Nearly 20 years ago, Chef Alberto Mendez began his restaurant career in New York City, at China Grill as Line Cook under his soon-to-be mentor, Chef Peter Klein. He later worked alongside Chef Tom Valenti at Cascabel and in 2001, as Executive Chef of El Teddy’s in Tribeca, in Lower Manhattan, Chef Alberto witnessed first-hand the devastation of 9/11 while feeding Ground Zero rescue workers at St. Paul’s Chapel, every Tuesday, for nearly 6 months.
Born and raised in Puebla, Mexico, Chef Alberto returned to his roots when he joined Zapatista in September 2009. His passion is introducing patrons to authentic Mexican dishes, many of which he grew up watching his mother, aunts and grandmothers preparing in the traditional Pre-Hispanic style. In addition to his love of Mexican food, Chef is particularly inspired by the “soul” of Zapatista, as his great-grandfather was himself a Lieutenant Coronel under Emiliano Zapata in the Mexican Revolution.