[VIDEO] Cláudio was born in Johannesburg, South Africa to Portuguese parents. When he was 6 years old, his family decided to move back to Lisbon.
Since a young age he’s been interested in food. While growing up, he used to spend his summers in the North of Portugal with his grandparents and he remembers that “it was all about food”. This love for food guided Claudio’s studies and career throughout his life.
Today, the 32-year-old lives and works in London. He was planning on staying for a year or two. He says: “I wasn’t supposed to be here [England]. It was never a country that I thought that I would be inspired to live”. Now on his fifth year living in London, Cláudio is now the corporate chef at world renowned restaurant SushiSamba. SushiSamba is well known for its mix of different cuisines – Portuguese, Brazilian and Japanese – and Claudio describes its style as “progressive, aggressive, it’s modern.
He now plans on staying in London for a little while longer. The chef says “it’s an amazing country to be connected with” and he looks at London as “the mecca of cuisine, the mecca of culinary”
“London is the mecca of cuisine, the mecca of culinary”.
Besides being a chef, the busy 32-year-old is also an ambassador for Cool Earth – a non-profit organisation patroned by Dame Vivienne Westwood that works towards halting deforestation of rainforests and climate change. Following his trip to the Amazon rainforest, the chef created a menu of rainforest inspired dishes to tell his story about the Amazon and to raise awareness of Cool Earth’s work. Cláudio believes that it’s not just about food. He believes that through food you can change perspectives.
When asked what’s the best thing about Portugal, the culinary genius believes that “Portuguese food is one of the main highlights”. He believes that art is equivalent to food and that “the best thing you can leave behind is touching people” through cuisine.
“The best thing you can leave behind is touching people, it’s creating something that can make people happy…”
We dared to ask Cláudio the ultimate question: pineapple on pizza – yes or no? He said “Yes, of course!”.