Passion for Good Food and Great Service…
This is the passion of Chef Polo Becerra born in Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco Mexico. Humble man with a big heart always caring for his family, employees and business. Growing up in the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta Mexico, at the age of 13, “Polo” Becerra started as a dishwasher. Striving to become the best in the culinary arena, he came to Houston and planned to spend two months learning English and improving his cooking skills. Staying in the US proved to be cumbersome since he did not speak any English and therefore had to work as a kitchen hand during the 1980’s, but he decided to stay because he liked Houston’s restaurant industry.
Polo learned about the hospitality business in his hometown Puerto Vallarta where he worked as a dishwasher, waiter, captain waiter, cook, chef’s assistant and later as an Executive Chef. He worked for prestigious hotels such as Camino Real and Fiesta Americana.
<< Captain Waiter Polo 4th from left to right
In 1990, he found his break and became one of the cooks of the most prominent restaurants in the Tanglewood area of Houston, The Post Oak Grill. A year later, when the then chef of this five-star restaurant refused to learn English, the owner promoted “Polo” since he agreed to attend school to take English classes. His tenacity and persistence paid off when he became the chef and kitchen manager.
Leopoldo “Polo” Becerra is now the distinguished owner and CEO of the Post Oak Grill Restaurants. From humble beginnings, he highlights the true definition of the “American dream”. His success is due to his hard work, tenacity, discipline and marvelous work ethic. He overcame many obstacles to become first a celebrated chef, then a highly successful business owner, entrepreneur and icon in the community.
Long hours working at the Post oak Grill and personal sacrifices paid off. In the year 2002, after dedicating 100% of his time to the Post oak Grill he was given the opportunity of purchasing the Post Oak Grill. With the help of Mr. Simon, a Mexican business man residing in Houston, he was able to purchase the company.
His charismatic personality and his drive for success created an aura that attracts a long line of high profile customers. A diverse clientele of dignitaries, President Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker; corporate executives and high profile athletes like former Hall of Fame star, Elvin Hayes, as well as bankers, petrochemical leaders and other professionals enjoy Polo’s sumptuous dishes.
During Hurricane “Rita”, “Polo” provided shelter and food to his employees and their families because many did not have transportation to leave town. Since they were one of the few restaurants open, Center Point Energy asked if they could provide food for emergency crews that were working round the clock and so they prepared meals for 1200 people three times a day for seven consecutive days.
He was also selected as the Texas Small Business Person of the Year.
Polo’s loyalty to his customers and dedication to excellence in exemplary service at Post Oak Grill paid off. He became a partner and worked his way through the entire operation until he had full ownership and was proficient in achieving his long time dream of owning a restaurant. Since then, Executive Chef Polo has maintained the Post Oak Grill as a distinctive destination for the perfect dinning experience.
As an entrepreneur, Polo’s vision was to expand his company and has thus far by opening his newest concept of fine dining in “New American Cuisine”, Polo’s Signature, not far from West University.
His creation of dishes is Picasso-like (one of a kind) with an unforgettable ambiance and signature experiences. And, it doesn’t stop there…Polo recently opened Saga Food & Wine featuring a new flare “New American Tapas” located in Midtown, and you thought that was the end…not yet for Polo; with outstanding success, he is in the process of opening a Post Oak Grill in Downtown. His commitment to delivering personal attention to his customers and providing a dining experience to the most demanding of Houstonian palettes is what sets Polo Becerra, Executive Chef and owner apart.
Besides the hard work to build up his company Chef Polo is involved with the community for betterment of all involved:
- Dress for Success
- Houston Grand Opera
- The Sons of Republic
- Taste of the Nation
- The Great American Taste Feast
- Susan’s Rally
- Theater Under the Stars
- End Hunger
- My Table’s “Let the Guys Cook”
- The liver Foundation
- Casa de Esperanza
Awards and Features:
- The International Wine & Food Society Certificate of Excellence Marvin’s Zindler’s Blue Ribbon Award
- Hospitality 500 Achievement Award
- Zagat Survey
- Houston Polo Club paella Festival
- H Texas Magazine “Best Chef”
- Houston Chronicle
- City Life
- Houston Press
- Texas Monthly
- “Houston is Cooking” Cook Book
- Channel 13 Cooking Show
- Channel 2 Cooking Show
- My Table “Top 10 Wine List”