The Rise of Portuguese Gastronomy in Britain


Opening of the Hawaiian Bar Restaurant Bar Dole rowing London. Three years ago was a milestone for Portuguese greasy and in the British capital both critics and the public loves to the place and also Monaco showed its approval by including Doro in our fifty best restaurants list now. The success story continues us the founder Max Graham and his team prepared to open their second and location. This timing London cece waterbed as I'm then to look back at the past three years to talk about the new location and the revival of Portuguese. Food Food in Brayson Max. Graham joins me here Madari House Studio One Abbey early. I actually opened a pop restaurant back in two thousand fourteen in in Greek street. I was walking my family business. which is Churchill's put company that makes wine imports in the valley? So the d'oro has always been very much in my blood in my upbringing childhoods but really walking for Churchill's when I opened the pool house which was really focused. It was more of a marketing stunt than anything else that was a pup restaurants pop up wind pool bar and we showcase folio of wines and ports in some very very simple produce driven sharing boards and yet during that period. I think I started eating out in London particularly in the Soho area and I just realized that Portuguese foods was very badly represented. I mean a lots of Portuguese restaurants in Stockwell and I absolutely love those restaurants but there are different Soda Portuguese restaurant and you know I was really at the time. I'm loving bar. Fina unloving Morita on these concepts. That were really showcasing. Spanish cuisine in such a contemporary outwards. Outwards way I'm really engaging with Londoners. I'm getting them excited about gastronomy from abroad and I just felt. Portugal wasn't doing that in in London at the time. So you decided to fix that. Yeah I mean I. I started the process of putting together. Ideas Footballer on that culminated in the the opening in two thousand sixteen in between then others opened up some Portuguese restaurants. Nunu Open Tabatha and you know a few years ago. It was great that was about three three of US laundry. No Tobacco really pushing Portuguese food and of course like I said. There's lots of restaurants in stockwell London that really lead. You backed Portugal Assad way which is a sort of nostalgic way. I think it's interesting that you mentioned that before. You launched Bhadra you. You felt that Portuguese food wasn't particularly well represented in London for example. What do you think that was? I don't know maybe London wasn't ready when I was much younger. That was a restaurant on the Kings road called Tuba. It was a Portuguese restaurant. And you know they were showcasing Portuguese food and I don't think think it just didn't engage with London's at the time you know this was about fifteen years ago and I just think potentially Londoners the appetites it's for new experiences. New Cuisines has just snowballed and London just hungry for new concepts particularly when they're showcasing acing cuisines that are less represented. I think that comes in tandem with the fact that Portugal has just been having such a surge in tourism such exposure over the last five years. I mean Portugal. Now the past five years it's just a completely different country. I mean when I grew up importer. It's just so far away from what it is. Today I think in Portugal there is such a wealth of culinary Marie on wine tradition. And I think that these experiences already being heightened and I just think London it is now more than ever probably quite excited to engage with Puccio before we talk about your second restaurants. You're about to launch. Let's still talk about well. Well the first module has been like how strong of a vision. Did you have in regards to the menu as you mentioned you. Spent your childhood impose import. So did you have very strong. Opinions on wall belongs to the menu. And what doesn't so. We actually run a pop up in Puto for the summer for two months with my head chef at the time and we really use thoughts time to brainstorm ideas to travel around you you know. I'm I grew up in the north of Portugal so I'm very familiar with the northern cuisine. But what's so special about Portugal. I'm what's been so special about. The last three is building Baltar is really engaging and learning about those other regions which also rich in culinary and gastronomy but yeah at the time that would favorites from childhood's that were also dishes that we thought had identity which was very reimposed since a lot of the Times a small plates Portuguese concept. You know that's not really traditional. You have petit scores which are sort of small plates. It's butts traditionally wouldn't eat like that in Portugal. It's more about largest sharing dishes and so so you know I was conscious that I didn't want it to just mimic another Spanish tapas restaurant. I really wanted those decisions. And those menu items to speak the