Chef Henrique

"I create vibrant, vegetarian food for a slow and mindful life. And KitchCoLab is a way for me to bring my love onto your plate and table."


At the age of 10, my parents divorced out of the cliché wedding where my dad went to the office in a suit and mom stayed at home with the kids.

This change forced my mom to go out on her own towards her professional hypnotherapist career.

At the time me and my brother would come from school and somebody had to do the cooking, since our mom wasn't at home, so we could have lunch. This was when I first began to put in practice some knowledge I had gained already before in cooking shows.
Also, we had a neighbor who had loads of chickens, and would give us weekly, a large portion of eggs.

Time went by and eggs became a specialty that year, as it progressed, more cooking processes were picked by my curiosity/intuition such as cakes, soups, rice, pasta, burgers and some more basic confections.

By the age of 16, I started Estoril's Cooking/Pastry 3 year course, with two internships.

In the on-going studies, I went with a friend from class to explore volunteer opportunities in high level kitchens in Lisbon, so we could learn from the best and fast.

As I graduated, I started to work in a restaurant, later catering and events, passed by some more hotels and even private services all around the city of Lisbon.

At 21 I was invited to go to St.Tropez as a private chef, where I continued to learn more about my craft.

And by 23 I was in France again, for 2 years, where I was the chef of a place called "Domaine de Boisbuchet" which held architecture and design workshops seasons with people from all around the world, cooking for groups between 40 – 100 people and even teaching design students on how to cook so they could help me deliver. The catch for them was, work 4 weeks and get the 1000€ weekly workshop for free.
Later in 2015, I started to work in the residency of the Senegalese Embassy, for the diplomatic family, for another 2 years.

I was their private chef and I had full freedom to cook whatever came to bay. These were important years to develop some deeper notions in cooking. Here I also got to teach their children how to cook.

After that, I moved to Barcelona, where I had the opportunity to give workshops and facilitate team building events through a casual cooking school called "La Patente".

At the same time I was being given the kitchen responsibility of a Mexican restaurant near the place I lived, gave some help as an extra cook, in a 5 star hotel in Plaza de Cataluña and in the biggest Irish pub in Barcelona, George Payne. (Crazy!!)

These were intense days. After that I took a break and traveled to Southeast Asia.

As I was coming back to Portugal in the end of 2018, an old friend gave me a call, wondering what I was doing after all these years, and that he had been living in Mexico and now he was in Lisbon about to open a Mexican restaurant called "Paco Bigotes", only he was searching for a head chef.
I accepted the challenge and it was the biggest success that I have experienced so far, ever.

After one year of that mezcal rodeo, I passed on the torch and continued my path with gratitude.

In this strange eclectic year of 2020, I learned how to make sourdough bread, helping some friends launch their business, delivered home food, worked in a pizzeria and did some more weddings.

Right now, I am looking at different possibilities to collaborate, feed people and spread the knowledge.

Perhaps by teaching/helping people to create a holistic comprehension of what is being done in the kitchen, allowing them to expand in their own creativity and understanding so they bring about solid taste consciously.
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