Flavors & Senses – The Best for 2015: The Ceremony


On the past June 9th, we delivered our Blog’s awards for the second time, not in the middle of the street like last year, but at our favorite Wine Bar, PROVA, located in the Ferreira Borges Street, right next to the famous market.

This year we had the sponsorship of Riedel, through Portfolio, which allowed Alejandra, of the Atelier We Came From Space, to personalize for our awards two of the most emblematic pieces of the brand, the Riedel Sommeliers Bordeaux Grand Cru cups and the Decanter Amadeo.

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Riedel -1

With the majority of the guests (this year more than 70 people) already at Prova, we initiated the party with the wines of Anselmo Mendes, with highlight for his Parcela Única of 2012, recently celebrated by Sarah Ahmed on the last edition of the Decanter Magazine, and to his Contacto of 2014.

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 The wines of Anselmo Mendes ready to be enjoyed 

With the responsibility of starting the ceremony falling on me (and those who are acquainted with me know how much I love to speak in public!) and Cíntia in charge of the presentation of the winners (Flavors & Senses –Hotels and Travels), we ended with the delivery of the awards being done by Marta Agoas (Portfolio/Riedel).


x7Marta Agoas (Portfolio/Riedel), Cíntia Oliveira and the “Stress” 

x8Pedro Freitas, representing Club del Gourmet from the El Corte Inglés of Gaia receiving the title of Gourmet Store of the Year

Starting the presentation with the category of Best Gourmet Store, where among all the nominees, the voters elected Club del Gourmet, from El Corte Inglés of Gaia, as reliable store for the second time, a store where some of the best products in the world, from canned goods to wines, are present.

In the Tapas Restaurant category, and after two consecutive years where Casa de Pasto da Palmeira won, the award flew to Casa Vasco, the most recent establishment of Vasco Mourão, with the signature of Camilo Jaña.

Restaurante Petiscos - Casa Vasco Vasco Mourão and Camilo Jaña from Casa Vasco here with Marta Agoas of Riedel, Cíntia and João and Carla Catalão of Acushla

Restaurante Tradicional - O GavetoGaveto was the great winner in the category of Traditional Restaurant

Among the traditional restaurants in the city that were nominated, the award went to Matosinhos, where O Gaveto has been breaking the hearts of fish, seafood and traditional recipes lovers for some decades now, in a space that gathers good food and good wines and also where the history of the family merges with the history of the space itself.

2014, although being a time of economic crisis, was one of the best years of Porto’s gastronomy, with the opening of great restaurants that much have been evidenced and dictated tendency during the last year. One of those spaces is owned by José Avillez, whom arrived to Porto and debuted outside “his” Chiado with Cantinho do Avillez, which quickly became famous, with full house reservations, taking home the award of Trendy Restaurant. With the absence of José Avillez (traveling) was Sónia Carocha, manager of the space, who received the award in his name.

Restaurante Trendy - Cantinho do AvillezSónia Carocha representing Cantinho do Avillez, winner of the Trendy Restaurant award

Rui Paula, after winning the Chef of the Year award in 2014, grew roots in Leça da Palmeira with his famous Casa de Chá da Boa Nova, where he recreated and elevated the bar of his cuisine, and therefore took home the Signature Restaurant award, among nominees like The Yeatman, Pedro Lemos, Palco and Astória. With the absence of the Chef, there were elements of his team to represent him.

x4The team of Casa de Chá da Boa Nova with the Signature Restaurant award 

One of the most crowded and desirable categories of the event was, for sure, the Revelation Restaurant (best restaurant opening during 2014), category that Cantina 32 won, the most recent project of Luís Américo, in the modernized Rua das Flores.

x2Inês Mergulhão and Luís Américo from Cantina 32, winner of the Revelation Restaurant award

Following up, two news in the range of categories, one of them the award for Out of Doors Restaurant, because the North is much more than just Porto, and between Minho and Trás-os-Montes there are wonderful restaurants. To this category were nominated Ferrugem (Famalicão), São Gião (Moreira de Cónegos), DOC (Armamar), Solar Bragançano (Bragança) and the starred Largo do Paço (Amarante). The choice went to Pedro Nunes and the classic cuisine of São Gião, full of great ingredients and flawless dishes.

