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Portugal introduction
Portugal and food & wine

Cooking classes in Porto


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 Introduction
 Accomodation
 Day program
 Dates & Prices
 How to get there

Introduction - About Porto


The handsome old city of Porto, set on the banks of the Douro River, has a lot to offer the discerning visitor. The UNESCO world heritage medieval center remains largely intact, with grand baroque monuments, a colorful street life and numerous establishments serving good food and wine. It is no surprise therefore that travellers are becoming increasingly aware that Porto offers a richly rewarding short break.

Porto’s cultural life is thriving – it  includes a contemporary art scene centred around the Rua Miguel Bombarda, home of numerous art galleries. In addition, there is the excellent museum of contemporary art, Serralves, and the striking modern concert hall Casa de Musica, designed by the world-famous architect Rem Koolhaas.
 
For centuries, Porto has been the centre of the port wine trade; historic port lodges abound in the Gaia district of the city. Some of these lodges have beautiful azulejo tiled tasting rooms where one can enjoy various styles of port wines. The city’s wine bars and restaurants, where stunning Douro table wines as well as port wines are served, are also never far away.

As in any good wine growing culture, excellent food is also prevalent, and Porto’s gastronomical scene is rapidly getting the acclaim it deserves.

Last but not least, one of the most notable features of a “Tripeiro” (an inhabitant of Porto) is their hospitality Reflecting its history as a leading port city, Porto has a long tradition of welcoming travelers from all over the world, many of whom stayed and became “Tripeiros” themselves

Food, wine & Cooking in Porto

Porto is an excellent city to dine in. The traditional “tascas” (eating houses) continue the rustic traditions serving comforting food including bifanas (beef steak with piri-piri sauce) and pataniscas (cod pasties in batter), accompanied by a glass or two of locally produced wine. The bars of these establishments are often covered with platters of sweet and savory treats.

As in Lisbon a group of younger generation chefs is changing the culinary scene, through an inventive and more refined approach to cooking. These chefs and their restaurants are revitalising Porto’s culinary landscape and are gaining much-deserved attention.

Classic seafood dishes such as Polvo a Lagareiro (octopus with baked potatoes), or meat dishes like succulent roast kid or slow cooked Porco Bísaro (pork from pigs fed only on chestnuts) served with forest mushrooms, are being revisited with originality and finesse – it is a pleasure to eat in these restaurants even for the most experienced food lover.

To complement these dishes here is an ever growing list of excellent wines. Just a few kilometers to the east along the Douro River are dazzling terraced vineyards. Traditionally famed for producing port wines, they are now also making wonderful table wines which receive rave reviews from leading wine magazines such as Decanter and the Wine Spectator.

Just to the north of the city, the Minho region has been providing Portugal with some of its most orginal wines. Cultivated in the demarcated Vinho Verde region, superb white wines are made from local varieties like Loureiro, Trajadura and Alvarinho. Think aromatic, full-bodied, peachy and grapefruity whites, which  beautifully complement the local shellfish from the Atlantic.
 
Designed for people who love and appreciate fine food and wine, our ‘long weekend Porto: cooking classes’ is perfect for those who wish to discover some of Porto’s gastronomic and cultural highlights. At the same time you will have the opportunity to enhance your culinary skills and knowledge.

During this long weekend we will introduce you to some of Porto’s hidden culinary gems and will  share our knowledge of the local cultural scene .At the same time you will have the opportunity to learn the skills and gain the knowledge to cook creatively when you return home.

More information about our Porto cooking classes, as well as a short description of the accommodation and day program is provided below.

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Porto Cooking Classes - General

We offer cooking classes with some of Portugal’s top chefs. This is a rare opportunity to work with, and learn from, some of the leading and most innovative professionals in their own restaurant kitchens.

Classes are informative and entertaining, include tastings  and culminate in lunch served with wine. You will of course receive copies of the recipes prepared which will enable you to recreate these wonderful Portuguese dishes at home.

Porto Cooking Classes - About the restaurant & chef


Cooking classes will be held in one of Porto’s most celebrated new restaurants. Located in  the charming former convent of São Domingos, the restaurant, run by chef Rui’ and his team, has quickly become one of the gastronomic reference points of the city. From his early years spent in his grandmother’s kitchen, chef Rui has emerged as one of the most dynamic and respected chefs in Portugal.

As well as chef Rui, the restaurant benefits from the skills of chefs Mauro and Catarina. These three chefs have a wealth of experience, having both worked in numerous Portuguese as well as international establishments. Rui has spent considerable time with the Roca brothers in Gerona in Spain, while in the others  have worked in restaurants including The Fat Duck in England, nominated the as one of the World’s best restaurant numerous times, and Vila Joya, the only Portuguese restaurant with two Michelin stars.

Our cooking classes will be led by one or two of these chefs. They love to share their passion for fresh, seasonal produce and their enthusiasm is evident from the minute you enter the kitchen. 

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Porto Cooking  Classes - About the classes

Our long weekend program offers two morning cooking classes (of around two hours each), with tastings and refreshments, followed by lunch. One cooking class will have an emphasis on seafood, while the other will have more of a focus on meat dishes.

With the team you will have the opportunity to prepare three or four dishes in each class; one or two starters, a main course and a pudding.
 Classes take place in a specially designed cooking demonstration area and in the well equipped kitchen of the restaurant, and provide a combination of hands-on cooking and demonstration.

