THE ANCIENT ART OF COOKING at Sublime Comporta // Lifestylehotels

It flickers, radiates heat, draws you closer, calms and connects – fire has a magical effect. It takes centre stage in the Food Circle at the Sublime Comporta hotel, where the gastronomic experience allows the chef’s table and Ofyr cooking unit to merge into one.

At the Food Circle, the experience starts in the resort’s organic garden, an oasis bursting with edible flowers, spicy peppers and aromatic thyme. In the centre of this botanical paradise is a rustic, sustainable restaurant with a panoramic view and an Ofyr cooking unit ablaze in the middle. Around the flames, an elegant round table and stools provide room for up to 14 people and ensure a cosy and intimate atmosphere. Several times a week in summer, this location becomes a meeting place for a special evening meal beneath the starry sky of Comporta – complete with background music and wine pairings.

Head chef Pedro Calhau, the creative mind behind the Food Circle, serves two different menus: fire and earth.

The fire menu is a culinary journey through Portugal, from north to south, including the Azores and the island of Madeira. This menu celebrates the variety of Portuguese produce and its traditional techniques. Examples of dishes are oysters from the Sado river with green apple and basil oil, red mullet and squid from Setúbal and violet prawns from Tavira in gazpacho, plus beef dishes from the north of Portugal with rice from Alcácer do Sal.

The earth menu, on the other hand, is entirely vegan and sources its ingredients from the hotel’s own organic garden. Leeks, tomatoes, flowers, aromatic herbs, conserves and spices are currently being used, taking guests on a voyage of discovery through Portugal.

“Fire is the ancient form of cooking, and there’s a bit of it in all of us. When we cook over fire at home, everyone sits around the fire, cooking, chatting and exchanging stories until late into the night – a fire brings people together. And that’s what the Food Circle does so incredibly well: it brings together 14 strangers. At the end of the evening, they all know each other, have shared a meal and learnt more about Portugal. All while sitting by the fire.”


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