Roel Alcudia

The Cypress Room

Chef de Cuisine Roel Alcudia was born in a small town in the Philippines into a family of farmers on May 20, 1979.  They raised cattle, pigs, chickens and grew fruits and vegetables, and his great grandmother cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday for the house and the workers at the farm with whatever she could forage in the fields and whatever they had at hand. This early experience taught him value, the importance and appreciation of the delicate balance of where food comes from.  Alcudia's family moved to New York City in the winter of 1992 and he started cooking professionally, eventually graduating from the French Culinary Institute.  At an intimate 65 seat restaurant called Veritas, he finally found his first home under the mentorship of Scott Bryan, followed by Barbuto in the west village with legendary chef/owner Jonathan Waxman. Through him he learned how to approach food with the outmost respect, to let the quality of the food be the focal point and not the skill of the chef. In other words, for the first time in his life, he learned how to cook.  In describing his cooking at The Cypress Room for James Beard award-winning chef/owner Michael Schwartz, “I feel like all my training has brought me back to where I began. It’s like I’m finally ready to be able to cook the food my great grandmother would make me. “My approach is unique. I don’t really have a point of reference. It’s kind of how I feel on a given day. The food can kind of switch from French to Italian to Spanish in like a second.”