Portuguese and a chef, José Avillez’ main focus is to promote Portuguese gastronomy and to contribute to making Portugal a top gastronomic destination. He’s considered one of the great references of gastronomy in Portugal and has stood out because of his enterprising spirit and of his drive to keep pushing further.
His immense curiosity, love for travelling and constant drive to experiment and learn have contributed a great deal to his creativity and evolution, though the great source of inspiration is Portuguese cuisine. He de nes himself as a chef who’s passionate for cuisine and for his country and who embraces innovation and creativity without ever forgetting tradition, quality, authenticity and the worth of work.
José Avillez grew up near the ocean and a pine forest in Cascais —this had a profound in uence on his work. He studied Business Communication in college, had private study lessons with the key author on traditional Portuguese gastronomy, Maria de Lourdes Modesto, and did many professional internships in several different restaurants in Portugal and abroad, such as El Bulli by Ferran Adrià, who transformed his concept of cuisine.
In 2008 he took on the role of executive chef in the emblematic restaurant Tavares, in Lisbon, the place where he’d later win his rst Michelin star (2009) and in 2011 he decided to open his own restaurants. Today he has several restaurants in Lisbon and Porto, each with a different concept, but all expressing his passion for cuisine.
José Avillez has many dozens of enthusiastic collaborators who assist the restaurants’ operation and help him develop his different projects, including his TV shows, books and signature wines.
Today, what is it that excites and drives him?
The moments of creativity, because it’s when I feel the most pleasure and emotion in my life. My team, who helps me full my dream — everyday I’m thankful to the people who work with me. Then there’s the emotional commitment, the chance to give… and in the kitchen, we give! Life is a journey and the important thing is to give and leave more than we take.
− At BELCANTO —distinguished with two Michelin stars and considered one of the 100 best restaurants in the world by the prestigious “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List”— José Avillez offers a revisited Portuguese cuisine in a sophisticated atmosphere that evokes the old romantic feel of Chiado. This is the style that truly de nes him and expresses his creative evolution;
− BECO – CABARET GOURMET is a special place where haute-cuisine meets show business in an immersive and memorable experience. In this bohemian and sophisticated restaurant and bar inspired by the 1920’s and 1950’s clubs, there’s a set tasting menu that is never revealed beforehand;
− MINI BAR is José Avillez’ gourmet bar. Located inside Teatro São Luiz, it livens up Chiado’s evenings and nights, offering a new entertainment concept. Monday to Sunday, from 7.00 p.m. onward, José Avillez proposes a Bar Menu, and small, varied and avourful gastronomic experiences, along with wonder and fun that can be enjoyed in the bar area or at the tables reserved for dinner. This is not a traditional restaurant. Here, everything is not what it seems;
− BAIRRO DO AVILLEZ is an ample and surprising place with different, yet complementary gastronomic concepts inspired by the best Portuguese avours. This is the most atypical of Lisbon’s neighbourhoods. Open every day from noon to midnight, here there’s a Mercearia (gourmet deli) stocked with irresistible delicacies, a wonderful TABERNA (tavern) for those who like hearty food, a PÁTEO where seafood and sh are king, and CANTINA PERUANA, with an offer of contemporary Peruvian cuisine signed by the Peruvian chef Diego Muñoz;
− CANTINHO DO AVILLEZ is a relaxed meeting point in both Lisbon (Chiado and Parque das Nações) and Porto, that offers a good Portuguese-inspired cuisine in uenced by the chef’s travels in a very comfortable atmosphere;
− CAFÉ LISBOA was created with the purpose of bringing new life to São Carlos’ square. Café Lisboa is part of São Carlos National Theatre and has a wonderful terrace where you can have an espresso or a snack, eat lunch or dinner or simply enjoy a drink, any time, noon to midnight, seven days a week;
− PIZZARIA LISBOA is an old dream come true. José Avillez dreamed of opening a pizzeria ever since he was a young boy… Maybe because he was fascinated by the way pizza has travelled the world, maybe because he loves the fun, family-friendly atmosphere of pizzerias, or maybe because he loves a new challenge. Or, quite probably, for all of these reasons;
− Accepting El Corte Inglés Lisboa’s challenge, he developed three different concepts for the Gourmet Experience: TASCA CHIC, a sophisticated and contemporary restaurant of Portuguese traditional avours, JACARÉ, a vegetarian carnivore, and BARRA CASCABEL, a place with the best Mexican avours that’s the result of a partnership with chef Roberto Ruiz.
− PITARIA, a laid-back and informal place by José Avillez Group, with avours inspired in Middle Eastern cuisine, served on pita bread.
− CANTINA ZÉ AVILLEZ serves the most traditional Portuguese avours to two ample and bright rooms and to a terrace with a view to a garden drenched in Tagus’ breeze.
Together with José Bento dos Santos and the Quinta do Monte D’Oiro vineyard, José Avillez produced the JA wines with his signature: JA Red, JA White and JA Rosé.
José Avillez has also contributed to countless Portuguese and foreign books and authored “Um Chef em Sua Casa” (“A Chef in Your Home”), “Petiscar com Estilo” (“Snacking in Style”), “Cantinho do Avillez – As Receitas” (“Cantinho do Avillez – The Recipes”) and “Combinações Improváveis” (“Improbabilicious”). José Avillez has also authored and hosted TV and radio shows.
Awards & Recognition
José Avillez is distinguished with the International Academy of Gastronomy’s greatest award, the Grand Prix de l’Art de la Cuisine.
Belcanto comes in eighty- fth place in the prestigious The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List organized by Restaurant magazine.
The guide “Boa Cama, Boa Mesa” by Expresso newspaper awards Belcanto the Gold Fork.
