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A chat with Vitor Sobral, Head Chef of Luanda Grill

In Angolan, Features, interview by The New Yorker1 Comment

Vitor Sobral

The concept of “celebrity chefs” is not common in Luanda’s nascent “foodie culture”, but little by little we get to know a bit more about the capable hands that are creating the delicious dishes at some of Luanda’s restaurants. Vitor Sobral, head chef of Ilha new boys Luanda Grill, recently sat down with the folks from Angola-Today to talk a bit more about his newest culinary adventure.

The Angola-Today team visit Luanda Grill and speak to Vitor Sobral, head chef of the Luanda’s newest restaurant on the Ilha.

Luanda Grill, which opened at the beginning of this year, describes itself as a unique environment that adapts to different lifestyles and dubs itself the “reinvention of the dining Experience”.
Our welcome was warm and gracious it is clear that all members of staff from bus boy to manager and indeed the renowned head chef take enormous pride in what they do. The building itself is sleek and modern spread over two floors it is reminiscent of a high-end Miami or Hong Kong venue replete with techno wizardry whilst somehow maintaining a strong African identity. We did not feel we were missing out on the beach front experience that most of the nearby venues have opted for as the views of the breaking waves from the elevated dining rooms and terraces were frankly superb (and sand free) embodying the elegance of capital city dining.
We took the opportunity to speak to Vitor Sobral about what makes Luanda Grill stand out from what is fast becoming an impressive collection of extremely good dining options in Luanda.

What sets Luanda Grill apart from other restaurants in Luanda? 

Firstly the concept- it is the first Grill & Gourmet Restaurant in the country. We take enormous care over the daily sourcing and preparation of quality raw materials. It is a grill restaurant but we also have the skills in house to produce top level produce in all areas including pastry, bakery, sauces and marketing.
How did you prepare the opening menu? 
We considered what our customers would be expecting from a grill restaurant and then went out to exceed their expectations. I mixed Angolan cuisine with Lusophone because we know that is what our local customers enjoy. The ultimate goal was essentially to surprise and amaze our guests and visitors with recipes and innovative cooking using familiar local flavours but with different starters, sauces of accompaniment for the grilled food and of course outstanding desserts.

Muquequinha de Lagosta a la Luanda Grill

What is your culinary philosophy?

My philosophy of cooking is rooted in Lusophone Portuguese regional cuisine taking my influences from all Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa and South America.
Does Luanda Grill have a signature dish? 
All dishes are signature dishes. The dishes listed on the menu are exclusive creations of the restaurant Luanda Grill.


Read the rest of the interview here.

Luanda Grill on Facebook