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George
Mendes

Meet the Chef Behind
Michelin-Starred
Restaurant Aldea.

Since 2009 Chef George Mendes has been cooking some of the most exciting Portuguese food you can
find in New York at his Michelin-starred restaurant Aldea.
The trend-setting spot specializes in modern,
seasonal twists on traditional fare — and there's always something new to try. Mendes recently teamed up
with us to launch an exciting line of Portuguese-inspired sauces and condiments. We caught up with him to
talk about the essential pantry items in Portuguese cooking, how to add some heat to your food with piri
piri, and his obsession with egg tarts.

chefspage-george-Mendes_1 George Mendes Simmer Sauces >

 

Q: Tell Us About Your Cooking Background.

A: My parents are Portuguese immigrants, and
my household was always full of great cooking
from my mom. That’s where a lot of my
inspiration comes from. I wasn’t sure what I
wanted to do after high school until I went on a
spontaneous trip with my senior marketing class
to the Culinary Institute of America in 1990. We
spent a day on campus and I fell in love with the
atmosphere, the hustle, the stress, and the
environment. So I went there.

I started cooking professionally in New York in
1992 under chef David Bouley. I also went to Paris
as an apprentice in 1994 and again in 1998 in the
south of France with Alain Ducasse and Roger
Vergé. And then in the early 2000s I was in Spain
with chef Martin Berasategui and briefly at El
Bulli with chef Ferran Adrià. I’ve also authored
one cookbook.

Read more on our Blog >

 

Chicken with Citrus Piri Piri Sauce >

 

Chicken with Citrus
Piri Piri Sauce

Made with George Mendes’
new simmer sauce >