Nineteen year-old Faro-born Nuno Miguel Pereira is a barista whom everyone would be delighted to see behind the counter of their usual cafe. Let’s not be fooled by his age, because he has already participated in international contests in his area of expertise. He was recently chosen to take part in a European contest in Romania, and he achieved a very creditable seventh place. Even this Romanian competition was not his first competitive effort. Earlier this year he took part in a contest in Aveiro in the north of Portugal, where he won fourth prize.
When asked the usual question, “Why did you choose café work for your occupation?” he replied instantly, “Like most youngsters, I wanted a summer job to earn my own money, but the passion for this work grew inside me.” Nuno has now been working as a barista for five years and he still finds time to continue his education at the Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo de Vila Real de Santo António, where he is near to finishing the course on Técnicas de Serviço de Restauração e Bebidas.
Though still young, Nuno already has a career plan. First he plans to gain experience in London, a city he loves because of its a wide variety of nationalities. From there, he wants to cross the pond and to head off to Miami, the Mecca of cafes. It is unlikely however that Miami will be his final destination. Strange as it seems, he wants to come back to his homeland and to start his own business. Not as a café owner, but as a restaurateur specializing in the use of typical Portuguese ingredients in his cuisine, and drawing on recipes from round the world.
(Nuno is working currently in the O Trevo Restaurant in Fuseta)
Text and photograph by Paulo Viegas and Fátima Cardoso