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Ten of the best

Self-guided walking holidays in PortugalTen days, ten chefs, ten meals – that’s the simple concept behind the ‘10Fest’ held every year in June on the beautiful island of São Miguel in the Azores.

This gastronomic festival showcases the archipelago’s home-grown produce from land and sea which forms the basis of delicious dishes crafted by some of Europe’s top chefs.

Of course, the Azores, a series of emerald-green gardens floating in a deep blue sea, are a wonderful destination at any time of year, whether you spend time getting to know one island intimately or prefer the idea of hopping from one to another.

The lush volcanic terrain lends itself perfectly to walking holidays – or for some thrilling sightseeing. Most notably, the islands are one of the world’s major whale-watching centres, as described recently by one of our customers. Add to that the chance to savour some exceptional cuisine and you have all the makings of a truly unforgettable holiday.

This year, the ten invited chefs for 10FEST include Andy de Brouwer and Nico Corbesier from the Restaurant Les Eleveurs in Halle, Belgium; Susana Felicidade of Restaurant Pharmacia Taberna and Petiscaria Ideal in Lisbon; and Ray McCue from the Escola Hotelaria e Turismo in the Douro.

For ten days after 20 June, the chefs will be serving their gastronomic creations at select venues on the largest island, São Miguel, though you don’t have to be there for the festival to savour the tasty cuisine of the Azores. The islands have shared national dishes, of course, but each island has its own specialities, too.

While looking into Azorean cuisine, I came across mouth-watering dishes and recipes, many of which, unsurprisingly, feature seafood – and from these, I created my own five-course dinner which I intend to create at home one of these days (though I have yet to discover what “Nun’s tummy egg sweets” are!)

Accompany your meal with a glass of chilled Verdelho wine from the island of Pico, perhaps; or maybe a cup of Chá Gorreana, the tea that is grown in the Azores; and end the night with a sip or two of Aguardente velha da Graciosa (the local brandy) or Licor de Maracujá, a passion fruit liqueur from São Miguel.

Self-guided walking holidays in Portugal

Posted: 07/06/2013 16:20:32 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: festivals, gastronomy, islands, lifestyle, opinions, Portugal

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