Henrique Sá Pessoa

Just after a year of closing, Celebrity Chef Henrique Sá Pessoa has brought back his signature restaurant “Alma”, much to the delight of Lisbon gourmands in the know.

Between his restaurant and his TV shows, Chef Sá Pessoa has become one of the most beloved characters in the Portuguese culinary world, and of course we wanted to find out his thoughts on the city.

His answers, below:

– Secret location?
The idyllic Praia da Ursa in Cabo da Roca area.

– Best view?
Miradouro de Alcântara in Bairro Alto with views over the city’s rooftops and castle, and the running track on the rooftop of Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon.

– A guilty pleasure?
Salted dark chocolate.

– Where can we find you on any given Sunday?
Spending quality time with family.

– A trend for Lisbon’s future?
Cocktail bars, ethnic and speciality restaurants: tapas, mexican, peruvian, hot dogs…

– Favourite drink in the city?
At the moment, Pisco Sour.

Coolest place to have a drink?
Lux dance club.

What’s your favourite summer drink?
Champagne and Rosé Sangria.

– Something you cannot resist?
Travesseiro de Sintra da Piriquita…definitely cannot resist!

– What can you do here and nowhere else?
Have the city, mountain (Sintra) and beach within a 20min drive… definitely unique of Lisbon.

– What’s your favourite beach?
In Portugal: Comporta, Zavial, Arrábida.
Abroad: Costa Brava in Spain, Ko Samui in Thailand, Noosa in Australia.

– Someone NOT to be stuck in an elevator with?
Arrogant people.

– You’ve just opened Alma, now in the Chiado neighbourhood. Why move from Santos (where the previous Alma was located) to Chiado?
Chiado is the best location in Lisbon, and is also one of the most historical and visited sites in town. I wanted to position Alma in a prime location for that reason.

– What is a perfect morning (or evening) in Chiado?
Go for a walk along Armazens do Chiado area, have an ice cream at Santini, and dinner at Alma…of course. 🙂

-If you had to mention only one dish, a signature dish on the menu of your new Alma restaurant, what would it be, and why?
Suckling confit pig as it is the dish that has followed my menus since 2007. It is the customers’ favorite.

– The dishes you kept from the previous restaurant, were they the best-sellers? For both local and international clientele?
Correct. I changed the whole menu except for the suckling pig.

– What do you cook for yourself (and family) at home on your day off?
Is there a dish you always get asked to make?
Normally roast chicken is the crowd’s favourite at home and pancakes with fruit and maple syrup.

– Where do you like to shop for food?
In the markets of Príncipe Real, Benfica, Alvalade and Ribeira.