The names of the best Iberian restaurants were revealed, and five new Michelin stars were given to Portugal! Porto is more starred. Vila Foz, named after the hotel where it is placed, is signed by Chef Arnaldo Azevedo. Located in Porto, the restaurant has the sea always present, with the freshness and flavor of fish and seafood from the Portuguese coast.
On the seafront, in a 19th-century mansion, Vila Foz is a luxury hotel, with restaurants run by chef Arnaldo Azevedo. One of them, the namesake Vila Foz, has just received the first Michelin star. In an interview, the Chef confessed to us some points about the restaurant and its concept, some details about the victory, what's to come, and its differential factor.
The restaurant occupies the former and luxurious hall of events of an old palace from the 19th century, and its cuisine favors seasonality with a focus mainly on fish and seafood. “The Vila Foz Restaurant is a signature cuisine restaurant, where we work seasonal products and with small producers and which, due to its location facing the sea, the focus is on fish and seafood. Based on traditional Portuguese cuisine, we transform these references into contemporary cuisine, but always transport ourselves to our traditions. In addition to our cuisine, wine pairing is another important point. We have an extensive wine list, focusing on national wines, but where we include references from all over the world.”, the Chef begging to explain.
This is the first Michelin star of chef Arnaldo Azevedo, who has an extended career in the world of gastronomy. His story began at his family's restaurant, Toca da Formiga, in Ermesinde, where he developed his art, which led him to attend the cooking course at the Hotel School of Santa Maria da Feira. He followed an internship at the Sheraton Pine Cliffs Hotel, in the Algarve, and then went to Mesa, in Porto, alongside chef Luís Américo, and at Amadeus, in Almancil. After heading the Stage, at Hotel Teatro, in Invicta, he arrived at Vila Foz Hotel & Spa, being responsible for the Vila Foz and Flor de Lis restaurants. “It is a milestone in the life of a Chef and a distinction for his professional career, a recognition for the entire team. We work with a focus on our clients and on creating memories, and when we are recognized with awards of this size, it is a sign that we are fulfilling our goals and that the path is ahead.”, said the Chef.
The Vila Foz restaurant opened shortly before the pandemic, and this award comes with an “even more special flavor”, “the Vila Foz Restaurant just before the pandemic and we had to position it considering various challenges and constraints and always with uncertainty soon. Once again, it is an affirmation of the adaptation work and that the important thing is not to give up, regardless of the obstacles.”, stated the Chef.
Its ideal location, on the first line of the sea, in Foz, is one of the points that distinguish it from many others, guarantees the Chef Arnaldo Azevedo. “The privileged location in the city of Porto is an important factor. The Vila Foz Restaurant follows all the dynamics of this part of the city. The emblematic room and authenticity of the house in which it is located. And because what we like most about this activity is the sharing of moments with those who visit us.”, he acknowledged.
This award came to sweeten the chef's career, and give a name to the hotel and restaurant, however, it will bring more effort, consistency, and discipline. This star will bring “More responsibility! Rigor and professionalism have always existed. Innovation has always been present. We do have an added responsibility, but our commitment and willingness to create remains.", he concluded.