Chef George Mendes’ ability to blend modern techniques with the classic flavors of Spanish, French, and Portuguese cuisines has helped make Aldea—the chef’s first solo restaurant in New York City—one of GQ magazine’s 10 best new restaurants of 2009. Mendes, a New York magazine 2009 “Best New Chef,” honed his talents under the guidance of several culinary masters, including Alain Ducasse and Martin Berasategui. Mendes cooked at Bouley, Wallsé and Tocqueville prior to opening Aldea. He will also be a featured chef at the New York Culinary Experience on October 2 and 3 at The French Culinary Institute in New York City.
With fall on the way, it’s time to start the search for hot soups and stews—and this caldeirada is a great place to start.
I love caldeirada, which is a Portuguese version of bouillabaisse. This dish captures all of the flavors that I love—it's a bounty of the sea with vegetables. The potatoes, fennel, anise, and garlic perfectly complement the brininess of the seafood.
O Cortico is run by Portuguese grandmothers and offers different interpretations of classic dishes.
It would have to be O Cortico in Portugal. It's a very classic Portuguese restaurant, but one that offers different interpretations of the classic dishes while keeping the integrity of the flavors alive. The kitchen is run by Portuguese grandmothers, all of whom know the cuisine better than anyone. They really have the country's flavors down to a tee.
La Riviera D'Alain Ducasse relates directly to the flavors of my upbringing.
La Riviera D'Alain Ducasse. This book has always resonated with me. The photography and its portrayal of the Mediterranean Sea relates directly to the flavors of my upbringing. It also demonstrates rigorous technique and it's a professional book that truly captures the soul, culture, and beauty of Mediterranean cuisine.
Journey to Paris for amazing culinary adventures that not only fit every budget, but every palate alike.
Right now it's Paris, France. This city has every single level of gastronomy that one can imagine. You can start the day with a croissant and baguette, then end the day in a bistro or some place high-end, like Pierre Gagnaire. And of course, there's nothing like walking through the incredible markets.