Público Reportage: Plants that unite an agronomist, a scientist and a cook


Plants that unite an agronomist, a scientist and a cook

Halophytic plants, which grow in saline environments, have begun to invade our dishes.




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The Chefs Alexandre Silva (LOCO) and Vincent Farges (Lisbon) are stars of the XtremeGourmet project team

Alexandre Silva (LOCO, Lisbon)

Alexandre Silva is a creative force of nature. Fork Platinum 2017, which distinguishes the best restaurant in Portugal from its Loco the restaurant of Lisbon with * Michelin. The Portuguese know him from the Top Chef program of RTP1, which won in 2012, and since then have accompanied and cherished his work as a cook. Graduated in Kitchen / Pastry, and Management of F & B in the EHT of Lisbon and in Molecular Gastronomy in the Higher Institute of Agronomy, all recognize him the charisma and the daring. It was in the Bocca project, where he was from 2007 to 2012, which began to show his talent and original and innovative ideas in view of the gastronomic panorama of that time. At the same time, he founded the 4th Floor - Experimental Kitchen Project, a platform for answers regarding Portuguese gastronomy, producers, products, techniques and creativity. The same restless spirit takes you to the Alentejo, to inaugurate the Alentejo Marmóris Hotel & Spa as Executive Chef. There, he had total creative freedom and the possibility of directly contacting the producers, of working in the field, to know new products, to try them out. It was a unique experience, which consolidated the way you think about gastronomy. He returns to Lisbon to become Executive Chef of Bica do Sapato and soon after opens his first business, the space Alexandre Silva in the Market, in the Ribeira Market. From here to LOCO, the old dream that took on a life of its own was a natural step.









Vincent Farges (Lisbon)

Vincet Farges was born in Rillieux-la-Pape in the Rhône-Alpes region of France in 1973. He grew up with the privilege of having a great proximity to nature, with the ritual of choosing garden products directly to the table, with the Diversity of the flavors of fishing and hunting, which marked deeply the way they look at gastronomy.

At the age of 14 he began his training in cooking, committed to marking his presence in this area that fascinated him so much. He passed some of the best French restaurants, Morocco and Greece but the defining moment of his career probably took place in Strasbourg when he was at the celebrated Le Buerehiesel with three Michelin stars, working with Antoine Westermann. It was this chef who put Portugal on the route of Vincent Farges, inviting him to come and lead the kitchen of the emblematic Hotel Fortaleza do Guincho in Cascais. During his ten years as executive chef at this restaurant, Vincent Farges stands out as one of the best gastronomic references working in Portugal, maintaining a solid Michelin star during this period. He was responsible for linking French cuisine to Portuguese products and one of the major players in the modernization of national gastronomy.





The amazing Chefs of the Algarve are part of the XtremeGourmet project in the team that performs quality tests with RiaFresh products.

 João Oliveira (Vista Restaurante, Portimão)


João Oliveira, 30, graduated from Escola Profissional Infante D. Henrique, in Porto, as a Kitchen Technician, in 2006 and since then has passed through the most important gastronomic references of Portugal, namely in the restaurant Largo do Paço in Amarante and With a Michelin star at The Yeatman Hotel, where he was Subchefe for four years also with a Michelin star, as well as at the Michelin-starred Hotel Vila Joya's restaurant. In 2015, João Oliveira heads to VISTA Restaurant as Chef of one of the best restaurants in the southern region, not only for the gastronomic reference he has secured, but also for the privileged view of the sea of Praia da Rocha, an exclusive environment worthy of a small palace from the beginning of the century XX and top service, an experience that surprises the 5 senses.




Rui Silvestre (Bon Bon, Carvoeiro)

Rui Silvestre was the youngest Portuguese Chef to be distinguished with a Michelin star (he was 29 years old).
He was born in Valongo, but since the age of 10 he lives in the Algarve. Graduated from the Algarve Hospitality School,
Worked for 7 years in French, Swiss and Hungarian restaurants. And it was in Budapest that while Sous-Chef of Costes Restaurant won its first star. About 2 years ago (2014) decided to return to Portugal by going to Bon Bon, a small restaurant in Carvoeiro, Algarve.
In its dishes gives preference to the articles of the Algarve region with a lot of fish, seafood and herbs.

Leonel Pereira is the Chef Coordinator of the gastronomic quality tests in the XtremeGourmet project

Deeply familiar with the gastronomic use of halophytic plants, the cook (as he likes to be treated) Leonel Pereira was born in Pessegueiro / Martinlongo, in the Algarve. Has a career with 25 years, National and International distinguished with the highest awards. Passages by the Lenötre, Alain Ducasse, Culinary Institutes of America and hotels like Sheraton, Meridian, Pestana, Pousadas de Portugal etc. He practices a kitchen with deep roots in regional / traditional recipes and calls it Irrequieta and Criativa, for always trying to apply the latest technique to get the most flavor of each product. But always with the aim of comforting and surprising your diners, in addition, it adds the Emotional and Sensorial part to go a little further through memories and unique moments of the past represented in the present.

Since March 2013 he has embraced the project of the São Gabriel Restaurant in Almancil, where he has made a real revolution and revelation of what is for him the evolution of local flavors. In 2014 he is distinguished with his first Michelin Star. Already in 2015 he is again distinguished with the Chef of the Year award and the São Gabriel with the Platinum Fork (maximum distinction by the same guide). In 2016 returns to be distinguished with 3 soles in the famous guide REPSOL.

Riafresh greens at Fine Wines and Food Fair

Riafresh offers its Ria Formosa Natural Vegetables to be used in one of the most important gastronomy event in Europe, VILA VITA Parc's Fine Wines & Food Fair, from May 15 to 20, 2017. This gastronomy event brings together 45 chefs, totaling 50 Michelin stars, wine makers and gourmet producers in the world. 

The event takes place every 2-years, and places visitors face-to-face with the chefs and producers, providing a unique experience.

Besides the celebrated Kitchen Party, on May 20th, a series of 5 exclusive dinners and a lunch will be hosted by magnificent star chefs at Ocean, Atlantico and Praia Dourada restaurants.


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