Growing up in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Menton Chef de Cuisine Lucas Sousa watched his grandfather prepare meals for their large Portuguese family, often with ingredients grown in his grandparents’ own backyard garden. He cites this experience as the foundation for his interest in cooking from a young age. To this day, he strives to create memorable experiences through food – just as his grandfather did – for everyone who dines at Menton.
At age fifteen, he began washing dishes at his local country club, where his grandfather often took him golfing. Sousa spent every free moment observing and learning from the club’s line cooks, and soon headed to the Culinary Institute of America to turn his interest in cooking into a career.
As a young cook, he honed his technique with the D.C.-based Knightsbridge Restaurant Group before coming home to New England in 2009 for a position at Barbara Lynch’s flagship restaurant No. 9 Park, where he worked as a rounds cook under Chef Patrick Campbell. Following another stint in D.C., Sousa took the helm of Beacon Hill Bistro’s kitchen where he was Executive Chef for two and a half years. Most recently, he was the Executive Chef of Artistry on the Green, the restaurant at fellow Relais & Chateaux property, The Inn at Hastings Park.
Sousa uses his diverse experiences in different kitchens to his advantage in developing Menton’s seasonal menus, and enjoys combining elements of French and Italian cuisine to create an experience that is completely unique. His hallmark is simplicity – a trait he shares with Chef Barbara – striving to use only a few quality ingredients in each dish, and allowing each to shine individually. He enjoys showcasing these beautiful and unique and seasonal ingredients through the tasting menu at Menton. One of his favorites is the American chestnut – he loves their sweetness and the story behind their near-extinction. You’ll likely see them featured at Menton during their peak season in the fall.
While he loves the art of cooking, Sousa cites mentorship as one of the most rewarding aspects of being a chef. He especially looks forward to the post-service meeting at the end of each day to hear what excites and challenges his team.