In Portugal, Francisco took his first steps as a Chef, after his training at the Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril. Having worked at the Eleven restaurant and the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa, he cemented his knowledge and the art of culinary abroad. The international adventure started in 2010, at the restaurant Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel, in London. He then moved to Italy, returned to London again – where he attended the course of Food Science and Nutrition, at the London Southbank University -, and finally to the Caribbean islands. In 2017, the Chef, now back “home”, took the challenge of raising the name of the restaurant Astória, at the InterContinental Porto – Palácio das Cardosas, and offer a modern vision of Portuguese gastronomy. He was born in Lisbon, and lives in Porto for just over six months.
My favourite location is… The City’s Park, where you can enjoy a walk with the family in a sunny afternoon. However, I also like to walk in the historic area of the city and discover some hidden gems around every corner. My short six months living at Porto still allow me the pleasure of being surprised each time I go out. Even if it’s not in Porto, it’s close enough, Morro Garden, in Vila Nova de Gaia, is still my favourite spot to watch the sun set!
What I like the most in Porto is… Apart from the people, I like how genuine the city is, the local trade, the unique stores, the peace the city offers, with dazzling views of River Douro.
People from Porto are… From all the people I had the chance to talk to, the people from Porto are incomparably genuine. They have a charming sense of community, which made my adaptation to the city much easier.
A defining story… The first day I saw Porto, a few months ago, on a sunny morning during Autumn, I was completely overwhelmed. The first contact with the new neighbours or with the coffee shop owner under my house, made me feel I was about to start a new chapter, in a special place.
Culture in Porto is… Living, genuine. The narrow streets, the museums and the theatres, the connection to the Port wine, which I had the chance to taste anywhere in the world, even in the most faraway places, and which always made me proud to be Portuguese, makes Porto a city that breathes tradition and genuine culture, and that hard to find and match.