From the fresh fish markets of Portugal to the bustling city streets of New York hails a chef whose natural talent has lips licking and mouths watering ten miles away. Recognized first for his exquisite touch at age 22, after working as Chef de Cuisine for the Ambassador of Portugal to Holy See, Carlos Arriaga decided to pack up his knives and brave the Atlantic, setting out towards the foamy harbors of the big apple.
Carlos Arriaga is a true visionary in healthy cuisine. With years of experience and only the most refined taste for the best Portuguese ingredients, Chef Arriaga is now here to teach you how to bring his excellent flavor to your own kitchen table.
Check out his recipe for Codfish below.
Prep time 20 minutes
- ½ cup of poached Cod
- ½ cup of cooked chickpeas
- 1 bunch of baby arugula salad
- 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 hot house cucumber (sliced)
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- 1 Tbs. diced red onion
- ½ bunch of chopped parsley
- Olive oil
- Salt and fresh black pepper
- Shred the codfish and place in a large bowl.
- Add chickpeas, arugula, olives, onion and parsley. Dress with olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently blend the all ingredients.
- Using a serving plate, display the cucumber slices forming circle; place the fish salad on top of it and decorate with cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
A native of Lisbon, Arriaga’s interest in cooking was evident from the age of five, when he would accompany his grandmother to the fish market to choose the catch of the day. “Before I could properly carry on a conversation, I was able to name most types of fish” he says. And such love for fresh fish and seafood clearly set the professional path Arriaga would later follow in life. From the age of 15, even before finishing high school, Arriaga knew that he wanted to become a professional chef. And shortly after graduating in 1996, he enrolled in a vocational training course in cooking and pastry arts at the School of Hotel Management and Tourism in Coimbra, northern Portugal.
Upon graduation in 1999, his first job was as Line Cook at the upscale Vintage House Hotel in Pinhao, in the Douro Valley, a Relais & Chateaux property. That same year, Jose De Bouza Serrano, an appointed diplomat of Portugal to the Holy See, was vacationing in the Douro Valley. And after a three-day stay at the Vintage House Hotel and tasting Arriaga’s cooking, Ambassador Serrano invited Arriaga to move to Rome to cook at the embassy. At the tender age of 22, Arriaga became Chef de Cuisine at the Official Residence of the Ambassador of Portugal to the Holy.
In 2002, upon visiting New York, Arriaga could not resist the allure of having a “Big Apple” experience and accepted the position of Chef de Cuisine at Alfama, The Portuguese restaurant in Manhattan.