Dedicated to all things with fins, scales, claws and shells, Lisbon Fish and Flavours Festival is all about the best ways to prepare and eat fish. And because the ocean is bountiful, the event also offers cooking classes, tastings with famous chefs and talks.
While filming his latest film in Portugal, Jeremy Irons said he would happily live here just for the fish. A delicacy, fish is an icon of Portuguese cuisine, something Mr Irons could verify for himself should he decide to attend Lisbon’s Fish and Flavours Festival.
Already in its 5th edition, the festival features prominently on the Portuguese gastronomic calendar and offers the opportunity to sample a variety of fish prepared by prestigious national and international chefs, watch live cooking demonstrations, take cooking classes, join in guided tastings, enter competitions and stock up on gourmet foods at a market featuring over 500 products to sample and buy. Even the famous pastel de nata – Portugal’s ubiquitous custard tart – will be in attendance with its very own competition to crown Lisbon’s tastiest treat.
For 11 days from 12 to 22 April, fish has gone up the Tagus estuary and landed in the Portuguese capital, taking over the city for 11 days. The Pátio da Galé in Terreiro do Paço at the heart of the city becomes a giant live kitchen where visitors can get a taste of the finest Lisbon cuisine with dishes from 10 of the capital’s best restaurants prepared by some 40 national and international chefs.
If reading has got tummies rumbling, visitors are advised to book in advance for fish and seafood tastings. Restaurants are open between 12pm and 12am and tastings range from €5 to €8, after having purchased an entrance ticket for €15. Included in the entrance fee are two tastings worth €5 each on weekdays, or one €5 tasting if you decide to go during the weekend.
There is no extra charge for other festival events like cooking classes, live shows and wine talks but the number of places is limited and you must register 15 minutes prior to the event’s start time to attend. The programme is available on the festival’s website. Please note that an additional €10 fee is only applicable to each wine pairing course.
Portuguese cuisine household names present at the festival include chefs Vítor Sobral (Peixeira da Esquina), José Avillez (José Avillez), Paulo Morais (Umai) and Henrique Sá Pessoa. International cuisine is represented by two Michelin star holder Andoni Luis Aduriz, France’s Jacques de Divellec, owner and head chef of the Parisian restaurant Le Divellec, Spain’s Ángel Léon from the Aponiente restaurante in Cadiz and Brazilian Felipe Bronze, head chef at Oro in Rio de Janeiro.
Festival highlights include tastings of traditional canned Portuguese sardines and mackerel, and rare delicacies such as Azorean parrot fish at the G-Spot restaurants or whelks at Tasca do Joel. For dessert, Anatomia de uma Rabanada – reinvented French toast – from Bocca comes highly recommended.
Festival director Duarte Calvão guarantees to PDV that the event will delight all taste buds as it features “something for everyone”.
Tradition lovers will find themselves at home at Ribamar or Tasca do Joel while those with more adventurous palates can sample a modern touch at José Avilez, Asian fusion at Umai or versatility in its many declinations at 100 Maneiras.Lisbon Fish and Flavours Festival
Pateo da Galé – Terreiro do Paço
Day pass per person: €15
Day pass for groups up to 5 people: €60