Lisbon’s already vibrant dining scene will be taken to a new level in April when Sangue na Guelra (Blood ’n’ Guts) launches the first of four audacious culinary extravaganzas on the 10th floor of the landmark Four Seasons Hotel Ritz.
Paulo Barata and Ana Músico, the avant-garde culinary event organisers behind Sangue na Guelra, burst onto the foodie scene at Lisbon’s Fish & Flavours Festival in 2013, when they set up a side festival at which international chefs could work with Portuguese seafood, and young, emerging Portuguese chefs were given a platform for their work.
Now the duo has created a series of four immersive experiences (from €550 per person, running April-October) in the Presidential Suite of the Ritz. Michelin-starred chefs Eneko Atxa (Azurmendi near Bilbao, three stars), Alex Atala (DOM in São Paolo, two stars), Mauro Colagreco (Mirazur on the Côte d’Azur, two stars) and Toño Pérez (Atrio in Cáceres, two stars) will each collaborate with the hotel’s executive chef Pascal Meynard, executive pastry chef Fabian Nguyen and sommelier Gabriela Marques to cook an exclusive dinner for just 20 guests.
Those lucky enough to book a seat (the events have stirred up enormous interest) will be instructed to arrive at the hotel and check in at reception, where they will be handed a key and sent to the Presidential Suite on the 10th floor. At the first dinner, cooked by Atxa, guests will be welcomed with a cocktail and directed to hang their coats in the wardrobe of the master bedroom, where they will find award-winning dancer and choreographer Alice Joana Gonçalves lying on the bed, reading a book until she decides to throw open the doors to the dinner table in the adjoining drawing room, with views onto the city skyline. There, a table laid with silver candlesticks, crystal glasses and porcelain from the hotel owner’s private vault will form the backdrop to a dinner of red mullet cooked three ways (a fritter, flame roasted and with wheat stew, pepper and parsley potatoes). The wines will be served by Marques, dressed as a mysterious character from a film noir.Details of the remaining events are still under wraps, but each evening will have a different theme, a different cast and different props, promising to be as memorable as the food most certainly will be.