Nuno Mendes was born in Lisbon and grew up with a passion for travel and food cultures, in part inspired by his father and grandmother.
Mendes attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and, once qualified, received further training in Japan. Upon coming to London in 2006 – he was intrigued after news of east London’s buzz made it all the way over to New York –Mendes headed up the short lived (but long remembered) Bacchus in Hoxton, which combined gastropub ambience with molecular approaches to cooking. In 2010 Mendes opened his own restaurant, Viajante, in Bethnal Green.
Mendes is the head chef at Chiltern Firehouse, London. The Chiltern Firehouse Cookbook was published by Penguin Random House. His second book, Lisboeta: Recipes from Portugal's City of Light, was published by Bloomsbury in 2017.