For years, Miguel Neiva Correia was part of the historic brigades of chef Aimé Barroyer, first at Pestana Palace, then at Tavares.
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Praça de São Paulo, Lisboa
Saturdays from 10am to 14pm
João Rodrigues, Feitoria
Texto de Tiago Pais
Fotografias de Tiago Pais, Fabrice Demoulin
For years, Miguel Neiva Correia was part of the historic brigades of chef Aimé Barroyer, first at Pestana Palace, then at Tavares. But instead of pursuing a career in the kitchen on his own, as so many other colleagues did, he dropped his chef coat and devoted himself full-time to the land. "I realized there was a niche of chefs looking for good products. So I knocked on the door" he says. And what did it lead? The products that he had started to produce on family farms earlier, especially the tomato, which quickly became Hortelão do Oeste's ex-libris - today, he says, cultivate "more than 200 different species" of the fruit. "2016 was our pilot year, but we've grown a lot in the meantime," says Miguel. They began with a plot in Runa, near Torres Vedras, and today they explore others, also in the West, in the Merceana area, next to Alenquer. "In total, we should have 400/500 species of vegetables," says Miguel. "Our house is a seed bank," he jokes. And not only: in the family farm they are now raising pigs and birds, under the baton of their father Rui Neiva Correia, an oenologist by profession who has always been more connected to the vineyard. "I like to get my hands on the ground," he says. The results are in sight.