Belcanto is awarded the Best International Restaurant prize by Condé Nast Traveller International. The guide “Boa Cama, Boa Mesa” by Expresso newspaper awards Belcanto the Gold Fork.
Belcanto receives the Gastronomic Restaurant of the Year 2015 award from WINE – The Essence of Wine magazine.
Belcanto receives two awards from the prestigious gastronomic blog “Mesa Marcada”: 2015’s Chef of the Year and 2015’s Restaurant of the Year.
José Avillez travels to Wolfsburg to participate in The Grand Gelinaz! Shuf e at Aqua restaurant.
The Repsol Guide 2015 awards Belcanto three Repsol suns and Mini Bar and Cantinho do Avillez Lisbon and Porto one Repsol sun.
Belcanto is included in the list “La Liste”, organized by the French government, coming in 101st place in the world’s ranking of the top 1000 restaurants.
José Avillez’ Belcanto is elected one of the 100 best restaurants in the world, coming in 91st place in the prestigious “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List”.
José Avillez is awarded the Gastronomia David Lopes Ramos 2014 prize by Revista de Vinhos magazine.
José Avillez is named Chef of the Year by WINE magazine.
The guide “Boa Cama, Boa Mesa” by Expresso newspaper awards Belcanto the Gold Fork. Belcanto receives two awards from the prestigious gastronomic blog “Mesa Marcada”: 2014’s
Chef of the Year and 2014’s Restaurant of the Year.
Belcanto is awarded two Michelin stars.
The guide “Boa Cama, Boa Mesa” by Expresso newspaper awards Belcanto the Gold Fork.
The prestigious gastronomic blog “Mesa Marcada” names José Avillez 2013’s Chef of the Year and Belcanto 2013’s Restaurant of the Year.
José Avillez is named Chef of the Year by the guide “Boa Cama, Boa Mesa” by Expresso newspaper.
The guide “Boa Cama, Boa Mesa” by Expresso newspaper awards Belcanto the Platinum Fork, the most prestigious award granted by this guide.
Belcanto is nominated for the rst annual “Foodie Top 100 Restaurants: Europe, UK & Asia Paci c” list.
Belcanto is awarded three Repsol suns.
Chef José Avillez is invited by chef Nuno Mendes to participate in the 1st edition of the CRAFT event at the Viajante restaurant in London.
José Avillez participates in the Millesime Madrid event, an exclusive and highly renowned gastronomic meeting.
José Avillez accepts Joana Vasconcelos’ invitation to cater the artist’s inauguration dinner at the Venice Biennale.
Belcanto is awarded a Michelin star.
For the second time, José Avillez is invited to participate in Madrid Fusión, the largest media- covered cuisine congress in the world.
Belcanto is awarded the Restaurant Revelation prize by the guide “Boa Cama, Boa Mesa” by Expresso newspaper.
José Avillez is elected Master Negotiator 2012 by the INV, the Institute for Negotiation and Sales.
José Avillez is invited to cater Joana Vasconcelos’ inauguration dinner for her exhibit at the Palace of Versailles in Paris.
José Avillez is awarded the Sabores del Arco Atlántico prize by Spain’s Gijón Tourism Of ce.
José Avillez is invited to participate in the celebrations for “The Year of Portugal in Brazil” and “The Year of Brazil in Portugal”.
José Avillez is invited to participate in the second edition of Millesime Mexico, the largest and most important cuisine event in Mexico.
José Avillez is elected 2010’s Chef of the Year by WINE – The Essence of Wine magazine.
José Avillez is awarded the Silver Medal of Merit for Tourism by the Portuguese government.
José Avillez is elected 2009’s Personality of the Year in Gastronomy by the magazine WINE – The Essence of Wine.
At the invitation of Tourism of Portugal, he participates in Fitur 2010, Madrid’s International Tourism Fair, giving two presentations on food design.
José Avillez is one of the Portuguese chefs invited to the Montreal High Lights Festival.
The guide “Boa Cama, Boa Mesa” by Expresso newspaper awards Tavares restaurant the Platinum Fork, the highest honour granted by this guide.
At the invitation of the AEP, the Portuguese Business Association, José Avillez participates in Moscow’s Market Week, in Russia, where he gives a presentation on Portuguese gastronomy and products.
At the invitation of the Tourism of Portugal and the Portuguese Gastronomy Association, José Avillez is involved in the presentation of the program “Taste Portugal” to consolidate Portugal as a premium gastronomic travel destination.
José Avillez participates in the meeting held by Portugal’s President with young Portuguese chefs, and is one of the ve chefs invited to address the audience.
José Avillez is awarded the Medal of Honour by AHRESP, the Portuguese Hotel, Catering and Similar Services Association, for his important contributions and for the services provided.
Tavares restaurant is awarded a Michelin star.
José Avillez is awarded the Chef of the Year prize by the Portuguese Academy of Gastronomy.
Tavares is awarded the 2008’s Best Restaurant of the Year prize, by Revista de Vinhos magazine.
José Avillez participates in Madrid Fusión, the largest cuisine congress worldwide. He is the rst Portuguese chef invited to this event.
José Avillez is part of the Portuguese team in Millesime Madrid, a very highly-praised event in the gastronomy world, with all of the top Spanish chefs working alongside each other. In this event, he is the only Portuguese chef invited to work side by side with the elite group of Maestros Millesime, the top Spanish chefs.
José Avillez is named one of the “100 Contemporary Chefs” by Ferran Adrià in the book “COCO”, published by Phaidon.
José Avillez is named Chef of the Year by “Mesa Marcada”, the prestigious gastronomy blog. Tavares is named Restaurant of the Year by the same blog.
José Avillez is awarded the Chef D’Avenir prize by the International Academy of Gastronomy.