Chef opens new Italian restaurant in Welwyn
PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 August 2013
THE former head chef of a successful Italian restaurant last week opened his own eatery metres from his old employer.
Matheus Gomes opened the doors to Vita Ristorante in Welwyn High Street on Thursday, after parting ways with Aqua Ristorante after being there for six-and-a-half years.
The Sao Paulo native has been a head chef in Hertfordshire for nearly 20 years and is now ready to start out on his own.
The 34-year-old Hatfield resident said: “I just want to get started, I feel a bit anxious, but I know I can do it.
“I have worked here for nearly seven years, I know what it is like to work here and I know everyone in town.”
He added: “It is the first time I have opened my own restaurant.
“I have been a head chef since I was 16 and I am 34 now.”
The seasoned chef’s menu is about 65 per cent modern and 35 per cent traditional, with Mr Gomes offering a slight South American twist on the dishes.
He launched the venture with his sister Adriana, and has fully refurbished the former Grapevine wine bar.
It is hoped the restaurant will employ six full-time staff and a few part-time workers.
Despite his South American roots, Mr Gomes has opted for the Italian route, as he has been working with the cuisine for many years.
He said: “When I came to England I was 15 and my first friend was an Italian boy, his uncle worked at a restaurant in St Albans, and I got a job there.
“I grew up with Italians and I go to Italy every year for my holidays.”
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