Ben McCormack Editor of presents My Taste with Bibendum Wine, a series of programmes interviewing renowned chefs and restaurateurs. Ben will chat to the guests about their love of food and wine, discovering their favourite restaurants, wines and dishes, to give you the inside track.

This month Ben is talking to SUSHISAMBA Executive Chef Claudio Cardoso about his love of wine and food and his favourite restaurants, dishes and wine matches.



Claudio Cardoso: Executive Chef SUSHISAMBA

Cláudio Cardoso is the Executive Chef at the helm of SUSHISAMBA London. While he shares a passion for cooking with many chefs, his culinary philosophy and approach set him apart from his contemporaries. Upholding the motto, "challenge everything", Cláudio is constantly refining his craft with a boldness and dedication that can be seen in his dishes.

Cláudio has always been captivated by food. At an early age, he learned to appreciate cross-cultural cuisines and diverse flavours. Born and raised in South Africa, his family table often featured meals that showcased his mother's South African favourites and his father's Portuguese flare.

It was no surprise therefore that, at age 15, Cláudio pursued a formal culinary education at the Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies in Estoril, Portugal. There, he studied Kitchen and Pastry before enrolling in the Food Production and Restaurant Operations Honours degree program.

Following the completion of his schooling, Cláudio attained a position at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company at Midori, the oldest Japanese restaurant in Portugal. There, he devoted himself to acquiring the precision required to execute Japanese cooking techniques.

At the end of 2009, Cláudio travelled to Dubai for the opportunity of a lifetime; to open both Burj Khalifa and The Armani Hotel. Shortly thereafter, he accepted a position at the Sushi Café Avenida. There, he collaborated with the restaurant's creative team to incorporate innovative molecular gastronomy techniques and enhance their existing menu. With Cláudio's inventive approach, the menu drew in droves of patrons and the restaurant became a hotspot known for its high-end Japanese cuisine. In 2011, Cláudio took up a position at The Ritz-Carlton, Sintra as a Head Chef of their newest venture, Il Mercato before heading to London and SUSHISAMBA in 2013.

Cláudio runs the kitchen of SUSHISAMBA London with unrivalled passion and skill, and ensures each dish looks as beautiful as it tastes. Drawing from his knowledge of international cuisines and unique ingredients, Cláudio's interpretation of the brand's cuisine shines in inventive dishes such as Sea Bass Tempura, Picanha Tataki or Salmon and Foie Gras Seviche.

Collaborating with the culinary team at Samba Brands Management, Cláudio's influences are felt not only in London, but also in SUSHISAMBA locations in the United States, including New York, Miami and Las Vegas.

Bibendum's Wine Pick for Claudio

Tenzan Yuzushu Sake

SUSHISAMBA prides itself on its diverse list of sakes so Bibendum chose the Yuzushu sake from the Tenzan Sake Brewing Co in Saga, Japan, for Ben and Claudio to taste. Sweet and fresh, and full of rich citrus flavours, this sake is a great match for citrusy puddings as a fun alternative to sweet or fortified wines. The fruit flavour in this sake is Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit similar to a lemon, which is becoming a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine all over the world.

SUSHISAMBA has the UK’s largest sake list so you can taste this sake alongside many other examples at the bar at SUSHISAMBA in central London.