Chef’s recipe – Leonel Pereira

Born in Martinlongo in the Alcoutim area, Leonel Pereira is one of the most talented Portuguese chefs. He’s head chef at restaurant São Gabriel in Quinta do Lago which has, this year again, been awarded a Michelin Star. Leonel’s cooking combines traditional Portuguese flavours with a contemporary twist and all his dishes show his Algarvian roots.

See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine December 2015



How has your Algarve upbringing influenced your style of cooking?

Leonel: It’s my childhood region; I come from the interior of the Algarve and moved closer to the sea when I was still very young. Therefore I’m familiar with the mist and smell of the sea, as well as with the smell and the aromas of the ‘barrocal’ up in the mountains. As such, it is impossible to cook without involving the sea and the serra in my creations. My dishes are made with simplicity and always have a connection with the sea and the mountain.


What is the single best bit about the Algarve cuisine?

Leonel: For me, in the mountain area it’s broad beans with black pork ribs and mint. In the coastal area it’s mackerel ‘alimados’, as well as fried cuttlefish.


What’s your number one tip for people planning on cooking a festive dinner for friends and family?
Leonel: Always prepare a menu that you know well. This way you won’t have any unpleasant last minute surprises.



Want to cook something different than turkey this Christmas? Chef Leonel Pereira reveals the secret to one of his favourite festive recipes in eight simple steps. Start practising now and you’ll be fine at the end of this month.

Açorda de Carabineiro com alho e coentros

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • 4 red prawns of 130 grs each
  • 500 grs of ‘Alentejano’ bread
  • 40 grs coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 liter of water
  • 20 grs of coarse salt
  • 4 yolks of chicken eggs


  • Boil the water. Put the peeled garlic, coriander, olive oil and a salt in a bowl, crush well and add the boiled water, but make sure to keep about a third of it behind.
  • Cut the bread into thin slices and then put it into the bowl with the mix that you’ve just prepared.
  • Wait a few moments until the bread becomes very soggy.
  • Shred the mixture in a food processor and pass through a strainer.
  • Add salt and/or pepper if needed and then put the mixture into a whipping siphon to create a foam (you’ll probably need two gas cartridges for this, depending on the size of your siphon).
  • Slightly cook the egg yolks (for about 1 minute) in water (at 90°C).
  • Finally, peel the prawns and boil them in the water that you’ve reserved before (at 95°C) for one minute.
  • Serve as can be seen in the picture or follow your own imagination.


All pictures courtesy of Leonel Pereira

See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine December 2015

Posted in Recipe.

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