Travel: Conrad Culinary Week

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Travel: Conrad Culinary Week

Just hours away from London is the beautiful Algarve in Portugal.

And what's even greater for foodies seeking a picturesque destination with amazing food is that they don't need to go any further to experience a magnificent culinary experience over at the Conrad Algarve, which has not only established itself to be a destination hotel in itself but a hub of gastronomic talent and a foodie haven.

Take its Gourmet Culinary Extravaganza. The five-star Hilton-owned luxury property held in its stylish settings a weekend filled with amazing meals prepared by 11 renowned international chefs - nine Michelin-starred. They have come from Bournemouth, London, Paris, Lisbon, Rome, Barcelona, Hamburg, Berlin, Cairo, Amsterdam and Vaassen.

Its three-day gourmet showcase, in collaboration with Desire, Portugal’s leading gourmet initiative, was a fusion of flavours, technique and gastronomic finesse.

Leading Portuguese wine expert and Head Sommelier at Conrad Algarve, Antonio Lopes, led each culinary event with suggested wine pairings and for the teetotals, beautifully made mocktails.

Meet The Chefs

Heinz Beck, La Pergola, Waldorf Astoria Rome/GUSTO, Conrad Algarve/ Sensi, Waldorf Astoria Dubai the Palm

Heinz is known as one of the most notable “Masters of Gastronomy" in the world. His unique interpretation of the modern kitchen goes beyond his undisputed culinary talent, but includes the utmost attention toward the selection of ingredients and their transformation into highly innovative flavours. Beyond an excellent career as a highly decorated Chef, Heinz has been heralded as a leader in Italian and Mediterranean culinary tradition.

Sidney Schutte, Librije’s Zusje, Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Sidney discovered his passion for food and the art of cooking at a young age. At 22, Jonnie Boer, acclaimed chef and owner of restaurant De Librije in Zwolle, summoned Sidney as his sous-chef. That same year, De Librije was awarded with a second Michelin star. Only three years later and with Sidney’s support, De Librije earned its third coveted Michelin star. During his ten years at the restaurant, Sidney Schutte was acknowledged as “SVH Meesterkok”, the highest recognition that a chef can achieve in The Netherlands.

Roel Lintermans, Les Solistes, Waldorf Astoria Berlin

Following four years of training at the Belgian hotel school Saint Joseph in Geel, Roel moved to Paris, the indisputable culinary capital of Europe. As a successful graduate of the prestigious Parisian Ferrandi cooking school "École Supérieure de Cuisine Française” (ESCF) in 1998, he gained his first practical experience in various renowned restaurants, including the famous three-star restaurant "Alain Ducasse".

Eddie Benghanem, Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace, Versailles

One of the most renowned pastry chefs in the world, Eddie grew up in Paris and remembers the taste of his first cake, a cream puff pastry filled with chocolate. Eddie was six years old and since then, has never strayed from the patisserie! He has made a name for himself at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria Trianon in Versailles. His signature desserts include roasted apple flavoured with caramel and passion fruits, iced chestnut sabayon and apple sorbet and candied pineapple and coconut perfume, iced sabayon flavoured with Tahitian vanilla and passion fruit.

Joe Barza, Conrad Cairo

Chef Joe Barza has more than 25 years of culinary experience and is instrumental in raising the profile of Middle Eastern cuisine. Known as the rebel chef who revived the Lebanese cuisine that has been stagnant for many years by combining local ingredients in unconventional ways in order to create new trend setting revolutionary dishes that have become his trademarks.

Matt Tebutt, Schpoons and Forx, Hilton Bournemouth

Matt, a familiar face from TV shows such as Saturday Kitchen and Food Unwrapped, is at the helm of modern British restaurant, Schpoons & Forx at the brand new Hilton Bournemouth. Matt entered the hospitality sector aged twenty-one, after enrolling on a diploma course in London with Leith’s School of Food & Wine.

Jose Avillez, Belcanto, Lisbon

Considered one of the greatest Portuguese chefs, Jose is known for his enterprising spirit and his willingness to push culinary boundaries. For him, cooking has always been a passion, yet it was only in his senior year of his Business Communication degree that he decided to become a chef. It was his training at El Bulli, with Ferran Adrià, that really changed his career when in 2008 he was invited to become Head Chef of the renowned Tavares restaurant, where in little more than a year he was awarded a Michelin star. Currently, Jose has seven restaurants, six in Lisbon and one in Oporto.

Jacob-Jan Boerma, De Leest, Holland

Among the highest-rated chefs in The Netherlands, he is chef patron of De Leest, one of the two restaurants in the country to boast three Michelin stars. Named the Gault Millau Chef of the Year in 2010, Jacob-Jan translates the experiences he acquires from around the world, from places such as Asia and Scandinavia, and places them into cosmopolitan and creative dishes. New ingredients, new flavours and new discoveries are the foundations of the food philosophy of this classically trained Dutch chef.

Claude Bosi, Hibiscus, London

Claude moved to England in November 1997 to work at Overton Grange, south of Ludlow, Shropshire where the restaurant earned a Michelin Star under his role. He then opened Hibiscus in Ludlow in 2000 and a year later, the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin Star, followed by a second in 2003. Claude sold Hibiscus in Ludlow in March 2007, and relocated it to London. Bosi’s signature dishes include Devonshire crab, smoked haddock, Granny Smith apple and Mylor prawns, caviar, curried beurre blanc, chestnut mushroom.

Kevin Fehling, The Table, Hamburg

Germany’s youngest three-star chef always wanted to do things his own way. In August 2015, the opening of The Table in Hamburg was the realisation of that dream where there are only a few chefs that can lay claim to the coveted three Michelin stars. Fewer still have achieved the distinction as quickly as Kevin, the German chef who, after opening The Table in Hamburg in August 2015, was awarded the ultimate accolade within a mere three months.

Paolo Casagrande, Lasarte, Barcelona

Italian-born Paolo worked his way through numerous restaurants in Italy to discover new techniques, discipline and creativity in the world of food preparation. He also honed his culinary skills while working at fine dining restaurants in Milan, London, Paris and San Sebastian.

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