Rúben Lima

Rúben Lima, from Coimbra Region to the EYCA 2022

“For me cooking is something extraordinary; something done with a lot of passion, that brings laughter, conviviality and love around a full table, but always keeping an eye on sustainability and ensuring that no waste happens” claims Rúben Lima, the finalist who will represent Coimbra Region, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2021-2022 at the 6th European Young Chef Award.

Rúben is a 19-year-old student from Lousã. He is currently completing a Training Course in Cooking and Pastry at the School of Hospitality and Tourism of Coimbra and will soon start a Course in Pastry Management and Production at the School of Hospitality and Tourism of the West. During his studies he did two internships, one at the Pestana Hotel in Madeira and one at the Six Senses Hotel in the Douro, where he grew up professionally, but also personally.

“The things that I enjoy the most are cooking, learning new techniques of cooking and pastry, and creating new dishes, always thinking about sustainability, flavours, textures and what people feel when eating my creations” affirms Rúben who, besides that, loves practicing physical exercise and spending time with his family and friends.

“Through the European Young Chef Award, I would like to pay tribute to my homeland and to my grandmother by reinterpreting a traditional recipe that she prepared a lot when I was a child. This is where I got the inspiration for my innovative Tigelada Ice Cream.”

At the European Young Chef Award 2022, Rúben will present an innovation on the Tigelada Lousanense, a dessert reflecting the agro-pastoral tradition of the Coimbra Region, historically consumed by wealthy families. Based on goat, sheep or cow’s milk depending on the area where it is prepared, this recipe also includes eggs, wheat flour, sugar or honey. Traditionally it was served as a party candy, at Christmas, Easter, weddings and baptisms, alongside other typical dishes such as Cabrito (goat kid) and Chanfana (made with goat meat). It was cooked in red or black clay pots after the roasted dishes had been prepared, to take advantage of the heat of the oven.

About IGCAT’s European Young Chef Award

The European Young Chef Award is an annual competition organised by IGCAT that gathers young culinary talents from the awarded and candidate European Regions of Gastronomy. Selected each year through local contests, finalists to the European Young Chef Award compete by innovating traditional recipes from their regions using local ingredients.

The 6th edition of the European Young Chef Award is organised and promoted by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) and hosted by the Trondheim-Trøndelag, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2022. The competition will be held at Strinda High School in Trondheim on 11-12 November 2022, with the support of Trondheim Municipality, Trøndelag County Authority, and Innovation Norway.

About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy

Candidate and awarded World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; driving environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; supporting balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlighting and supporting expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practices; and contributing to community health and well-being.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance of protecting and promoting distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguarding our planet, health, wellness and local economies.

IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.