identity of Portugal's Strana me which is very much Atlantic driven and you've done a good job. Let's remember that was just a couple of years ago when we ranked as one of the world's what's best restaurants here US monocle very very generous and wonderful knowledge. You're very welcome now. You're opening your your second restaurant in the city. How much could you tell us about that? How different or how simulates the second body raccoons be compared to the first one so I think at London Bridge we? He was slightly limited in a way. By what we wanted to keep the menu short to the point we rotated every every season. There are some dishes that just don't move because they become so popular. That can actually sometimes be quite limiting when you wanting to show off a another hundred dishes that you've come across crossing excited about. I think that's really what the policier in Hof has been. What's been great about that is that we have just really been exploring? During Portugal's different regions different Tad was different recipes. Different Cultures and I think that our menu in the city just gives us a really great opportunity to scratch a little bit deeper about what Portuguese food is. What are those star dishes? By the way that are very much in demand. People may find from both restaurants. Well I think the Buccleuch Bras is one that has been a bit of a heritage buckle. Er Brash is shoestring potatoes very very thin chips which is gently scrambled with eggs and the so-called which we rehydrate for forty eight hours Solved with some olives lovely dish it should be very creamy and it's it's a real comfort food dish and I hope that that will be something that people enjoy in the city as much as they have done in London Bridge. But we're also taking some really exciting new dishes working on this lovely ill dish from the IRA Rawda which will be Friday deals with a Byron source which is really traditionally used on suckling pig. So it's a a white pepper black pepper golic source but it's great on the Friday deals as well how much you still have to be discovered from Portugal. Something the world hasn't quite goes familiar with yet. Every time I go home I think the world has discovered it even more so than the last time. It's just every time there's more people. It's a great points at the alignment with this buzzer tourism but also the locals really embracing the tourism. I think as more and more people go to Portugal. It also drives the experimentation of the chefs impeachable. So there's a wealth of traditional food as a starting point. You've got this book which is all a Bible. Maria alluded Vest who literally has written down all of Portugal's star dishes but then you've also got this generation of chefs Jeffs that went away from Portugal. Who have started coming back on bringing with them? A huge amounts of technical expertise on the taking these very traditional recipes on expanding Portuguese food is expanding those boundaries and considering how reached the Portuguese culinary culture. Do you think there are many dishes and many ingredients. The world has been discovered yet. Something you struggled to find from outside of Portugal I think Portuguese food is obviously hugely driven by the Atlantic. One thing that is very very hard to compete with even though we're in Ireland is the rich miss of produce on fish that you got on the coast of Portugal. You got wonderful. CARBONARA is down in the all. Gov You get incredible perception. which is a goose? Bonna cool on the north coast particularly something like Incredibly Hard Oughta find elsewhere. Something I'd love to put on our menu but it's just one of these ingredients. That's better left for Portugal and better enjoyed when you go visit. I mean there's a lot of dishes that we thought about putting on which would definitely challenge. I think people's perceptions but I mean you've could be the which is made with chicken's blood and you know and there's a lot of tripe and offal dishes in the north of Portugal which I think maybe will hold off from on the next restaurant where probably gonNA play a little bit more safe than that but maybe As a special once in a while maybe one day as we mentioned already. You're just about to open. Open your sick and restaurants in the city. What about after that? Do you have any longer term plans. Walt may happen after that. Yeah I mean. We now imports about fifty percents of all winus. Direct from Boutique produces in Portugal. One thing I've really liked to develop more of a wine shop Pango and also we bring in a lot of cheeses and shall coutries would love to develop a mercer which is a deadly concept. I mean the sky's the limit. You've got punch bakeries. which would be great to get involved in but Baldur in its core concept I think I think it definitely has potential insult to grow to one team or sites off to this Max Graham Phone Giraffe Bar Douro and the new restaurant in London's broad gate opens later eighty two this month

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