Valentine’s Day is a special occasion what reminds us how to love, why to love and especially the most important, to love. Throughout the past 17 years of celebrating the event, Valentine’s Day at Baraka has became a very unique romantic gourmet journey for foodies who love the finest details. We’re talking about the special night with the owner couple, Leora, and David and the executive chef, André Bicalho from Baraka.
How should the Valentine’s Day dinner be imagined at Baraka?
Leora: It’s a special evening for me. The planning and energy which goes to this dinner party is enormous. To me the beauty of this evening are the guests themselves. All of them are coming for a special dinner to celebrate theirs relationship with their loved ones, trusting us for creating a very personal, romantic, seductive evening for them.
David: Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for Baraka to create dishes with the central themes of romance and love. As we change our menu seasonally, creating the degustation menu for Valentine’s Day reminds us that springtime is right around the corner. The menu is made up of a lovely mix of winter and spring ingredients, Valentine’s Day is our opportunity to give our guests the ultimate experience of celebrating love for each other and gastronomy.
André: It is around the corner and the Baraka team is working full steam ahead in getting ready. By default, for us, every day we spend with our customers is special to us, and we give it 100% to ensure they have a remarkable experience, always. However, Valentine’s Day is an occasion of additional meaning to our diners, a special day where love stands at the center of attention, where partnership are celebrated, so we also want every detail to radiate a grander intensity, we want their night to amplify love also at the culinary level. It is a unique moment indeed, an opportunity to create a fond memory, and for that reason we created a one-off menu just for that day, which is also special and unique, and created and delivered with extra love by all our staff.
What has been changed through the years?
David: Throughout the past 17 years of celebrating Valentine’s Day, we have enjoyed the influx of new ingredients which are now easily available, which allows us to evolve as a restaurant.
What makes the menu so special to you? Tell me about the special ingredients, techniques, flavors, colors you are going to use…
André: Even though that underlying motivation may sound conventional, the inspiration of the actual menu is quite the contrary: Love comes in many shapes and forms, in different degrees and intensities, like tastes and textures. So for this year, I decided to visualise this diversity, to step away from the traditional romantic red only, but to break out a broader palette, and deliver each dish centered around one bright color, thus displaying a playful vibrancy throughout the menu, by means of a lively succession of changing colors, spreading the gastronomic love of a heart-warming sensory experience that is romantically delicate and potently passionate at the same time! We all know love comes from the heart and through the stomach, but what’s the color of love, you might also wonder? Well, come to Baraka for Valentine’s, and we will paint it for you!
Leora: The menu has to be very creative with “luscious” food ingredients which are tasty and elevate the senses. They shouldn’t be too heavy, should be celebratory. We love to create some interactive dishes that the guest will share the experience together. Well, it’s a menu which created for one event only that makes it very special. It’s great to see we have guests who are coming to Baraka only once a year and always on the 14th of February…
David: …we usually have a great mix of locals and foreigners celebrating with us…
Leora: …knowing that we will create a perfect romantic event.