I am Pedro Almeida the owner, and I have been in the catering business for more than 25 years. I started my career in the City of Porto as a silverservice waiter in a private Restaurant of a company called RAR.
During my years with RAR, I served many prominent members of the Portuguese Government and influential Business men. Invited quests included a member of the British Royal family – Prince Edward. The cuisine there had French and Swiss influences. At that time I enrolled in a pastry chef course because “ a good meal is not complete without a nice pudding”.
During my career in RAR, I used to travel around Portugal, mostly the North. I then tasted the best of traditional Portuguese cookery that would define my taste for good food and the levels that I would like to achieve.
During one culinary incursion in the North, I came across a restaurant called Maria Rita, in a small village called Romeu (which produces excellent olive oil), near Vila Flor. The food was delicious but what really impressed me was the décor – different tables and different set of chairs in the room. Unlike most restaurants, with mass produced décor.
Years later, when my daughter was born I gave her that same name – Maria Rita On another trip, to Geres National Park, I came across an old barn that was being converted into a restaurant.
In 2000 I left the comfort of my job in Porto, to concentrate on following my dream of opening my own Business. Meantime I taught myself as a chef.
Two years later, I heard news that the old barn was vacant to run. I then took the chance. I ran it for a year and I often used a wood-fired oven to roast free range goats for groups of up to 75 people. I also became familiar with very good traditional local recipes, smoked meats, cheeses, wines, etc.
In 2007 I opened Cafe Porto in the present location. It is the only Portuguese Restaurant in Liverpool and we offer fine dining for everyday eaters. Quality is what you can expect to find at Cafe Porto without the fuss. “Cafe Porto is not like just being in a Restaurant. It is an eating experience”.
Three things got me into catering:
1- Love of food
2-When I was 12, my mother asked me to cook a meal for her, shouting the instructions from the bed where she was lying ill. Following the directions I managed to cook something edible.
3-Bad experiences eating at restaurants that made me realize that I could do better than that.