“I met João Sá in the time of my small tavern at Príncipe Real, Pica no Chão, ten years ago. I replaced him leading a bunch of blue whites, out of school. All of them had the same age and came from the same class.
Of course João was the leader! It is an innate and almost congenital issue. Leadership ability. João has it and I soon realized that in him.
We grew, parallel and without ever getting to cross in the same brigade, regretfully for me. But we cook on several occasions, with great pleasure and pride on my part.
João is one of the most talented professionals and the most emotional cooker I can remember (kitchen without emotion is a unique emptiness) and in this, João is rich, very rich and makes a million dollar kitchen.
João has his own way to go. The way of the flavors and the happiness that is transmitted in the dishes. It has a difficult road, as all of us have when choosing what we choose for a way of life. He has a talented path ahead of him. The future is already there. Let’s all see it.”
The kitchen has been going through the life of João Sá since forever. At 12 he was already creating gastronomic events at school and at age 14, his interest in everything that was practical and manual took him to the Estoril Turism and Hospitality School. It was an early entry into the demanding kitchen world and the path was intense and pulse-free.
In 2003, he plunged into Lisbon trendy space, Bica do Sapato, at the helm of Fausto Airoli – where great professionals came from the kitchen.
In 2004, he spent two months at Viridiana, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Madrid under chef Abraham Garcia. Here he discovered the typical Spanish cuisine, very well made.
He also gained experience in the hospitality industry – worked for two years at the Sheraton Porto under the supervision of chef Jerónimo Ferreira, until he realized that his love was in other kitchens.
He worked with other chefs who marked him out – like Lubomir Stanisic in the 100 Maneiras, with whom he acquired a lot of technical knowledge, or Nuno Mendes from Viajante in London – until he made his solo debut as a chef at G-Spot in 2009. There he lived the greatest creativity experience of his career, where over three years not a single dish was repeated.
Now, almost a decade later, he returns to the wheels of this SÁLA.