Chef Rocha graduated in 1992 from the Escola do Turismo de Portugal in Porto. That same year, the young chef was sent to Holland to represent Portugal in a prestigious culinary championship which he won first place. As a rising talent in Portugal’s culinary world, Rocha continued to find success, first at Braga Hotel where he was named executive chef after only three months as a line cook, then as executive chef at the four-star Hotel Cidnay, Santo Tirso, Portugal.
In 2001, he journeyed to New York City to cook for the well-regarded Alfama restaurant in the West Village, where he got great reviews from many newspapers and tv shows, including a fantastic review by The New York Times, he was also awarded by the prestigious ‘James Beard Foundation’, and was included to the ‘Who’s Who’ book as one of the best Portuguese Chefs in the world.
In 2004 Chef Rocha returned to Portugal, where he helped spearhead the launch of several amazing hotels. Most recently, he was executive chef at the renowned Ekuikui Hotel in Angola, Africa.
Chef Rocha has returned to the United States after years of running kitchens around the world. He has brought an international twist to Lagar’s traditional Portuguese dishes and everyone is loving it.
He’s main focus is to make delicious dishes, using only the freshest ingredients, while bringing the traditional Portuguese, and Mediterranean flavors. Chef Rocha’s cuisine is known for the heavenly seafood and fresh fish dishes, as well as for the delicious steaks, poultry and pork dishes.