Chef and owner of ALDEA restaurant
At ALDEA, chef George Mendes serves Mediterranean cuisine with influences of Portugal, the country of his heritage, as well as Spain and France. Food & Wine magazine named Mendes one of 2011’s “Best New Chefs” and ALDEA has been awarded a one-star rating from the Michelin Guide every year since 2010. The chef’s rustic, yet refined cuisine has also received glowing two-star reviews from both New York magazine and The New York Times, as well as three-star reviews from the Daily News and Bloomberg and an impressive four-star review from Time Out New York. In its debut year, ALDEA was named one of the ten best restaurants to open nationwide by Alan Richman of GQ magazine, and was ranked third among the ten best new New York restaurants by Bloomberg restaurant critic Ryan Sutton. New York magazine ranked ALDEA second in a list of ten best new restaurants, with Mendes named as one of the year’s four best new chefs. In December 2011, ALDEA was among Adam Platt’s list of the 101 best New York City restaurants of the year for New York magazine.
Mendes spent 17 years honing his culinary knowledge, technique and style under the guidance of some of the world’s greatest culinary masters. As a young graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Mendes trained under his mentor, David Bouley at his namesake restaurant for three years. He has staged abroad under such legends as Alain Passard, Roger Vergé, Alain Ducasse and Basque chef Martin Berasategui, and has spent time in the kitchens of New York City’s Wallsé and Tocqueville.