!! It’s to die for! …and the great thing is that everywhere in Portugal there is a different way to cook it.

(3) Favas a transmontana (broad bean stew) – this stew with porco ear, pork belly, pork ribs and fava beans is to die for – there’s so much sauce you drown in it! The richer vesion is swamped with blood sausage similar to black pudding and pork sausages.

(4) Arroz de Marisco (seafood rice) – as the name says you get it all, from shrimp to clams, monkfish, it all depends on how serious the cook is.

(5) Caracois (snails) – a summer classic, snails, toasted bread with garlic butter and beer! Sun in your face and forget the world. We have fun making weird noises while you suck the snails out of their shells and wash it all down with beer.

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