After joining the Quinta do Lago team earlier in the year, we caught up with Gareth Billington to hear what made him decide to take on his new role as Group Executive Chef.
Nestled within the Algarve with the privacy and security of the Ria Formosa nature reserve, the Mediterranean resort provides a treat for visitors looking for excellent cuisine along with sporting breaks within a boutique hotel setting.
Firstly, congratulations on your appointment at Quinta do Lago. How did this role come about?
Quinta Do Lago has very professional and talented employees. I was asked to come here to give my cuisine knowledge to assist the Food & Beverage department. Also, to train and mentor young professionals in the kitchens.
You have worked in some fantastic places around the world, what drew you to your current base in Portugal?
I have worked at exclusive and high-class establishments, and Quinta Do Lago was the natural progression.
What can visitors expect to experience when visiting Quinta do Lago?
As soon as you arrive, you see the magnificent landscape, perfectly nurtured. Then enjoy the welcome from our fantastic staff, enjoy carefully selected beverages and gastronomic delights all served in beautiful surroundings.
Sustainability is an increasing element within the hospitality sector. How do you reflect this in your menu and produce?
We get as much produce as we can for our menus, from Quinta Do Lago Farm or local suppliers. This is to help reduce our carbon footprint and assist local family businesses. We check that our suppliers have the same policy, as ourselves on increasing sustainability awareness and practices.
You recently invested time by training 60 budding chefs, who inspired you during your career?
All the people I´ve worked with have inspired me.
When you are not cooking for visitors, what is your turn to dish?
Pan-fried Halibut with tomato and red onion salad, simple and tasty !
If you had to sum up your culinary style in fours words, what would they be?
Fresh, Flavour, Texture, Memorable