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Executive Chef Urbano Cruz do Rego

Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa

Universally hailed as the ‘the Godfather of Goan cuisine’, Chef Urbano Cruz do Rego also known as Chef Rego hails from Divar, a small island in Goa. He came to Mumbai at an early age in search of opportunities to become a professional Footballer. However, after damaging his eardrum during practice Chef Rego turned to the culinary world to explore his talent.

Chef Rego was one of the brightest of the first batch of catering and management apprentices turned out by the Taj in the 1970s, mentored by the legendary culinary genius Chef Miguel Arcanjo Mascarenhas who continues to remain his inspiration till date.

In the earlier days when nobody had heard of Goan cooking except for the housewives of Goa, Chef Rego’s culinary lessons came from his home. His passion and love for cooking has helped him learn and explore Goan cuisine leading him to showcase it on international platforms. He has been dishing out classic Goan cuisine for well over 40 years serving the who’s who of the world.

Chef Rego never compromises on the taste, hence he carries his own ingredients when he is traveling. The one thing that pleases him the most is to see empty plates returning to the kitchen sink, it gives him a sense of how well the guests have enjoyed their meal. 


Q & A with Executive Chef Urbano Cruz do Rego


1. The main influences that made me interested in food and cooking as a career...

During my younger days when I would doubt my own capabilities, I would look up to my brother for guidance. From the very beginning, he has helped me recognise my strengths and channel it in the right direction. Chef Miguel Arcanjo Mascarenhas is the definition of perfection in the culinary world, he was my mentor and role model. Working and training under Chef Masci was an honour.

2. My earliest memory in the kitchen…

My earliest memory in the kitchen is of my first day at Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai where we were asked to peel and devein prawns.

3. My favourite dish to cook…

Camarão com Cilantro (Prawn in Coriander) is my own creation and is a favourite among our guests.

4. A cuisine that I want to admire and want to learn...

Continental cuisine is what I initially began with in my earlier days of training until I found my love for Goan cuisine. Given an opportunity, I would love to go back and explore this cuisine.

5. My secret to great food...

Passion and dedication towards your work is what delivers excellence, it is what motivates me to explore and learn more everyday.

6. The last cookbook I bought...

I am not much of a book reading person, I find my learnings in overcoming the challenges in my kitchen.

7. The Chef that inspires me...

Chef Miguel Arcanjo Mascarenhas

8. A culinary show that I love to watch…

Not a fan of culinary shows but I do enjoy watching my ex-colleagues appear on television from time to time. This profession has given me the opportunity to work with some great talent across the country.

9. In my free time, I like to…

On the not so busy days, I like to spend time with my family.

10. The kind of adaptations I have had to make while combining two cuisine…

Goan Cuisine gets its signature flavours from the spices and home grown local ingredients. While creating a fusion with Goan cuisine, the spice levels are strictly monitored.

11. My guilty pleasure…

No guilty pleasure.

12. I will describe my restaurant to a first time visitor…

The Beach-House serves Goa on a platter, each dish spells out the history and culinary journey of the state.

13. My menu design…

My menu showcases the best of Goa with each dish telling a story and the tradition that follows with it offering the best sellers and all-time favourites. The offerings are based on the availability of the raw material as all the preparations are with fresh ingredients. Menu designing involves thorough research and study of the cuisine. Guest feedback is of utmost importance in the process of curating a menu.

14. My recommendations in my restaurant…

Camarão com Cilantro, Lobster Miramar, Pork Vindaloo, Chicken Xacuti, Salada da Idalina, Mushroom Mardol and Bhindi Sol

15. The unique dining experience in my hotel…

We offer private dining experiences showcasing a special crafted menu by the Chef, the menu is curated as per the guests’ choice of cuisine and liking. With mesmeric settings and impeccable service, our finely curated dining experiences deliver the space to create memorable moments with your loved ones.