The other novelty was to award the Wine Service, an award that intends to distinguish not only the quality of the wine list but also all the details around a good service, from the temperatures to the cups and of course, the ability of the sommeliers to harmonize the dishes with the wines. The victory went to the restaurant of The Yeatman, a wine hotel unique in the world, with a wine offer that already worth them a lot of other awards.

x32The charismatic Pedro Nunes with the award of Out of Doors restaurant for his São Gião

x1Beatriz Machado, the Wine Director of The Yeatman Hotel with the Wine Service award

On to the desired individual categories, starting by the Entrepreneur of the Year award, in which, for the second year, Vasco Mourão (Cafeína Group) won the title. Following, the category of Chef to Watch, were we intend to award a young chef that is already doing a great work with his cuisine and promises a lot more in the future. Here we asked all the nominees to come forward, and they all received a personalized Olive Oil bottle from Acushla and also Bísaro products. The elected winner was the young Chilean chef Camilo Jaña, who is nowadays responsible for all the four kitchens of the Cafeína Group restaurants.

x9Vasco Mourão with another award, this time Entrepreneur of the Year

Nomeados - Chefe a SeguirThe nominees for Chef to Watch, Ruy Leão, Camilo Jaña, Pedro Sequeira, Pedro Braga and Vasco Coelho Santos with the gifts from Acushla and Bísaro 

x10Camilo Jaña, the Chef to Watch in 2015

Almost ending, we repeated the process of calling the nominees, this time for the category of Chef of the Year, among chefs or their representatives; once again they all received a personalized offer of Acushla and Bísaro.

Nomeados - Chefe do AnoThe moment before announcing the winner of the Chef of Year category 

The end of the event was also the coronation of Pedro Lemos as the great winner of the Flavors & Senses Awards – The Best for 2015, by winning the category of Chef of the Year and also the Restaurant of the Year (this was also accomplished by Ricardo Costa from The Yeatman in 2013). Recognition to him, who after a “tough” year of work against everyone and everything, was also awarded with the so desired Michelin Star in the end of 2014.

Chefe do Ano - Pedro LemosPedro Lemos with the Chef of the Year award

Restaurante do Ano - Pedro Lemos Once again, Pedro Lemos, with the Decanter Amadeo of Riedel, the award for Restaurant of the Year 

Awards and winners presented, was time for the guests to enjoy and socialize while watering their spirit with the wines of Anselmo Mendes, where the highlight went to Parcela Única 2012, as it should be. At the same time everyone was being delighted by the amazing canned goods of Pinhais, sardines, Horse mackerel and Atlantic mackerel and to which no one was indifferent!

Vinhos de Anselmo Mendesx

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Conservas Pinhais -1           pinhais -2           pinhais -1

Besides these fishes from Matosinhos, the tasting also passed by Trás-os-Montes, with the amazing cured meats and sausages of Bísaro, with highlight to the pork neck and prosciutto with a 30 month cure, made from animals fed with chestnuts, producing a sweeter and silkier meat than that from their “relatives” fed with acorn.

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All these very well accompanied by other products of the region, namely the amazing olive oil of Acushla and the traditonal bread from Trás-os-Montes, made either of wheat or rye, produced by Pão de Gimonde.

x11The Acushla olive oil and the Gimonde bread in a flawless combination 

And of course, it would not be a party without sweets, so the Doçaria Cruz de Pedra, from Braga, joined the event to sweeten all our hearts with their delicious Abade de Priscos pudding and the crunchy Pastel dos Remédios.

Cruz da Pedra - Abade Priscos

Concluding, it was an amazing afternoon, in which we gathered all the great gastronomic names of the North of Portugal, for a simple and informal celebration of their work, increasingly meritorious.

Once again we have to thank Portfolio and Riedel that supported this project from the beginning; thank PROVA, Wine, Food & Pleasure, for the space and all the work; thank our partners: Anselmo Mendes, Acushla, Pão de Gimonde, Conservas Pinhais, Bísaro, Doçaria Cruz da Pedra, for the wonderful delicacies. To Alejandra for all the image of the event, to Tiago Lessa, to Marta Amaral, to Edite and Daniela, for all the support, to everyone who helped create this event without asking for anything in return, you know who you are. Thank you all!

See you in 2016!

More Informations:
Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year – Pedro Lemos | Signature Restaurant – Casa de Chá da Boa Nova | Traditional Restaurant – O Gaveto| Trendy Restaurant – Cantinho do Avillez | Revelation Restaurant – Cantina 32 | Tapas Restaurant – Casa Vasco |  Out of Doors Restaurant – São Gião | Chef to Watch – Camilo Jaña (Cafeína Group) | Entrepreneur of the Year – Vasco Mourão (Cafeína) |  Gourmet Store  – Club Del Gourmet – El Corte Inglés | Wine Service – The Yeatman | Portfolio | RiedelAnselmo Mendes | Acushla | Pão de Gimonde | Bísaro | Doçaria Cruz de Pedra | Conservas Pinhais | PROVA | We Came From Space |


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