Michael & Tomás - Friends and Founders of DA NOI
Hanging Out With Michael & Tomás,
Friends and Founders of the restaurant DA NOI.
A beautiful brotherhood between these two friends, and the shared passion for hosting and delivering great moments, lead Michael and Tomás to frame DA NOI. After developing their career internationally and around Portugal, Lisbon was the place they chose to put down roots and finally open their ‘living room’, as they call it, a place where they can host friends, and meet new people every day. The same people who inspire them to create and continue their journey.
Get to know them.
Can you tell us your story so far?
My name is Luísa, I was born and raised in Lisbon, and I love this city. I took a Design degree and I am extremely passionate about color and graphics. Music has always been a big part of my life, it helps me to focus on work and to never stand still. Ever since I was little I have experienced a lot of different genres of music. My mother was always listening to Fado at home, so it’s a genre that I keep very present.
Four years ago I received my first vinyl record, an album and ever since then I haven’t stopped buying music. After that I took some beginner lessons in Djing with a good friend of mine and have become more and more interested in this craft. New opportunities to play started coming up so I began to focus more on Djing, playing mostly in events and clubs. Nowadays I have a monthly program at an online radio - Collect Radio - where I play lounge and dance music.
I fell in love with Surfing couple of years before and had the idea of designing my own home in shipping containers, send them to Portugal and start my new life together with my girlfriend and daughter close to the sea.
Why Pt? Because I was travelling Portugal in my Van for more than 12 years and every time I was spending a couple of weeks at the coastline, first Zambujeira do mar, later I went South where I started to surf. The amazing nature, the Portuguese lifestyle and surfing, it was a dream for me to come there. So at the end I got things done and moved close to Budens / Vila do Bispo, where I enjoy my time, improve surfing day by day and working on my creative projects.
Can you tell us your story so far?
M: My story starts in Madeira after taking a Hospitality Management Course. I realized a couple of years later that Madeira was too small for me so I had to discover Europe and the World. I have started a career working as a Sommelier in Alentejo in a Wine-tourism Hotel with a Michelin Star Awarded Restaurant and then moved to London. My experience in London was fabulous, getting to meet people from around the globe, and making great friendships. Professionally I had the pleasure of working with Chef Alain Ducasse and also at La Petite Maison before coming back to Lisbon.
T: Born and raised in Lisbon I moved to Switzerland at 19 to Study hospitality management as I always had a great passion for restaurants and hosting people. After this experience I have been traveling between Lisbon, Paris, London and Bali, some for work, some only to get inspired...
In the process I have worked for a couple of great companies where I developed my skills and grew as a professional what gave me the tolls to finally together with Michael open Da Noi.
Next steps for you?
M&T: Our plan is to keep on doing what we love and host people at ours... maybe developing one or two more spots to hosts friends and meet interesting people.
Best spot in Portugal for you?
M: Best spot in Portugal is Ponta do Sol, Madeira. A beautiful village next to the Atlantic Ocean which reminds me of my origins and where I come from. The nature of Laurissilva Forest is unbelievable and a hike in Paul da Serra, Levada das 25 Fontes.
T: Best Spot in Portugal for me is Aljezur in Costa Vicentina, always coming back from some days down south super inspired. Not only by the surf and the calm you feel there but I think it is an energy that by its calmness gets me super excited and full of new ideas... I have great memories that still keep me going.
What does style mean to you?
M: Style is defined by everything we do and we create, our personality.
T: Style is a way of expression, it usually represents you as human but also how you feel.. Not just your clothes but everything you do.
Where do you find inspiration?
M: I find inspiration in absolute everything and everyone, especially in exchanges with people with different backgrounds. I am moved by simple and kind gestures that make the world better which is something urgent in recent and difficult times.
T: Friends, Traveling & Surfing.
What motivated you to get started with DA NOI?
M: Da Noi's inspiration came through a beautiful brotherhood with Tomás, we share the same passion for welcoming different people in our restaurant. Make friends and meet people who inspire us to continue our journey and pursue our dreams.
T: The love for hosting people and seeing people happy, the biggest motivation were my days off, where I used to host friends at my place with Theresa, cook and spend great moments... then I realized why doing it only once a week if I can do it everyday so I challenged Michael to take this journey with me and create a living room, as we call it. Where we can host friends and meet new ones everyday.
What's the Band / Music Style / Music Artist that inspires you?
M: Due to some Venezuelan vein, I acquired a love for Latin rhythms, like Salsa, Merengue and Samba. Highlights to Ruben Blades and Grupo Fundo de Quintal.
T: As style is something that depends on your mood and represents you, so do Music, Da Noi's playlist is the best proof of it. A collection of different music and artists made by us and our friends that have inspired us during the process of creation of the project and still do.
Any guilty pleasure worth mentioning?
M: Roda de Samba on Sunday nights in Titanic Sur Mer.
T: Some but there is one that only a few of my close friends know and why not share it here... Since a young age I loved Cornflakes, bacon, fried egg and Heinz ketchup, try it or just call me crazy.
Photography by João Hasselberg.