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Sheridan Sun: Sheridan student hosts Mayor’s lunch at Taste of Portugal’s grand opening

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 A new restaurant in Mississauga held its grand opening with the aid of a few big names – including Mayor Hazel McCallion of Mississauga, and Liberal MP Mario Silva of Davenport. Sheridan’s Christina Ventura, a third-year student in the advertising program, organized the publicity-laden opening event of the Taste of Portugal Churrasqueira and Grill House.

Mayor Hazel McCallion

Hazel McCallion and Sheridan student Christina Ventura

The husband-and-wife team of George and Connie Paim, along with their son Andrew and co-owner Csilla Nemes of Hungary, operates Taste of Portugal. The kitchen was a flurry of activity in anticipation of the mayor’s arrival. Members of the media jostled for position as Hazel McCallion pulled up in front, arriving in style in a hybrid vehicle.

 “We originally met because I have a construction business,” said Nemes, “and Connie’s husband (George) installed our security systems. Connie knew a great deal about Portuguese cuisine, and I fell in love with it right away. We became very good friends, and decided to open the restaurant together.”

 “There’s a lot of our touch in this restaurant. We changed many things,” added Nemes, gesturing to the warm interior décor. The space resembles an inviting dining room, with a cozy nook containing tables, and a large central dining table with a seat of honour reserved for the mayor. Only the flames shooting from the grill break the illusion of home.

 McCallion and Silva officiated over the ribbon-cutting ceremony, and sat down to a lunch of aromatic traditional Portuguese cuisine. A menu boasting succulent carne assada (roast beef) and exotic polvo grelhado (grilled octopus) accompanied a buffet table of wonderful seafood and game – even rabbit is on the list.

 “Fantastic… delicious,” said McCallion of her lunch.

 “I loved it when the mayor showed up. It’s such an incredible feeling. I love organizing things like this; I love talking to the media, being involved in public relations,” said Ventura as the big names departed.

 “I’ve really had a lot of fun in the advertising program, it’s taught me a lot. It’s taught me a lot of theory, a lot of practice, given me the opportunity to build up my portfolio. The teachers are great. They’re very encouraging,” said Ventura.

 Taste of Portugal is at 3105 Winston Churchill Blvd., Unit 4. (905) 369-0648, george@tasteofportugal.ca

This story originally appeared in the Sheridan Sun.

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Written by tomczerniawski

March 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

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