This interview is part of a Soi 55 series called ‘My Perfect Day in Portugal’ which features local people and businesses in Portugal. Enjoy! Read more about it here.
João Mourato, Chef at Quinta do Quetzal
How do you know Candy/ How did we meet? (optional question)
I met Candy through a mutual friend, Rita Valadas in a visit to my restaurant
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m from Portalegre, but I work in Vidigueira, in the summer I go back to my hometown every
What do you love most about where you live?
Being surrounded by fresh air, nature and the culture of the people of the Alentejo
Can you tell us more about your business? (you can include links)
I work at Quinta do Quetzal a restaurant/winery in Vidigueira, one of the most unique looking
places in the Alentejo, with modern design building mixing with the natural landscaping of the
Alentejo, in one of the most culturally rich small towns of the Alentejo, Vila de Frades, a place
where the Romans made wine over 200 years ago.
What is your favourite region in Portugal and why?
Of course it’s the Alentejo the region where I’m from and where I feel the most at home. An
extremely rich region in culture and gastronomy
Portugal’s best kept secret is… the people.
A Portuguese phrase you think would be helpful for anyone visiting Portugal?
Nao é facil mas secalhar ia por :
Boa tarde uma imperial e uma bifana sff
If you could only eat one Portuguese dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Tough question, but I would say traditional Alentejo gazpacho, accompanied by cheeses and
smoked meats from the Alentejo.
If you could only drink one Portuguese wine for the rest of your life what would it be?
Quetzal familia tinto
Team Sagres or Superbock?
And finally…describe your perfect day in Portugal…
Waking Up at Casal Ventoso, a rural hotel in Evoramonte, taking off to Évora, to have breakfast
ate café Arcada e taking a tour of the historic centre, then going to the roman ruins of S.Cucufate in Vila de Frades and after visiting the winery and have lunch at Quinta do Quetzal.
After lunch drive off to coastal Alentejo to Porto Covo, enjoy the sunset beachside and finish
with dinner at Tasca do Celso. A full day through some of the best areas of the Alentejo.