Chef Rui Correia on “The Today Show”
Francesinha (meaning Little Frenchie or simply Frenchie in Portuguese) is a Portuguese sandwich originally from Porto, made with bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat and covered with molten cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce served with french fries.
It is said that the Francesinha was an invention in the 1960s. Daniel da Silva, a returned emigrant from France and Belgium, tried to adapt the croque-monsieur to Portuguese taste. Other versions date the Francesinha to the 19th century. It is a very popular dish in Porto and is connotated with the city, although it can be sometimes found elsewhere in Portugal. It is often a ritual meal for some that will eat it once a week or whenever they get together with friends before or after attending a football match from a local team (FC Porto, Boavista, Salgueiros, …) A classic francesinha meal would include the sandwich, surrounded on a bed of chips doused in the famous sauce, and complimented with a fino (literally meaning thin) draught beer. Locals will have their favorite restaurant with the best Francesinha in town, typically arguing about the quality of the sauce (a secret recipe that varies by restaurant) and the quality of the meats..(Wikipedia)
Here’s his bio from the restaurants website:
“Chef Correia was born in Porto, Portugal, a coastal city on the banks of the Douro River. Rui was raised in restaurants working with his grandfather at his restaurant in Gaia, Portugal. This is where his interest in the culinary arts started brewing, but the passion didn’t hit him until he moved to America.
Rui first attended Concordia University on a soccer scholarship, within a years time he decided to follow his passion of cooking. He left Concordia to attend the New York Restaurant School, in New York City. His studies and talent led him to some of the best kitchens in New York. Rui went to work for Bobby Flay at Mesa Grill Restaurant, then to acclaimed restauranteur Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe.
Rui returned home to Westchester, and joined Palmer’s in Bronxville, New York as Executive Chef. Rui assisted in the opening of Palmer’s second restaurant in New York City called Washington Place, in the West Village. After traveling between both restaurants Rui decided to take the leap and open his own place, Cafe Porto.
Cafe Porto opened in 1999 and was located in Yonkers, New York, Rui brought a combination of his talent and what he learned years ago in Portugal with his grandfather. After five years of having Cafe Porto, Rui sold his business in 2004 to become the Executive Chef at Oporto Restaurant in Hartsdale, New York. During the five years Rui was at Oporto he always had dreams of getting back to his own kitchen and restaurant. In 2009 thats just what he did, in opening DOURO.”
Congratulations Chef Correia!