With six restaurants in Portugal, a series of highly rated TV shows that have aired for over five seasons, eight cookbooks and numerous awards to his name, Chef Henrique S’a Pessoa is a leading figure on the dynamic Portuguese culinary scene.
He first discovered his love for cooking while on an exchange programme in the USA, and had early experience at London’s Park Lane Hotel before moving to Sydney, Australia, to work at the Sheraton on the Park during the 2000 Olympics. Two years later he returned to Portugal, and over the following years honed his skills at exceptional kitchens at Lapa Palace in Lisbon, Restaurant Syrup in Cascais, La Villa in Estoril and the Bairro Alto Hotel in Lisbon.
Winning the Best Chef of the Year title at Portugal’s premier cooking contest in 2005 was followed with being awarded the prestigious Horexpo Cup in 2007, and a year later, Chef of the Year award from the Academy of Portuguese Gastronomy.
Chef Henrique has opened six restaurants in Portugal. His first, Alma, featuring traditional yet innovative Portuguese cuisine reflects his passion for Asia and life in Lisbon, received two Michelin Stars in 2019 and Wine Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year award in 2016. Cais da Pedra was one of Lisbon’s first gourmet burger and cocktail restaurants, while Mercado da Ribeira is a food court with cantina-style communal tables, where top chefs offer local products from octopus salad to steak sandwiches and handmade ice cream.
In 2017 he opened in Lisbon’s Príncipe Real neighborhood, Tapisco, a small tapas and petiscosbar serving Spanish and Portuguese influenced dishes. He also opened Balcão in El Corte Inglês – Gourmet Experience, inspired by the Portuguese tavern. In August 2018, Chef Sá Pessoa opened Tapisco Porto in Porto.