dining celebrity chefs Chef's Corner: Cláudio Cardoso
Chef's Corner: Cláudio Cardoso
Updated on 12 October 2022

Being a chef is extremely tasking with having to tend to numerous tastes, likes and dislikes.

Chef Cláudio Cardoso, Culinary Director of SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences has, with years of experience, left his mark on the culinary world.

Having worked at multiple five-star restaurants around the world from Peru, Italy, South Africa, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal and Hong Kong, his expertise is now making waves in the UAE.

Chef Cláudio is dedicated to bringing a sustainable and zero waste policy to all his dishes at Carna.

By utilising local produce were possible, as well as all ends and cuts from products, Chef Cláudio adds his unique flair to dishes and creates an unmissable experience for diners.

Here, Chef Cláudio Cardoso shares his journey as a chef in the culinary industry.

How did you get started in the food industry?

I got into the industry by happenstance since my family owned bakeries, and worked in food production, from cereals and honey. As a kid, I spent my summers collecting grapes in my grandmother’s vineyard. I also spent time in the kitchen with my other grandmother and great-grandmother who were both chefs. I naturally found myself in the kitchen. When I was 15, I discovered there was a culinary school in my neighbourhood and instantly knew that was where my future was. I went in and did a few different tests, a psychometric test, English, French, Portuguese, science, and mathematics. It is a lengthy process given the number of applicants from which only 30 are selected. A 3-year course followed by a 5-year university degree later and I had my foot in the industry.

 What is your earliest cooking memory?

When I was in primary school, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother as my parents were working and finished work late. My grandmother would pick me up from school and I would spend the rest of the day with her at the bakery, looking at the pots, mixing, and eating leftover cake. My earliest cooking memories were of being in a kitchen, and discovering my passion for cooking in my grandmother’s home as young as 7 years old. I was already very curious and asked a lot of questions so that I could understand and replicate what she was doing including her little tricks.

What is your favourite dish from your country?

This is a very difficult question, Portugal has fantastic gastronomy with a bounty of quality ingredients so it is challenging to pinpoint an exact dish. I would say the one that makes me proud is Pastéis de natas. Although we eat it so much in Portugal, I never realised how popular it is until I travelled and found out how beloved this dish is internationally. I vividly remember one of my first experiences in the kitchen in my mid-teens was while I was interning in numerous bakeries and one of them was famous for selling the best Pastéis de natas in Portugal. I have since become a pro at making the dish and despite the technical difficulties in making the dish, I am very proud to have mastered it. Portuguese seafood, in general, is also quite exceptional and inspires many of the dishes I create.

What is the one go-to and easy snack you love making for midnight cravings?

When I have midnight cravings, I opt for something quick, simple and yet delicious. I grab an ice cream tub and cookies, and I add my own twist. I love contrasting textures and dimensions, so I reach for organic chocolate hazelnut spread, chia seeds and oats. I make a rich indulgent ice cream with a unique twist with some crunch, creamy elements and textures. That would be my go-to midnight snack that I love making. Actually, it ends up being my after-midnight snack as I arrive home after midnight.

What is the one raw ingredient you cannot cook without from your country?

It is a no-brainer for me, Portuguese ingredients. They are fantastic but there are a few different ones that stand out. I will go with barnacles, it is a variety of which are found from rocky cliffs where the ocean waves are strong. They have muscles that grow on the outer shells and are quite expensive. The rougher the sea, the better the quality, so they are my favourite raw ingredient. They have the flavour of the sea and are playful and versatile with interesting textures. They are not very popular in this part of the world but they have gained popularity in Europe and the rest of the world in the last five years. They are very unique to Portugal.

What is the best dish to try at your restaurant?

Carna is known for its steak, but personally, I am partial to the Artichoke Tarte. Not because it is a best seller and has rave reviews from customers but it also was one of the most fun dishes to create. It has a lot to do with Carna’s new sustainability vision and dedication to zero waste with a focus on local produce. Although there isn’t a lot of local produce used in the specific dish, it was conceptualised to reduce waste and maximise the flavour. I think the Artichoke Tarte has amazing flavours and texture. I really utilise local produce to the fullest, since it is finished with locally produced honey from two farms. The dish has a beautiful story and it supports the biodiversity of the UAE. Guests love it and it is one of the best vegetarian dishes at Carna, hands down.

Chef Cláudio Cardoso

Culinary Director

SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences


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No plans? We've got you covered!
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Dance the night away on 25 February from 9pm to 2am
The hub will run from 1 April to 21 September
Enjoy watching amazing street artists from 8 to 20 March
The concert will be held on 6 October at Coca-Cola Arena
Your little ones will thank you.
The event will be held on 4 November
Top things to do in Al Barsha, Barsha Heights and Al Quoz
Make the most the amazing events happening around Dubai
Tine to kick of the three day weekend with some fun!
Marvel in stunning fireworks this Eid Al Fitr
The tournament will be held from 8 to 16 December
Get ready for the weekend!
The concert will be held on 4 November at Coca-Cola Arena
Fun things to do this week.
Make this weekend a really fun one!
Are you missing travelling and exploring new places? Even with us being confined to our homes, you can still keep discovering new places through complimentary virtual tours arranged by digital platform Google Arts and Culture.
The event will be held on 20 May at Zero Gravity
Awesome events to enjoy in Dubai!
Enjoy live performances, dining, music and more
Top things to do in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), Emirates Living, Jebel Ali, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)
Say goodbye to 2021 having fun with friends and family!
The triathlon will be held on 2 October
The concerts will be held at The Agenda, Media City
Enjoy a funny show this month!
Sit back and enjoy watching Esther Manito, Julian Deane, Tabarak and Imah perform
Great events to enjoy this weekend!
The event will be held from 18 to 20 March
Love Trance? This Friday night, Grab your free tickets for InnerTrance
Three shows will be held at L'Alliance Française and at Skylight at Arjaan By Rotana
The event will be held from 16 to 18 December
Delight in laughs with Angelo Tsarouchas, Kate Barron and Stephen Carlin!
The band will perform on 2 October
Get ready for a tour filled with laughs
Fun activities for the weekend
Sheyla Bonnick, a founding member of the iconic ‘70s band, is bringing the  ‘Boney M Experience’ to the UAE. The legendary artist will perform in Dubai on 6 October and Abu Dhabi on 7 October.
Make the most of the amazing National Day weekend
Bollywood actor and singer Farhan Akhtar will perform on 1 September at Coca-Cola Arena
Discover Dubai
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