"Enjoy Life!"

Paulo Luz, restaurant manager at Vila Joya

Paulo Luz

"Enjoy Life!"

Paulo Luz is Vila Joya's restaurant manager and a true believer in the essence of hospitality. He has been working for 22 years in the field – well a little more – considering the fact that his mother took him to work with her at two years of age!

Text: Guen Murroni  |  Photo: Vasco Célio

"Enjoy Life!"
‘The festival is a non-stop day and night race with no days off and barely any breaks’

BOTH HIS PARENTS worked in hospitality, so Paulo has had the idea of making other people feel good well ingrained in his blood: “You have to pay a lot of attention to small details, you have to understand what a person likes, what a person wants, what they don't want, what rhythm of life they need”.


The nature of this boutique resort depends on the dedication of the staff, it's small – 20 rooms – hence each guest receives a five star quality service but with extra care and personal attention. One thing is for sure, the expectations of the clientele are high and they are certainly met by the service, whether you want complete privacy or you're up for a friendly conversation at the bar. Paulo embodies this all these elements with a calm, amicable and extremely professional temperament.


At first, he was fascinated by the idea of becoming a barman, which at the time was an attractive position to have when cocktails were at the highest popularity: “The bartender was like a chef!”.


Life however took a different turn and he was asked to be head waiter at Vila Joya eight years ago, after travelling and training around Europe.


Like many here, Paolo speaks several languages which he juggles back and forth as easily as walking: “I write down orders in German,” he explains, the kitchen is made up of different nationalities that blend in a mix and match of different idioms, however one must be kept for tickets order’s sake.


Paulo admires the chefs he works with – Dieter Koschina and Matteo Ferrantino – and explains how the two combined are a great team, praising Matteo's modern creation and Koschina's famous sauces.


The atmosphere at Vila Joya is most certainly friendly and family­like among staff and Paulo is very much looking forward to the INTERNATIONAL GOURMET FESTIVAL 2013: “It’s amazing... and the fact that it's in November makes it even better”.


The end of the season is always a great moment for everyone, people have learned to work together, they know each other and they want to kick off the end of the working year in style.

“Of course, on the last day... we party a lot!”, the festival is a non-stop day and night race with no days off and barely any breaks, the concept of the service is that of a banquet, where all dishes come out at the same time – a sort of culinary synchronised swimming show!


With regards to Vila Joya and the festival's impact on Portuguese culture, Paulo is convinced that both have acted as a great contribution to the country and that the prestige will surely grow. He loves Portugal, especially the Algarve, so his efforts are also driven by a sense of pride and belonging.


The importance to relax and spend quality time with family is also an important element of Paulo's life and after so many years dedicated to hard work he finds time to unwind, enjoy the sea, and discover other sides of local gastronomy: “Good fresh sardines and the house white wine!”.


Like a lot of hard workers, when asked what his plans for the future are, he simply replies: “Enjoying life!”! Which we should all take as personal advice.


Vila Joya
Quique Dacosta