The touch of finesse in the Portuguese restaurant industry
With a keen sense of humour, Olivier da Costa is one of the best-known names in the Portuguese restaurant industry. With nine standout restaurants to his name, well known in the Portuguese capital, the adventurous and even competitive chef celebrates 20 years of an intense and creative career with a menu stuffed with successes. Seeing himself as a chef-entrepreneur or restaurateur, admitting his focus on business, Olivier fondly remembers the times when he delighted in the cooking of his grandparents, as well as proudly highlighting the career of his father, Michel da Costa. «My father, who has a more artistic vein, while mine is more entrepreneurial, was important in the development and growth of this passion for cooking», he explains. A lover of fine food and with a special fondness for the city of Lisbon, the chef who loves to create new concepts, always with meticulous attention to aspects such as architecture, the design of the space and the decoration itself of the interiors, tells us about a journey of dedication and persistence, joined by a spirit of glamour, good taste and immense passion for the restaurant business.
Adventurous by nature, Olivier da Costa has shown his entrepreneurial spirit ever since his youth. «My first gastronomic enterprise was cooking picanha beef for friends at a fixed price on the esplanade of the Castle of São Jorge. A spectacular setting and an idea that sold really well. But before that, I did a lot of things: I sold t-shirts at school, carnival ‘firecrackers’...,» recalls the chef, recounting the shenanigans with firecrackers that saw him admitted to hospital. Plucky as ever, Olivier slowly created his own empire, always respecting his family’s gastronomic heritage and exacting rigour, professionalism and competence. «This has always been a major concern in all my businesses. Products and services have to be excellent», he explains, before adding: «It’s not always easy to work with me because of these very characteristics of a perfectionist, but you can rest assured that with me you will achieve good results and enjoy success. I am very confident. A confidence that I believe is healthy. And I’m a rebel, but not in the bad sense. I say ‘no’ when I think it is necessary. I am upfront and sincere», he reveals.