Albino Silva, Restaurateur
The internationally critically acclaimed Albino Silva has received rave reviews for his signature “Progressive Portuguese” cuisine, a culinary style which masterfully reinterprets classical Mediterranean cuisine using globally sourced artisan products and organic small farm producers.
Beginning in 1985 in his pursuit to explore influential global Cu nary traditions, Albino combined his creative spirit and strong business acumen to design and launches impressive roster of restaurants across America. In 1988, he opened the beautiful Saffron’s restaurant to rave reviews in the New York Times. After 6 years in the United States, Albino returned to Canada in 1991 to open the elegant Ch ado restaurant to critical acclaim. He went on to open 4 other restaurants including the contemporary Senhor Antonio Tapas and Wine Bar and the popular Adega Restaurant which led to the coveted “Independent Restaurateur” hostelry award and the distinguished Medal of Honour, from the Association of Restaurants of Portugal, in recognition for his achievement in forwarding the Portuguese Culinary Arts. In 2003 Albino was knighted with the Comendador from the House of the Republic of Portugal, an honour which was conferred by the President of Portugal for promoting Portuguese Gastronomy and Culture in Canada. Albino has received numerous accolades from various industry pub nations and the public including Gourmet Magazine’s “Top Ten Restaurants”, Bon Appetite’s “Top Three Restaurants” and the prestigious Zagat rating. Driven by strong client demand, Albino went on to launch the highly successful Chiado Catering in 2000.
Albino credits his success to the discipline and drive he learnt from his parents and the early culinary influences which came from his time as a youth on the family farm in the beautiful Tras os Montes region of Northern Portugal. The simplest and purest ingredients were used to enhance the natural flavours of the meats and the abundant variety of seafood for which Portugal is famous. From Pastry Chef at the tender young age of 16, following in the footsteps of his father, to his current rating in the Top Ten Restaurants in Toronto, this signature style has helped to propel Silva to culinary fame.
His tenure at the American Culinary Arts Institute in 1988 where he was the youngest appointed teacher set ad a discipline for impeccable world class service and a passion for teaching which is evident in the number of noted chefs who had their beginnings under the tutelage of Silva, relationship which he humbly claims tube symbiotic as it constantly fuels his creativity and keeps him sensitive to the changing nuances in his chests’ tastes.
Manny Vilela, Executive Chef
Manuel Vida, a celebrity in his own right across Canada, is the executive chef at Chiado Restaurant and Senhor Antonio Tapas and Wine Bar.
When C comes to cooking at one of Toronto’s most celebrated restaurants, Manny Vilela gets down to basics.
Simple, pure, globally sourced seasonal ingredients define his sense of style in the kitchen. This fundamental approach to cooking and his upbringing and experiences in Portugal make him a perfect match for renowned chef Albino Silva’s upscale restaurants with whom he shares the same culinary frame of reference.
Hailing from Minho, a lovely province in the North of Portugal, known for its smoked meat, Manny fondly recalls memories of his grandmother as she prepared the family meals. “There was always a feeling of anticipation and excitement around food. Allot your senses were provoked. The Mediterranean kitchen is very simple and this element has to be respected when preparing a meal.”
Driven by his passion for food, Manny left home at 13 to work in a seaport restaurant near Porto. Manny credits this time for instilling the culinary discipline of using the freshest, best quality ingredients in the right balance to bring out the natural Flavours of the abundant variety of seafood which was available. “Timing is key when cooking seafood”, Manny states, “it’s an art which we learn very early on”.
This same culinary sensitivity evident in his menus which consist of the lightest of vinaigrette’s and marinades, the subtle use of organic herbs and spices such as fresh has and malagueta from Africa, nutmeg from Brazil and marine salt from Portugal to create a complimentary blend of Flavours which requires only a slight masterful tweaking to create a world class dining experience.
“Refined rustic” show Vilela likes to define his culinary creations but to the seasoned palate, the delicate simplicity of the meal teases and seduces as beautifully as a Stradivarius violin and leaves you yearning to begin all over again just as the fifth course comes to an end.
Agostinho Vilela, General Manager
Agostinho Vilela has been an integral part of the Chiado team and a cornerstone in the restaurants operational success since its inception in 1991.
He has manned nearly every post at Chiado before final y settling Into the roe of General Manager, a pus tine that keeps him In a simultaneous supervisory and hands on capacity.
Agostinho is well loved by patrons for his casual charm and professional demeanour which instantly puts them at ease. He credits his passion for food and fine wines and his global travels for keeping him abreast of culinary and service innovations which has helped to propel Chiado to Its current Top Ten rating. His thorough but understated knowledge of every aspect of the business represents a world class qua ‘y of service which ensures clients feel well taken care of each time they dine at Chiado and Senhor Antonio’s.