Now 43 years old, Chef João Bandeira has been passionate about gastronomy since an early age. At the age of 14, he had his first contact with the kitchen environment through the deliveries he made to the restaurants that ordered meat from the family butcher’s shop. From the outset, his ambition was to dedicate his life to the pleasures of gourmet gastronomy.
Curiously, one of the most frequent customers of the family butcher’s shop was the Via Graça restaurant, of which he has been the owner and Chef since 2002. He formed a strong personal relationship with the founder of the restaurant – João Machado Dias – who, recognizing innate talent “in that kid” and in a demonstration of trust, made a point of passing on his legacy by offering him the restaurant, which opened in 1988, on the condition that he should transform Via Graça into one of the best restaurants in Lisbon. So it was that, at the age of 28, he fulfilled his ambition by opting exclusively for the world of the restaurateur, thus leaving the family business.
Initially, he had no training in the restaurant business, and his know-how was down to the fact that he was a gourmand and regular frequenter of fine restaurants and a connoisseur of wines. He compensated for his lack of knowledge by critically observing the various cooking techniques. At the same time, he acquired knowledge and skills from the chefs with whom he worked – namely Ricardina Santos – a very experienced chef with whom he still shares the kitchen at Via Graça. His technical knowledge was improved through the various courses and training sessions he attended, further heightening his passion for gastronomy and wines.
He considers the relationship he has established with the restaurant Via Graça since a very early age – “I used to enter the restaurant via the service door” – to be a “genuine love story”, which has lasted for 15 years. In addition to Via Graça, which he considers to be his flagship business, he is also the owner and executive chef of the Casa do Bacalhau restaurant (Beato, Lisbon). All the restaurants he has managed and continues to manage are characterized by their totally unique concepts, reflecting his attitude to the world of gastronomy and everything that it involves, from preparation of the food to the attention given to the customer who is, in his understanding, the leitmotiv of his performance.
Currently, besides technically directing and overseeing the kitchens of Via Graça, A Casa do Bacalhau and two other restaurants/esplanades in the area of Castelo de S. Jorge, of which he is also owner, João Bandeira is currently involved in the creation of a new project in Angola (Luanda).
In addition to all the activities described, Chef João Bandeira also acts as a gastronomic consultant/trainer for various restaurants and bars.
Pasteis de Bacalhau – Unidade
Unidade Pataniscas de Bacalhau – Unidade
Bacalhau à Braz
Bacalhau confitado com Broa
Bacalhau de 12 meses com puré de cítricos
Caril de Bacalhau com risotto de Espargos Verdes
Feijoada de Sames de Bacalhau
A nossa versão do bacalhau à Zé do Pipo
Pudim do Abade