Executive Chef Miguel Teixeira of the Vidamar Algarve is among five of the 12 executive chefs based at five-star hotels in the region who from May 6 to 15 will be taking part in Algarve Chefs Week 2016.
This year the challenge is to present menus inspired by ceviche, Peru’s national dish, which is essentially raw fish marinated in citrus juice.
At the Vidamar Algarve, Executive Chef Miguel Teixeira reveals a few secrets of the menu that he is preparing: it is “a reinterpretation of Bacalhau com Grão [Portuguese codfish with chickpeas] in a version with a lot of citrus fruit, spices, and ingredients from Japan, since we will be serving this dish in our KOI restaurant.”
This special menu may be sampled at the Vidamar Resort Algarve throughout the week of the event. For each meal consumed in participating restaurants at the hotels, one euro goes to a local support centre for homeless people, CASA.
On April 23, from 3pm at Loulé’s municipal market, Chef Teixeira and his friends and colleagues Marco Alban, José Leitão and David Domingues will be offering some tips and secrets on this dish, at a workshop that promises to be deliciously surprising.
Ceviche, which is considered to be Peru’s national dish, resulted from the introduction of Arab techniques into the cuisine of South America, when Moorish women who came to the continent with the Spanish army began using the juice of bitter oranges to marinate raw fish, in place of the local ingredients the Inca had used.
The name – sometimes written seviche – is associated by historians with the Arabic word sibesh or Al-Sibesh, which refers to acidic foods such as citrus fruits.
Ceviche and the Algarve
This way of marinating fish with citrus juice is not at all alien to Algarve cuisine, which also retains many customs introduced to the region during the Moorish period.
The Algarve is, of course, known for its fresh fish and high-quality citrus fruits – both ideal for use in ceviche – with boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes or corn providing perfect accompaniments.
Ceviche may be served as a starter or as a main dish.