At the end of the cooking class, lunch will be served in the nearby dining room. The meal will comprise the dishes prepared during class, and complemented with wines chosen by the restaurant’s sommelier to complement each course.

During the classes you may learn new exciting flavour combinations - please find below some examples of dishes which may be prepared during the classes:

  • John dory with a Portuguese lime risotto
  • Sea bass with clams and rice noodles
  • Monkfish with cocoa sauce and truffle puree
  • Typical Porto Sandwich – known as ‘Francesinha’ - with ingredients such as beef tenderloin, artisanal sausage, fresh cheese and a piece of lobster in the meat gravy
  • Portuguese “Alheira” Sausage. Traditionally made of partridge and bread -  samoza  style with wild mushrooms
  • Rack of lamb with goats cheese puree; accompanied by a shallot relish and stuffed courgettes
  • Maronês meat from North Portugal -  beef tenderloin with broad beans and potato cakes
  • Goats cheese in filo pastry accompanied with pumpkin jam and honey ice cream
  • Traditional chocolate Vulcano cake
  • ‘PinaR’, - a combination of crunchy almonds, candied mango and pineapple, basil and a foam of coconut;

As the chef likes to use seasonal produce, the final choice of dishes prepared will vary depending upon the time of year and availability of ingredients.

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Accommodation

You will stay in a stylish four-star hotel in the heart of the charming and historic city of Porto. The hotel interior has been designed by internationally respected Portuguese designer Nini Andrade. The rooms have all the facilities you would expect (air-conditioning and wireless internet), these comfortable rooms have parquet floors , and some have their own outdoor  private terrace.


Most of Porto’s major monuments, as well as Porto's famous classic cafes and coffee houses, are within walking distance of the hotel.

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Day Program

Please find below an outline of the gastronomic trip, which is available all year round, with the exception of August. The tour, for two people or more, may be started on any day of the week except Sunday.

It is also possible to tailor the program to your individual requirements should that be of interest. For example, additional activities can be included during the day or your stay can be extended for you to further enjoy this wonderful city or indeed other regions within Portugal. 




Should you be interested in a tailored program, please contact us and we would be happy to arrange a bespoke gastronomic experience for you.





Day 1


  • Arrival at the hotel.

  • Dinner will be served in a typical Portuguese restaurant, within walking distance from the hotel.

  • You will be able to taste some of the best traditional dishes such as veal  with asparagus or succulent roasted kid with small potatoes. The restaurant has a traditional but elegant ambience, patronised by local political and cultural figures.


Day 2

  • After breakfast there will be a private  walking  tour around the UNESCO classified historic city centre.

  • Away from the main streets, you will see how Porto was shaped over its many centuries of existence. Strolling through the narrow streets of the city centre, accompanied by your knowledgeable and enthusiastic local guide, you will get a sense of what it is like to live in the city. 

  • At the end of the tour you will be welcomed at a local restaurant for the first cooking class.

  • After the class lunch will be served, comprising the dishes prepared during the morning accompanied by excellent wines.

  • During the afternoon there will be time to further explore the city by yourself.

  • For dinner in the evening, we would be happy to recommend some of our favourite restaurants and make a reservation for you or alternatively you could discover one of the city’s many establishments by yourself.


Day 3 

  • After breakfast, the morning’s cooking class will begin at 10.30 am at the restaurant, a short walk from you hotel.

  • The course will culminate with lunch served at the restaurant, once again accompanied by excellent Portuguese wines.

  • After lunch you will have free time to explore the city on your own.  We would of course be happy to arrange additional activities for the afternoon, or give you some tips on places to visit or to have dinner.


Day 4  



  • Breakfast sees the conclusion of the program.

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Dates & prices:

Dates 2014:

  • This gastronomic break is available throughout the year, with the exception of August.

  • The minimum number of guests is two.

  • Please contact us for availability.
     
The price for an all-in four days (three night) gastronomic break for 2 people is:
  • EUR 565,- per person.

  • A single room supplement of EUR 130 is applicable.

The price for an all-in 4 days (3 nights) gastronomic break for 4 people is:

  • EUR 525 per person.

  • A single room supplement of EUR 130 is applicable.

What is included:

  • Three nights accommodation 4 star hotel

  • Three breakfasts 

  • Two cooking classes at one of Porto´s best restaurants -  including beverages 

  • Following each cooking course, a leisurely lunch accompanies by specially selected wines. Soft drinks and tea/coffee will also be served.

  • One dinner in a local restaurant including wine, soft drinks, coffee and tea

  • A private guided tour of Porto’s historic centre.

Click here if you wish to receive additional information

Click here if you wish to make a reservation

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How to get there

The Francisco Sá Carneiro airport is less than 20 minutes by taxi from the centre of Porto.

Arrival and departure transfers can be easily organized.

Paladares Travel does not offer flight or car rental services and we suggest that you to book these directly with one the many companies offering such services. However, if you would like Paladares Travel to assist you in making such arrangements please let us know.

If you wish to book your flights directly, we kindly refer you to http://www.flytap.nl, the website of TAP Portugal.

TAP Portugal is Portugal’s national airline; they are known for their reliability and good level of service.

TAP has frequent connections to various cities in Portugal, from Amsterdam, Brussels and London.

Alternatively there are many other companies offering flights. Booking early can be very advantageous.

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