About us

Bruno Carvalho & Maria Sena

Maria Sena was raised in Porto among tripe, beans, and all the bits and bobs; she brings offal close to her heart. Bruno Carvalho was raised in Maia, and grew up on grandma’s food but developed a demanding taste that he insists on pushing to the limit. He needs to cut back on the hot sauce.

They met in college while studying Biology at the University of Porto and completed their Master’s in Marine Science. They did scientific research in several fields, focusing mostly on anticancer drugs.

Fueled by an insatiable hunger for gastronomic knowledge and experiences, they dug deeper into the culinary rabbit hole, ending up in a new reality they couldn’t escape. It was too late to go back.

Eventually, they followed their gut and took a leap of faith by changing careers, and creating Amass. Cook. in 2015, and getting entwined in food and travel writing, food experiences, and consulting. They’ve been living in this sensory overload ever since.

Their writing is focused on Portuguese food and its culinary roots and is published on their blog or in books. Maria and Bruno wrote the Minho, Porto, Douro & Trás-os-Montes chapters of the most recent Lonely Planet Portugal book (2023).

They can often be found taking avid food travelers on one-on-one food adventures in Porto and its surroundings. Otherwise, they’re doing consulting for food businesses and people relocating to Portugal.

Other works

— Porto Food Guide: a gastronomical guide of the city of Porto that has won multiple international prizes.

— Review article of the history of port wine: Prata-Sena, M., Castro-Carvalho, B., Nunes, S., Amaral, B. & Silva, P. (2018). The terroir of port wine: two hundred and sixty years of history. Food Chemistry

— Other scientific works: here or here.

— Collaboration with the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar and Gran Cruz for the development of “Quinta do Ventozelo” Premium Dry Gin.