Henrique Sá Pessoa is the third chef in Portuguese history to get two Michelin stars for his restaurant Alma and was GQ Chef of the year in 2017, he has also been named the 38th Best Chef in the World at the Best Chef Awards this September in Amsterdam as well as Best New Entry 2021.

Henrique also owns a relaxed Portuguese restaurant Taspico which opened in 2017, runs one of the most popular stands at Timeout Market Lisboa, and also features on popular Portuguese cooking show Ingrediente Secreto, as well as winning Portuguese chef of the year in 2005.

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I don’t have the conventional chef’s background where they used to cook with their grandmother and they used to pick fruits and vegetables out in the garden. That’s not me. I am a city boy and basketball was my life

Henrique Sá Pessoa


Ricardo Pereira is the Head Chef at ARCA Amsterdam, he has worked with Henrique for nearly 10 years and has relocated to help bring this vision to life. When asking Henrique why did he bring Ricardo to ARCA it was simple, “everyone looks up to Ricardo, I can always count on Ricardo to get stuck in, always with a smile on his face and I implicitly trust him with the ARCA concept”


ARCA means chest in Portuguese. The story behind this is an idea of a historic voyage. Henrique Sá Pessoa has created a unique concept focusing on the trading routes of Portugal, incorporating traditional dishes with a modern twist using Asian flavours and spices. We are always looking for new and unique jewels to add to our chest.

If you think you have the passion, energy, and creativity to be part of the ARCA team then see below for current positions.

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ARCA: Behind the Pass

For one night only, join Henrique Sá Pessoa & Hotel Merlet’s, Jonathan Zandbergen at ARCA: Behind the Pass!

Expect a night of casual fine fun dining as each chef challenges one another to create four dishes each from four of their favourite homeland ingredients, resulting in an unforgettable showcase of the best of Portuguese and Dutch cuisine with wine pairings to match!