On Costa Verde’s porcelain pieces, we can find enormous chef’s works. They are heralds of a new aesthetic, while opening doors to new sensations for those who delight themselves at the restaurant table.
The restaurant is this place and it is also the place of yet more and vast celebration, business, promises and hopes, beginnings or endings. While being this space open to all human action, can the restaurant also be a flag for new moments and expression of society’s movements? Yes, it can. All businesses can.
Any decision that is taken, in society, interferes, convokes. By being conscious, it can be effective, generate change, captivate the internal public, towards the external public, while reflecting the desired reality.
The restaurant is that open door, turning from a special place for celebration, into a place that continues being special and where the most diverse celebrations can be held, but it is also the place for the everyday meal. If the lunch-box is/was fashionable, outdoor consumption has grown enormously while being at unprecedented levels. The number of restaurants is clearly based upon tourism, but there is another trend out of the major centers, where the search for new lifestyles has led to the opening of new restaurants.
The restaurant is a stage for all human expression, where there are more players apart from architects, as they were thinking that space for that purpose. The decoration may be activism and not decoration, the choice of the team may have been the result of a search for gender balance and diversity of origins, although nowadays it is very difficult to keep and attract people into this sector. With many reasons justifying this issue, I would say that the place that keeps and attracts is conducted regarding mental health (for working in a restaurant is really hard work) and the due remuneration. Only those who feel welcome want to work in restaurants, isn’t that the way it is in all professions? In the restaurant there is expression from the artist to the musician. All are tools for action, if conscious, I repeat.
And from the kitchen to the counter or table, what does the chef do when he has a theme in mind? He knows his surroundings and looks for the good choices nearby, the stars of the season. Avoids industrially processed products if he chooses culinary craftsmanship. He is fairly open-minded on what concerns to designing a menu, increasingly concerned about micro-seasons provided by suppliers, at a wholesaler or on your doorstep.
As little as it may seem, there are many decisions to be made before we can put our hand out to the food on the table. Here are just a few.
Paulo Amado was born in Olhão, attended law school, has edited two books, was a journalist, magazine director and is a trumpet student.
He has established Edições do Gosto and Manja Marvila, a multicultural space for generating social change through gastronomy. He chairs the Congress of Chefs, Chef of the Year and Young Gastronomy Talent competitions.