Director: Raquel Barroso
Ideally situated, Eleven overlooks the Eduardo VII park, the city of Lisbon and the River Tejo, offering breathtaking views. Eleven does far more than simply serve exceptional cuisine in a warm, sophisticated atmosphere. It celebrates the true art of living through its culinary creations which delight all the senses, from the taste buds to the eyes. Joachim Koerper, chef and restaurant owner, is a great fan of products from southern Europe which he showcases to perfection in his dishes. He invites you to discover a light-drenched cuisine inspired by his philosophy: use fresh, natural produce and mold it with a flourish of art and creativity according to the season.
Joachim Koerper was born on December 25, 1952 under the sign of Capricorn in the city of Saarbrüchen, Germany, just 500 m from the French border. As a child, he crossed the bridge across the Saar to get milk, his mother believing that French milk was much better.
After his apprenticeship, he worked in the finest luxury hotels of Europe from 1971 to 1990, for well-known figures from the world of politics and the arts, including Caroline of Monaco, Gunter Sachs, Maximilian Schell, Christina Onassis and Niarchos von Opel.
Not being a fan of snow, he spent his winters in the south. After marrying his Spanish wife, Victoria, he learned Spanish and became enchanted with the products of the Mediterranean, the tastes, colors and aromas, and became a master of Mediterranean cuisine.
During the same period, he took part in a number of culinary competitions in Germany , winning the gold medal at the famous Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt.
Joachim is imaginative and likes to work with local products to integrate them into his creations. It was in 1984, during a stay in Valencia, that he discovered squid ink which he immediately introduced onto his menu at the Restaurant Silvaplana in St. Moritz.
It was while at the helm of the Girasol Restaurant on Spain's Costa Blanca that Joachiim received his first, and then second, Michelin star. Each day he served a balanced, intelligent and carefully conceived cuisine adorned with many imaginative little twists. But the seasonal limitations imposed by the restaurant's location on the seacoast caused him to consider relocating.
"You have to be in the right place at the right time," he says. And so in November 2004, he opened "Eleven" in the center of Lisbon. Its success was immediate. Considered a master of Mediterranean cuisine, Koerper puts his creativity to good advantage in reexamining traditions, always seeking new ways to interpret local produce.
"To me, there are four great Portuguese specialties: black pig, fish and seafood, wonderful cheeses like serra and San George, and finally Port. When it comes to fish, we have to mention baccalhau. Now it is sold already desalted, which is a big advantage time-wise, as well as ensuring a consistent salt content. These days, I prepare it as follows: I make a chorizo loaf, fry three slices and place it on a plate. Fresh cod is cooked in a vaccum at 80° C for 5 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil, thyme and garlic, then placed on the chorizo loaf. As a garnish, some spinach purée and a little balsamic vinegar.
"I brought with me some favorite recipes like my lamb shank braised for 24 hours, and my cream of sardines. Red mullet is always on the menu, a little bigger because it's caught in the Atlantic but just as delicious. I make only dishes that please me."
Throughout his career Joachim has worked in such renowned restaurants as:
- Girasol in Alicante, which he owned for 10 years (two Michelin stars)
- L´Ambroisie in Paris (three Michelin stars)
- Moulin de Mougins, owned by the brilliant Roger Vergé (three Michelin stars)
- Guy Savoy in Paris (two Michelin stars)
- Hostelerie du Cerf, in Marlenheim (two Michelin stars)
- Au Chapon Fin, in Thoissey (two Michelin stars).
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