Miguel Rocha’s love story with cooking started during his early 20´s when in the UK, he traded a degree in Hotel Management and Tourism for a Cuisine and Pastry Diploma at the world’s most prestigious cooking school – Le cordon Bleu.
Miguel believes he was lucky enough to find the one he thinks is his vocation in life during a cooking class in the 2nd year of that degree. “I felt something that I had never felt before in relation to a profession. I think it was just a feeling of freedom which I found upon entering that kitchen for the first time. A feeling I’ve never lost.”
After a very intensive but rewarding course, Miguel started to work and learn the profession from the bottom up and from those he believed were the best in the business.
He began in London, then moved to France and later on to Spain. As Miguel says, those were wonderful times with a huge eagerness to learn this unique of crafts. Even today Miguel often states that “There is something marvelous in our profession, we learn something new and enriching every day. I’m not sure you can say that about too many jobs.”
In 2008, when Miguel felt that he was ready to take the next step and run a kitchen himself, including signing a menu with his name on it for the first time, he sent his CV all around the world looking for a place where we could make a name for himself. The call that got his attention came from Budapest, where he fell in love with the project and the city after just 10 minutes of meeting the owners of what would become his home for the next decade and counting: Costes Restaurant.
Within two years, Costes was awarded a Michelin Star, making history in becoming not only the first Hungarian Restaurant to achieve such recognition, but also the first in the whole of central Europe.
A few years later, the group decided to open something more casual in a more central Budapest location and that’s when Costes Downtown, the sister Restaurant of the „original” Costes Restaurant, was born. In late 2016, less than a year after opening, Downtown was also awarded a Michelin star, just the latest milestone in Miguel’s prestigious career.
Miguel Rocha Vieira is the only Portuguese Chef to simultaneously run 3 restaurants with a Michelin Star; Fortaleza do Guincho, Costes Restaurant and Costes Downtown.