Accomplished Austrian chef puts Portugal on the fine-dining map
The restaurant at this luxury spa and beach resort on the Algarve truly is a ‘house of joy’ thanks to the culinary talents of executive chef Dieter Koschina. Originally from Austria, he honed his skills in leading establishments in Vienna and Germany before settling in his adopted country of Portugal more than two decades ago. These countries’ contrasting food cultures continue to inspire Koschina with fabulous Portuguese produce combined with northern European cooking techniques to create truly original and delicious dishes.
Overlooking the rugged Atlantic coastline, the dining room plays host to artfully arranged plates of guinea fowl stuffed with black truffles and artichokes, and roasted goose liver with tamarind and salted caramel, but it’s the chef’s skill with local seafood that is most impressive. Stand-out dishes include ‘cataplana’ – a modern take on a traditional Portuguese stew with pork, cockles and lobster – and confit ‘bacalhau’ (salt cod) with beetroot coulis and yoghurt.
The only restaurant in Portugal to feature among The World’s 50 Best list, Vila Joya has also become a destination for international chefs, who attend its annual International Gourmet Festival. Top names, including Joan Roca, Björn Frantzén and Nuno Mendes, joined Koschina at last year’s event.