Table Marked reveals the best of Portuguese gastronomy

It was yesterday, at Gare Marítima de Alcântara, in Lisbon, that Mesa Marcada, one of the most influential Portuguese blogs of gastronomy, revealed the best of national cuisine.

Two years spent in the virtual version due to the pandemic, Mesa Marcada returned to the face-to-face format in its awards ceremony. One afternoon, and with the public filling the 14th edition of Gare Marítima de Alcântara, the event revealed two major novelties: the Ocean restaurant, vila Vita Parc, in Porches (Algarve) won in the Restaurant Category; and Vasco Coelho Santos in the Heads, both in first place, after six years of dominance of João Rodrigues and the restaurant Feitoria. This turnaround is even more significant if we take into account that it is the first time in the history of the event that the two main prizes go to a restaurant and a chef outside Lisbon.

In the '10 Preferred Table Marked' is to highlight the entry in the Top 10, for the 7th place, the restaurant Ó Balcão de Rodrigo Castelo, in Santarém (rises 5 positions), and the rise of 4 positions, either alma, Henrique Sá Pessoa (is now 5th), or The Yeatman, Ricardo Costa (now in 6th place). Marlene Vieira also stands out in the Top 10, this time as bosses, when she entered 7th position, rising 6 places in the table.

As has been frequent, the results of the '10 Preferred Table Marked' (whose complete list includes 380 restaurants and 268 chefs) were calculated from the vote of a jury consisting of journalists, bloggers, foodies, chefs and other professions related to the gastronomic and restaurant environment, a total of 235 voters this year, one of the largest participations ever.

The following prizes were also counted, the following prizes were revealed: David F's authorial vegetarian cuisine. Jesus earned The Seiva, in Leça da Palmeira, the rise of 103 places (from 117th to 14th), which led him to the conquest of the Special Estrella Damm Award - Highlight of the Year. Likewise, the rise to leadership in the Feitoria's kitchen, and the way he imposed almost immediately a menu with a personal nature, deserved andré Cruz the confidence of the jury and a presence close to the front seats, in an increase of 194 positions, to 19th place (this jump that led to him awarding him the Special Makro Chief Revelation Of The Year Award).

As for open spaces in 2022, the long-awaited gastronomic restaurant Marlene, marlene Vieira, was the one that obtained the best ranking, also a 19th place, thus winning the Special Sogrape Award - New Year's Restaurant.

Also awarded from the suffrage of the extended jury panel was the Special Prize Cheese São Jorge DOP Mesa Daily 2022, which names the best restaurant of moderate price, and which had as winner for the 3rd consecutive year, the restaurant O Velho Eurico, zé Paulo Rocha, which surpassed the score of also Lisbonpica Pau and Tati, that followed him in the classification. Similarly, the Special Good Success Gastronomic Store of the Year Award was again for Comida Independente (Lisbon), which achieved more votes than the following classifieds, queijaria, The Millstone Sourdough and Butcher's Manas.  

Still with the help of this panel, there was also a new award, the Nutrifresco Special Gastronomic Event of the Year Award, awarded to the Chefs on Fire festival, from Lohad, by Gonçalo Castel Branco.

Prizes awarded by narrower juries:

In the awards resulting from the vote of a more specific and restricted jury, the Special Roastelier by Nescafé Pastry Chef 2022 Award went to Márcio Baltazar of Ocean Restaurant, in a ballot attended by 32 judges, mostly composed of pastry professionals, but which also included customers, journalists and one or other chef, all of them with one feature in common: the particular taste for this area.

As for the Special Prize S. Pellegrino/Acqua Panna Escanção 2022, it was for Filipe Wang, from Kabuki Lisboa, which gathered the largest number of nominations from the panel of 41 voters, consisting largely of scans, but which also included journalists, customers, producers and other professionals related to wine and catering.

In turn, Belcanto, which has Luís Reis as head of the room, won the SPECIAL NX Store Room Service of the Year Award, after deliberation of a group of 24 voters, of which was part of a group of restaurant room professionals, as well as owners, directors and patrons who attend them.

Rui Sanches, plateform, gathered the largest number of votes from another panel of the jury - which had this year 29 voters and was made up of journalists, businessmen and directors of restaurants, as well as foodies - and saw him being awarded the SPECIAL NX Hospitality Entrepreneur Of Catering Award 2022.

The Special Miele Classic Restaurant of the Year Award, which aims to honor the 'usual places' (in this case establishments over 25 years old), was awarded to Mugasa, by Ricardo Nogueira. This award, as well as those already revealed (in December) Special Cutipol Career Award, awarded to Paulo Morais, and Maria José Macedo Award – Producer/Supplier of the Year, awarded to Salmarim, by Jorge Raiado, had a very particular jury panel (as usual, were invited to vote only the members of the Top 10 of the last five years, as well as the winners of special prizes in that period). The 25 voters were: Alexandre Silva, André Lança Cordeiro, António Bóia, António Galapito, Carlos Afonso, Carlos de Albuquerque Teixeira, Filipe Carvalho, Hans Neuner, Henrique Sá Pessoa, Joachim Koerper, Joaquim Saraaga Leal, João Oliveira, João Ricardo Alves, João Rodrigues, José Avillez, Lara Espírito Santo/George McLeod, Lucas Azevedo, Marlene Vieira, Miguel Castro e Silva, Pedro Lemos, Pedro Pena Bastos, Rodrigo Castelo, Vasco Coelho Santos, Vítor Sobral and Zé Pedro Rocha.

Last but not least, was the award of one of the distinctions that have been most bet in recent years, the Studioneves Special Sustainability Award, held in partnership with this author ceramics company and with the sustainability consultant Grab a Doughnut. In this edition, which beat the record of entries (42 entries), the competitors were divided into two categories: Rural and Urban. In the first, the winner was the restaurant of Herdade do Esporão, in Reguengos de Monsaraz, (which had already won the first edition, 2020), and in the second, the best ranking was obtained by lisbon's SEM, lara Espírito Santo and George McLeod.

In all, more than 300 guests have fraternized and attended this 14th edition of the Table Marked Awards, on a historic night marked, among other novelties, by changes in the top places on the list.