Pedro Rosa - The House's Chef
Born in Lisbon, Pedro Rosa came to the interior of the country to head the kitchen of a large hotel and never left the region again. After a vast experience, at the age of 39 he accepted the invitation to create and lead a more intimate kitchen at Casa das Muralhas. Get to know a little more about our Chef and the gastronomy of our House.
How did your career in cooking start?
My professional career began in 2000 at the Hotel Tivoli Lisboa after I graduated from the Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo de Lisboa. Over the last 20 years, I've worked in several restaurants and hotels where I can highlight the Hotel Altis Lisboa, the Restaurant Babá Raton or the Hotel Serra da Estrela.
Which Chefs have marked you the most during your career?
Over two decades, there have been many Chefs who, in one way or another, have been examples, not only for their technical competence but for everything I have learnt in the most diverse areas. While I was still a student, teachers like Carlos Madeira, José Gala, Maria José, Carlos Firmino and José Madeira were very important in my training.
Later, there were Chefs that marked my path, such as Chef Santos Escudeiro, Chef Silva and Chef Mário Rui Ramos. On an international level, names like Aimé Barroyer, Grant Achartz, David Muñoz, Martin Berasategui, Rená Redzepi, continue to be Chefs that I admire and take as reference.
Chefs are often compared to "rock stars". What is your opinion? Chefs have always had a huge weight in building a renowned kitchen, both in big hotels and small restaurants. Globalization and TV shows have increased the visibility of those who run kitchens, making Chefs better known to the general public.
The only thing that I find a little strange is the overly rapid progression that exists in the profession. In the old days, we started our professional career as Sous or Senior Chefs and moved up the hierarchy as we gained professional skills and on-site experience. Nowadays it's normal for cooks with no experience, or even people from other areas, to take the Head Chef's job. I don't want to sound fundamentalist, but in my opinion you don't study, nor participate in TV shows to be a Chef, it's something you prepare and train yourself for throughout your professional life.
And how did you end up in Covilhã?
A few years ago, José Luiz Moreira - director of Turistrela S.A., invited me to head the group's kitchens, namely the Serra da Estrela and Varanda dos Carqueijais hotels. It was a great experience where I learnt a lot, but the demand on my time led me to rethink my life after the birth of my daughter. I then looked for an alternative and in the following years I worked in restaurants, event farms and even embarked on an international experience in Germany. About two years ago I received an invitation to lead the kitchen at Casa das Muralhas.
What most attracted you to the Casa das Muralhas project?
One of the factors that most impressed me was the sincerity with which I was presented with the project. From the very first contact, I could see that there was a great commitment to striving for excellence, which is reflected in the quality of the products we are allowed to work with. The commitment with the administration was to create a differentiated space that would become a reference in the city and in the region. I believe we are on the right track, the result of a lot of work and the dedication of a multidisciplinary team, without which we would be nothing.
Now that we are at the end of this atypical year, what can we expect for the future of Casa das Muralhas, gastronomically speaking?
Despite all the uncertainties, the commitment to quality and innovation continues! In 2021 we will, as before, continue to invest in the rotation of the Menu, which will allow us to work with local and seasonal products. In addition, the Take-Away, which in my opinion was a winning bet, will continue and we are preparing new features for the Patio, our summer space.
In this very atypical Christmas, what are the offers at Casa das Muralhas?
2020 is being different from everything we have ever experienced, so this year we set ourselves a new challenge, to reach our customers' Christmas tables! We have prepared a special menu that can be picked up in Take-Away with Salty Entrées, Dishes and Sweets of the season. Find out more, here.