Portuguese and a chef, José Avillez’s focus is to promote Portuguese gastronomy and contribute to making Portugal a top gastronomic destination. He’s considered a reference in Portuguese gastronomy and has stood out because of his enterprising spirit and drive to go further. His immense curiosity, love for travelling and a constant drive to experiment and learn have contributed a great deal to his creativity and evolution, though the great source of inspiration is Portuguese cuisine. He defines himself as a chef who’s passionate about cuisine and about his country and, who embraces innovation and creativity without ever forgetting tradition, quality, authenticity and the worth of work.
José Avillez grew up near the ocean and a pine forest in Cascais, and this had a profound influence on his work. He studied Business Communication in college, had private study lessons with the key author on traditional Portuguese gastronomy, Maria de Lourdes Modesto, and did many professional internships in several different restaurants, in Portugal and abroad, such as El Bulli by Ferran Adrià, which transformed his concept of cuisine.
In 2008 he took on the role of executive chef of the emblematic restaurant Tavares, in Lisbon, the place where, in 2009, he’d come to win his first Michelin star. In 2011 he decided to open his own restaurants and, today has several in Portugal – Lisbon, Porto and Cascais – also in Dubai and Macau, each with a different concept, but all expressing his passion for cuisine.
In 2023, with his wife, Sofia Ulrich, he opened CASA NOSSA – THE LAKE FARMHOUSE, a unique estate in Campinho, Alentejo, on Alqueva’s lake bank, with stunning views, absolute privacy and the comforts and amenities of a five-star hotel. José Avillez has an enthusiastic team who helps him manage his restaurants and develop his projects, including the TV shows, books, signature wines, and most recently, CASA NOSSA – THE LAKE FARMHOUSE.
From 2005 to 2023, he has won numerous awards, such as La Liste, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, The Best Chef Awards and more.