How Compadre Cooking School was born.
Born and raised Portuguese, food has always been a centerpiece in our lives. It brings together family, friends and communities all around the table, celebrating food as a part of our cultural identity.
As longtime friends and foodies, every time we travel around the world, we try to learn the most of that country´s culture and culinary traditions, so we often enrolled in cooking classes. One thing we noticed was the joy of everyone while cooking! The classes were very good and instructional, but what made us do more and more of them were the emotions generated and shared around a table, transverse to people with such different backgrounds.
On one of our travels, the idea hit us! Portugal has such a rich gastronomy deeply connected with its history, based on a wide variety of flavours and ingredients regionally dispersed, so why don’t we create a concept of our own adapted to our culture and customs? So, we came back to Portugal and started working on it. With our combined knowledge of food and business we created a plan, we executed it, and Compadre Cooking School was born.
João and José cooking in Thailand.
About João and José
“A law school graduate, I always enjoyed cooking with my grandfather who was a chef, so sometime between the law degree, I studied Kitchen production in the Escola de Hotelaria de Coimbra. I love to travel every time I can, so at some point, I started to combine cooking and traveling. And that´s what I want to bring to Compadre cooking school, my two passions.”
“My previous occupation as a civil engineer with a business management masters made me travel and work all around the world. Being a food enthusiast since I can recall, I always enjoyed discovering and trying local gastronomy wherever I went. Our dream of creating Compadre Cooking School allowed me to finally combine my passion for food and culture and my expertise in business.”
Compadre Cooking School is much more than a cooking school, with this concept we thrive to give anyone an immersive experience, not only about food, but the history, tradition and curiosities regarding what you are preparing and where you are preparing it, Compadre is located in the heart of Lisbon, in the Penha de França neighborhood, right next to Graça one of the most visited places in the Portuguese Capital. You can literally arrive from the famous 28 tram, straight to our front door.
About the experience
We have three main products, the staple Portuguese cooking class, the market tour and the “food experience”
Compadre Cooking School view from the entrance.
Portuguese cooking class
This is the time to get hands on and cook a typical and tasty Portuguese meal. It consists of a starter dish, meat main dish, and a fish main dish. In the course of three and a half hours, we’ll take you on a journey of tastes and smells, with fresh seasonal produces, while you prepare from beginning to end your very own full course. While explaining you the origins and stories of the dishes and their ingredients. The classes will be in English and/or Portuguese, and you don’t have to bring anything, maybe just an empty stomach. We have wine, water and iced tea, and to finish, a typical Portuguese dessert for you to taste.
In the end you will take home a truly unique experience to share with everyone, cooking skills that you can use again and the recipes for all the dishes you prepared.
Cooking a Portuguese starter, for the full course.
While walking the streets of Lisbon you suddenly hear, ”Olha o peixe fresco!” ! (“FRESH FISH!”) We want to take you there, show you not only the ingredients you are going to use, but also introduce you the people that sell them for a living. So either you choose meat or fish, we will take you to bring what you are cooking. After that we will take you to our Compadre Cooking school where you will prepare and cook your meal.
You can choose one of three starters, and one of two meat dishes, and one of two fish dishes, depending on availability, because we only work with seasonal and fresh ingredients, we’ll take you on a tour of four and a half hours, always explaining the origins and history of the ingredients you’ll be cooking with.
From the market to the table. And everything between.
We have wine, water and iced tea, and some typical Portuguese snacks. For dessert we will always have seasonal fruit and one traditional Portuguese dessert.
Penha de França market
Pastel de Nata (Portuguese egg tart), probably Portugal's most iconic pastry. This 19-century delicacy, created in monasteries, has became a national symbol. Have you ever wondered how do they do that? Have you ever desired to learn the secrets of this sugary temptation, to take them home with you and amaze all your family and friends? So, during 2.00 hours you will learn how to do our famous pastel de Nata (Portuguese Egg tart) and another typical treat. A perfect marriage between sweetness and saltiness.
We will give you the opportunity to cook these famous Portuguese recipes, always explaining the origins and stories behind them.
Portuguese egg tarts straight out of the oven
About the area
Compadre Cooking school is conveniently located in the heart of Lisbon, in an up and coming neighborhood that mixes tradition with the now, from typical Portuguese families to foreign students,
Anjos has a life of its own. You can go and enjoy drink in the Monte Agudo Miradoro, or just chill in one of the many coffee places and cool bars scattered around the area.
The view from the Monteagudo Viewpoint.
If you keep walking for about 10 minutes you will find yourself in Graça, one of the most typical and well know neighborhoods in Lisbon, keep walking a little further and you have the Castelo de São Jorge, a landmark of the city, the 14th century beautiful castle that watches over the city.
São Jorge Castle
Climb down the Hill and the commerce and tourism center of the city is there at your feet, loose yourself in the shop packed streets, and beautiful architecture, until you reach Terreiro do Paço, there you can rest a little with a view to the Rio Tejo, a view you won´t soon forget.
And this is just a taste of the beautiful city that is Lisbon.
View of the tagus river, and the south margin from Lisbon.
João and José are the masterminds behind Compadre Cooking School and if you feel tempted by this article and would like to book on any of the experiences or get more information you can contact them via their website Compadre Cooking (click here)