Jose Avillez has a boyish insouciance and film-star good looks that almost belies his reputation as one of Portugal's finest chefs. At his Lisbon flagship, Belcanto - recently garlanded with a second Michelin star, he commands his young brigade with almost balletic grace. Now he's joining forces with a host of other Portuguese culinary masters to create a six course meal at Nigel Haworth's Obsession festival in Lancashire.
It's the first time Jose has taken part in the sold out event - and he's in charge of the main course.
"I'll be making a dish of oxtail and chick peas, with an onion and cheese purée", he told me. "We use a lot of oxtail in Portugal - it's a cheap cut of meat, which people have got used to eating in the past." Of course, there's a bit of luxury in there too: "It's a traditional recipe, but I'm adding foie gras and truffle".
Jose will be sourcing some of his ingredients from Lancashire, and bringing some traditional flavours with him from home. It wasn't easy finding the time to travel, he admits. "We've got six restaurants now, and that second Michelin star came two months ago, so we are very overbooked with work. But it is really important for us as Portuguese chefs to show the best of our modern and contemporary cuisine. We really wanted to be part of this event."