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Thomas Faudry
The French gourmet chef at Uva restaurant at Hotel The Vine in Funchal, Madeira
Article added on April 1, 2012 at 11:16 Portuguese time

A vegetarian dinner with Thomas Faudry at Uva restaurant
  
At the end of March already, you can be lucky like me and sit outside to enjoy your dinner with the full view of Funchal from the rooftop terrace at Hotel The Vine. Coming from the 2012 Madeira Cocktail Competition, I wisely skipped the aperitif. My dinner started with an amuse-bouche made of thinly sliced carrots with a bite, spiced up with olive oil and peppers. It may sound simple, but was refined.

In addition of four homemade bred different bred rolls, salt, butter and olive oil from Casa de S. Miguel was served. Then I chose nevertheless to taste a Campolargo Bruto from Bairrado in the North of Coimbra by producer Manuel dos Santos Campolargo, who goes against the current with his fruity, sharp and strong sparkling blend of Bical, Ariato and Cercial grapes with 13.5% alcohol.

The highlight of the evening was a moist, vegetable terrine with pesto sauce, offering a bouquet of different flavors, with thinly sliced Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top; the terrine consisted of eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes and black olive tapenade. Simply brilliant!

The sommelier with his selection of exclusively Portuguese wines recommended me a glass of Palmeira Evoltas 2010 with the terrine. It is a sweet and round Madeiran white wine from the nearby small town of Estreito de Câmara do Lobos, where I had recently stayed at the
Quinta do Estreito. The Palmeira Evolta is a blend of Verdelho, Bual and Augsburger (a cross of two Rieslings produced by Octávio Verdaz).

The sommelier recommended a second white wine to taste with the terrine, a Primeiro Paixão 2010 with 12% alcohol, also from the Estreito de Câmara do Lobos, but this time made of 100% of Verdelho grapes. It is light, fresh and sharp - Madeira is a volcanic island! - wine, with a taste that matched much better the terrine.

My next course was an organic “cocotte” egg with salted mushrooms and their foam, parsley coulis and “mouillette” bred crumbs. An excellent, somewhat heavier dish. It was followed by ravioli of “Requeijão” swimming in a sauce of celery broth, rocket and tiny carrot cubes; Requeijão is a local cheese produced similar to the cottage cheese process. Rocket salad and fresh mint garnished the dish.

I tasted two desserts, a very intensive citrus fruit salad with an orange sorbet, that fulfilled all expectations, and a chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream, with the chocolate inside being perfectly liquid as it should be. An excellent end to a dinner to remember!

Of course, on the island of Madeira, you have to finish with a local dessert wine, in my case a 10-year old Madeira made of Malvasia grapes by the producer Barbetto, a sweet end with a strong taste and smell.



Thomas Faudry's kitchen concept or philosophy at Uva

Thomas Faudry told me that, since the opening of Uva restaurant in 2008 with the help of three-Michelin-star chef Antoine Westermann, the focus has always been on French kitchen techniques and local produce, wherever possible. Madeira being an island in the Atlantic, some ingredients have or course to be imported.

Local ingredients include lettuce, cabbage, carrots, pumpkins, oranges, bananas, mandarins, ham, etc. One part of the menu is seasonal and changes monthly, the other remains unchanged for roughly six months.

In addition to French and Portuguese cuisine, Thomas Faudry offers fusion dishes of the two cuisines as well as his own, refined interpretations. He explained to me that he created a gourmet version of the typical Portuguese sandwich Prego with bred, beef, salad, onions, garlic and tomato. Here and there you can also feel in some dishes and ingredients a Moroccan influence, e.g. the use of Argan oils.

The emphasis in Uva is on the local characteristics of produce due to the microclimate, soil and geology as best described by the French term “terroir”. Natural and healthy food is the result. A vegetarian menu is always available. The chef is proud that not only the bred and pastry, but also the ham and jam are homemade.

On April 1, 2012 a new concept is introduced at Uva, which simplifies the choices for guests to a three-course and a four-course menu. Of course, if you like, you can just order one or two dishes.

