Chef & Restaurateur
Born in Serra de Santo António, Portugal.
Based in Montreal.
I was lucky to be born in a kitchen. My grandmother was an excellent cook. I got here when I was 21 years old, full of ambition, will, and grit, like every young person. I knew that my village would be too small for me – Helena Loureiro.
Helena Loureiro’s passion for cuisine and winemaking was formed in her youth, which she spent in the small rural village of Serra de Santo António, in Ribatejo. Helena studied culinary arts in Lisbon and Montreal, where she settled in 1988 and became a chef. In 2003, she opened her fine dining restaurant PortusCalle. Since then, Helena has become a distinguished chef and restaurateur in Montreal and published award-winning cookbooks.
Helena Loureiro was born on December 9, 1966, in Serra de Santo Antonio, a rural village in the central region of Ribatejo. She developed an early love for culinary arts while working at her family restaurant at the young age of eleven. Loureiro pursued her passion at the Hotel and Catering Institute of Lisbon in 1983-86, after which she worked in several Portuguese restaurants.
When she was 21 years-old, Loureiro travelled to Montreal and was attracted to its mix of North American and European culture. She settled in that city in 1988 and continued her education at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec. After receiving her diploma in 1990, Loureiro became executive chef at Le Vintage restaurant and later the Alexis le Trotteur daycare. Loureiro opened her first restaurant in Montreal, PortusCalle, on March 7, 2003, where she was both chef and owner. Her second restaurant in that city, Helena, opened in 2012 and was inspired by the cafes of old Lisbon with their lofty ceilings. Two years later, Loureiro opened the Cantinho de Lisboa, a curated food market in old Montreal. In 2016, Loureiro closed her original restaurant and opened the rotating Portus360, on the 30th-31st floors of a building on 777 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, in Montreal’s financial district.
Loureiro has also authored two cookbooks, Helena: 100 Portuguese Recipes (2011) and Helena’s Portuguese Kitchen (2015), where she presents her recipes based on Portuguese dishes. The latter won the Gold Prize in the Taste of Canada Awards. With Chef Margarida Cabaco, Loureiro also produces her own wine, Helena Margarida, from grapes grown in a farm in Estremoz, Alentejo.
Hora dos Portugueses