Algarve chef Noélia Jerónimo (pictured) has been invited to join a star-studded line-up of chefs who will be preparing special menus to promote traditional Portuguese food on TAP flights as part of a new project entitled Local Stars.
Every two months throughout 2023 and 2024, one Portuguese chef will be tasked with creating a special menu for the business class of long-distance flights which will include an appetizer, main dish and dessert that represents a certain Portuguese region. These changes aim to give every region a chance to be promoted.
Two Michelin-starred chef Henrique Sá Pessoa has been selected to kick off the initiative, having prepared a menu that represents Lisbon and will shine the spotlight on the grouper fish throughout March and April.
Azores chef Cláudio Pontes will take over during May and June and will base his menu around São Jorge cheese, produced exclusively on the Azores Island of São Jorge.
Chef Nóelia Jerónimo will be in charge during July and August and will promote the Algarve by using one of the region’s favourite ingredients – the octopus.
Júlio Pereira, Diogo Rocha and Óscar Geadas have been confirmed as the three other chefs who will be presenting their unique menus in 2023.
The project was announced at the Bolsa de Turismo de Lisboa (BTL) tourism fair and is organised by TAP and The Art of Tasting Portugal, a platform which aims to promote Portuguese cuisine through a variety of gastronomic experiences.
“TAP is the biggest stage for Portugal in the world and our planes are one of the most powerful vehicles to promote ‘portugalidade’ (everything Portugal-related). The Local Stars project allows TAP to work with some of the most reputed Portuguese chefs by developing business class menus, elevating the food we serve aboard our planes to new heights,” said Sílvia Mosquera, Chief Commercial and Revenue Officer at TAP.
Meanwhile, one of the co-founders of The Art of Tasting Portugal says that “promoting Portugal as a gastronomic destination” is a goal that the platform and the airline share.
“This partnership, which we are so proud of, strengthens this strategy of dynamising the national territory and the community which gives it value,” said Patrícia Dias.
Other gastronomic experiences are also due to be carried out ‘on the ground’, added co-founder Adriana Fournier.