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The multicultural city of London was always a dream place for chefs to open a restaurant. It is a tolerant, exciting city, and above all, very cool indeed! Eight years ago, a Portuguese chef landed in London with an exciting CV full of international culinary journeys, and a code name used by his friends – Viajante (meaning in Portuguese ‘traveller’). Since that time, Mendes has become the hottest chef in the English capital city, with his unique concepts of ‘Art House Cooking style’ – experimental yet deeply grounded. He opened first the first molecular restaurant in London, called Bachus, then the Loft Project – the first underground supper club in town, and later an Atelier for chefs. In 2011 he opened Viajante, inside the exclusive Town Hall Hotel, a bar, famous for its mixology, and the Corner Room, a casual restaurant with excellent cuisine and affordable prices. Mendes has always managed to create exciting projects, surrounded by free thinkers, young and talented chefs and underground artists; he is counted among the top avant-garde chefs in the world.
His latest project - CRAFT – created a lot of excitement during The World’s 50 Best Awards in 2012, with unexpected cooking duets – the best of avant-garde cuisine ever experienced in London in this form with Quique Dacosta, Massimo Bottura, Mauro Colagreco, hosting too a solo dinner by Matias Dahlgren. This year, after the success of the previous year, CRAFT introduced more exciting events with top chefs: Jose Avillez, Eneko Atxa, Kobe Desramaults, Diego Muñoz & Gastón Acurio. CRAFT project finished with Rasmus Kofoed, chef of Geranium in Copenhagen, triple Bocuse D’Or winner. The final four hands dinner of CRAFT had the new rising star chef from Singapore, Andre Chiang, of Restaurant Andre. Nuno Mendes is already planning the next CRAFT project but 3 things are 100% sure – it is going to be surprising, exciting and fabulous as every project he has done so far!
The first evening of CRAFT was a four hands dinner created by Nuno Mendes and fellow Portuguese chef, Jose Avillez. 2.The following day had the exciting fresh new 3 Starred Michelin chef Eneko Atxa, from Restaurant Azurmendi, who presented some inspiring dishes, acknowledging the cultural depth of his Basque roots, and showing the complexity of his work. Atxa’s dinner with Mendes was a great success, and many food specialists are now adding him to the wish list for 2013. The next four hands dinner was with the Belgium chef, Kobe Desramaults, of In de Wulf. His talent and unique ideas are well known in the gastro-scene, and his dinner with Mendes was, according to the guests present, original, humble and exciting. According to the host: ”Cooking with Kobe was something I have wished to do for long time. He is one of the greatest talents of the new generation of chefs, and during our four hands dinner, it felt like we were one team – natural and effortless!” The Sunday before the 2013 Award Ceremony had Diego Muñoz and Gastón Acurio of Astrid y Gaston restaurant in Lima. The highest climber at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year, presented a dinner showing that Peruvian food is much more than ceviche.
The dishes were elegant, creative and delicious, using exquisite ingredients brought from Peru by the chefs and making the guests feel they had to visit the Peruvian capital city.
View the gallery to get an exclusive look at the dishes on the menu.