Chef: MIGUEL VIDINHA COSTA
Restaurant: Al Nata – A Division of Europate Catering Co. WLL
Title: Partner & CCO (Chief Creative Officer)
My Breakfast: Muesli with dry fruits & yogurt
My Knives: ICEL
Most Overused Spice: Vanilla
Favorite Foodie Destination: Sydney, Australia
Favorite Kitchen Gadget: Sous-Vide
Favorite Food Aroma: Freshly baked bread
Q: Why did you first get into cooking?
Cooking has been a big part of my life ever since I could remember. I spent more hours at grandma’s kitchen than at the playground. When I was 14 during summer vacations in my uncle’s home kitchen. I lived by an area where you could find more than 100 different types of olive oil to spices
from all over the globe. While my uncle would be working I was left with the “simple” task of prepping a full dinner: starters, soup, salad, bread, main dish and dessert.
Q: Where were you before you came to Kuwait?
I was in Portugal doing something similar to cooking but with a slightly different approach and set of tools while practicing design & architecture.
Q: Describe your favorite dish from your home country.
Carne de Porco a Alentejada is one of my favorites, it combines the best ingredients of the Alentejo region. The dish merges clams with tenderloin medallions seasoned with bay leaves, olive oil, ground pepper and chopped coriander.
Q: Name three ingredients you can’t live without in the kitchen.
Ricotta cheese, thyme, and olive oil, but when it comes to spices, salt pepper and sugar.
Q: What is the most important part of a sandwich?
The hallmark of a good sandwich is its function. The bread, its thickness, as simple as it is, toasted or deep-fried is without a doubt the most important part of a sandwich.
Q: How does your personality differ inside and outside the kitchen?
I believe I am more organized when approaching the countertop, much more than my design desk. In order to introduce design processes into larger scale culinary operations you need to systemize and find the correct method. That was a challenge gladly accepted!
Q: When you’re not cooking, what do you do for fun?
For fun I play with the wind; I help some fellow Kuwaitis finding their lost passion for the sea, teaching them how to sail. When the weather conditions are too extreme I usually go Kite surfing.
Q: If you weren’t a chef, what would you like to be?
I always had this obsession with flying; I guess if it wasn’t for my crazy diopter levels I would have been a pilot.
Q: If you could choose, what would your “last supper” be?
If I could choose it? I am going to cook it. This is one of my all time favorites: Boiled codfish with chickpeas and a boiled egg drowned in a pool of extra virgin olive oil, freshly baked bread and a Pastel de Nata for dessert.