The gourmet restaurant is of a high standard, but informal. You do not need a tie. In short, being my favorite and probably the best restaurant in Funchal, Uva deserves a Michelin star!



Biography of chef de cuisine Thomas Faudry

Thomas Faudry was born on February 12, 1980 in Angouleme Charente (France). He finished his kitchen BEP/CAP in 1998 and his Baccalaureate Professional Kitchen in 2000; we skip additional qualifications.

He immediately started to work with great chefs. In 1999, he began as commis chef at the three-Michelin-star cuisine of Marc Meneau with his traditional French gourmet cuisine at the Relais & Chateaux L'Espérance in Saint-Père-sous Vézelay, in the middle of the vineyards.

In the winter season of 2001, Thomas Faudry became commis chef under Executive Chef Emmanuel Horclois in the fish section of the Relais & Chateaux Chalet du Mont Arbois in Megève, a Rothschild house in France's Haute-Savoie mountain region. The restaurant offered gourmet as well as typical “cuisine bourgeoise”.

From 2000 to 2002, Thomas Faudry worked one year as commis chef and one year as chef de partie under one-Michelin-star Executive Chef Christophe Bacquié. The gourmet cuisine at the Relais & Chateaux La Villa Calvi on the island of Corsica offered Mediterranean cuisine in a refined, classical style.

In 2002, Thomas Faudry became chef de partie (garde manger) at the Relaix & Chateaux Eden Rock St Barths in Saint Barthélemy in the French Caribbean. The hotel featured three restaurants: a gourmet, a beach bar and a Tapas Caribbean cuisine.

In 2003, Thomas Faudry moved to the Relais & Chateaux La Bastide Saint Antoine in Grasse, where he worked as chef de partie poissonnier and chef de partie entremetier under two-Michelin-star Executive Chef Jacques Chibois, who emphasized a kitchen full of fragrances with the use of edible flowers and aromatic herbs; he used olive oil, working in the middle of an olive grove.

From 2003 to 2005, Thomas Faudry worked as chef de partie in the meat and entremetier section at Sketch The Lecture Room in London by Pierre aka Peter Gagnaire. The restaurant had one Michelin star in 2005. Head chef was Pascal Sanchez, Executive Chef was Gregory Sein. They put the accent on taste and the structure of produce, assisted by the three-Michelin-star chef Pierre Gagnaire.

From 2005 to 2007, Thomas Faudry returned to the Relais & Chateaux La Villa Calvi on the island of Corsica, this time as sous-chef. Executive Chef Christophe Bacquié received the distinction of MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) in 2004, one Michelin star in 2002, a second one in 2007. He continued his kitchen philosophy of flavors of the Mediterranean in a classical style and added a refined bistro cuisine to the hotel.

Thomas Faudry also worked shortly at Hôtel Beau Rivage Restaurant Lac de Gerardmer in the French Vosges region, where they offered generous family cuisine.

In 2007 and 2008, Thomas Faudry worked with three-Michelin-star chef Antoine Westermann in his various outlets: Drouant, Mon Vieil Ami, Le Beurehiesel, participated in the Luxembourg opening of the Sofitel Hotel, worked for Secrets de Table in Strasbourg and for the Relais & Chateaux Fortalza do Guincho in Portugal's Cascais, always with Antoine Westermann.

In June of 2008, Thomas Faudry moved to Funchal on the island of Madeira for the opening of the design hotel The Vine in December 2008. He became the executive chef of its gourmet restaurant Uva, which was created with the help of three-Michelin-star chef Antoine Westermann as consultant chef. In addition, Thomas Faudry is also in charge of the hotel's brasserie Terra as well as the banqueting. In total, he supervises some 25 chefs at The Vine.

Gourmet cuisine books at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

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Uva restaurant by night. Photos © Hotel The Vine, Madeira.


The chef Thomas Faudry in the kitchen of Uva restaurant. Photos © Hotel The Vine, Madeira. - Gourmet cuisine books at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.




Uva restaurant by day. Photos © Hotel The Vine, Madeira.

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