Lisbon. Discovering José Avillez’s luscious empire.

José Avillez is one of Portugal’s most famous chefs, he runs 12 restaurants,
produces wines, made appearances in many radio and television shows
and has been awarded with 2 Michelin stars for his iconic
     Belcanto                                                                                                                             I met with José n Lisbon at the magnificent Bairro do Avillez, a five restaurants venue, all supervised by José inside the Bairro , I found the unformal Taberna, the spacious Páteo, specialized in fish and seafood, Mercearia, a gourmet store ,Cantina Peruana  which hosts the chef Diego Muñoz, specialized in Peruvian cuisine and finally Beco Cabaret Gourmet a mysteriously hidden Cabaret Dinner Gourmet, with a quite sexy musical revue. It is no coincidence that on the bar wall stands a gigantic portrait of Dita Von Teese, the queen of vaudeville


                                        How do you express your personality in the kitchen?
I’m a quiet guy, I do not like to be wrong and aim to do things right. But all calmly. No hysteria if someone makes a mistake in the kitchen


What interested you in the food planet?
I am interested in the different world cuisines, that’s why I am honored to host chef Diego Muñoz in my Cantina Peruana and I just opened Barra Cascabel, featuring chef Roberto Ruiz, one of the great references of Mexican cuisine in Europe.



What we’ll always find in your fridge and what we’ll never find?
I always leave a lot of space for fresh vegetables, eggs, cheeses. Never, never margarine.
Where do you find inspiration to create a dish?
Everywhere and nowhere, in reality and in imagination. I love simplicity: certain Asian flavors, Japanese style and the influences of Portuguese cuisine. I like to create dishes that bring joy to the palate, not just to the eye.
Eros and food, a proven combination. Your aphrodisiac dish ?
A dish that knows how to create an atmosphere. Like a rich soup, perhaps accompanied by oysters.
Open the drawer and tell us your dream.
Be happy. Professionally and sentimentally.
Are you happy now?
Yes, but still in pursue of more happiness.
You are the guest of honor in a TV show. What would you cook to impress the audience?
I would follow the Portuguese tradition and my heart. I would prepare my signature dish: bacalhau à Brás with explosive olives, one of my favorite Portuguese dishes yet cooked with a twist. I would garnish with little green spheres that pop in your mouth and create an explosion of olive flavor. I love surprises!





Here all Avillez restaurants.
Choose one (or more) for your next trip to Lisbon
José Avillez restaurants