Thanks to a Porto city bus that brought us to our destination through traffic-clogged streets in slow motion, we were late to our Preamar Supper Club appointment, the last guests of the evening to arrive. No matter, though. Preamar’s set dinner time of four hours includes a thirty-minute window of time for everyone to gather.
We had managed to pop in just under the wire, in good time to get to know our fellow diners a bit before dinner service. Chefs Guilherme Valinhas and Caroline Kerber welcomed us warmly, took our coats, and introduced us to our dinner partners: one local foodie and a family of three visiting from Brazil.
“Hands are carriers of a passion for cooking.
Guilherme and Caroline are also from Brazil, from opposite sides of the country. Guilherme hails from São Luis do Maranhão, in the northeast, and Caroline comes from Lajeado, Rio Grande do Sul in the country’s far south. Culinary training brought them to London, and their professional and life partnership began when they worked together at Restaurant Marianne in London. In early 2018, after stints in several prestigious kitchens with an independent chef’s agency, the duo decided to move to Portugal and create a supper club. Preamar is the marvelous result.
Supper club dining
Preamar’s dining space is styled as an eat-in kitchen, its pristine white walls hung with a painting that evokes the sea, and the continually evolving movement of waves that gave the supper club its name. Everything on the tasting menu is creatively sourced, made in-house and beautifully presented. A short, top-notch wine list offers excellent pairings.
Chefs Guilherme and Caroline prepare imaginative food with love and flair. They keep the evening on schedule while providing an intimate dining experience with a good-humored focus on tasty bites, plated before the diners’ eyes. Their aim is to create meals that enliven the palates of their guests, stimulate conversation, and bring joy to a shared table.
An imaginative meal in good company
After enjoying canapes and cocktails at the bar, we gathered around a table set for six and passed a bowl of focaccia scented with rosemary. We dipped the bread, still warm from the oven, in little bowls of spicy Portuguese olive oil. Then it was on to five more lip-smacking courses, each with its own story to tell. Our evening at Preamar was filled with memorable food and lively conversation!
After four hours that seemed to fly as we talked and exclaimed our way through one delicious dish after another, we finished off the evening with cups of tea and petit fours of dark chocolate truffles and acerola squares. Caramel gave the truffles a delightful silkiness and pliability and hazelnut bits lent a crunch. The acerola bites provided a complementary and not-overly-sweet note to end a fine meal.
Almost at the stroke of midnight our Preamar Supper Club experience was over and we said our farewells. It was time to call a taxi–not a bus!–for the short trip home.
Preamar Supper Club Update: 2022
- The two Michelin-trained chefs have relocated to London, and re-imagined Preamar as a private-dining experience, preparing meals for clients to enjoy in their own homes.
- Follow Preamar on Instagram and if you are in London, contact them by email ([email protected]) to book an immersive meal with friends in your home.
- The chefs cater for dietary restrictions, e.g., gluten-free preparations.
All photo credits: Tom Fakler
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