The story of how everything started.
Chef Leopoldo “Polo” Becerra is a humble man with a big heart whose priority has always been caring for his family, employees and business. He was born and grew up in the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco, Mexico. At the age of 13, he began working as a dishwasher and aspired to perfect his culinary talent.
Polo learned about the hospitality business in his hometown of Puerto Vallarta where he worked as a dishwasher, head waiter, cook, chef’s assistant, and finally as an Executive Chef. He worked for prestigious hotels including Camino Real and Fiesta Americana.
Although Polo planned to spend two months in Houston to improve his cooking skills, working in the United States proved to be cumbersome because he did not speak English and had to work as a kitchenhand. He decided to stay because he liked Houston’s restaurant industry.
In 1990, Polo obtained a favorable opportunity and became one of the cooks of Post Oak Grill, the most prominent five-star restaurant in the Tanglewood area of Houston. A year later, when the chef refused to learn English, the owner promoted Polo since he agreed to attend English classes. His persistence paid off when he became the chef and kitchen manager.
After dedicating 100% of his time, long hours and personal sacrifices paid off: With the help of Mr. Simon, a Mexican businessman residing in Houston, Polo purchased the restaurant in 2002.
His charismatic personality, drive for success and sumptuous dishes create an atmosphere that attracts a diverse group of dignitaries and high profile clientele including President Bush, Secretary of State James Baker, corporate executives and athletes like Hall of Fame star, Elvin Hayes, as well as investment bankers, petrochemical leaders and other professionals.
Leopoldo “Polo” Becerra embodies the definition of the American dream. He came from humble beginnings and is now the distinguished owner and CEO of Post Oak Grill Restaurants. His success is due to hard work, tenacity, discipline and a marvelous work ethic. In addition to being a celebrated chef and highly successful business owner, he is an entrepreneur and icon in the community.
During Hurricane Rita, Polo provided shelter and food to his employees and their families because many did not have transportation to evacuate. Since Post Oak Grill was one of few restaurants open, at the request of CenterPoint Energy, meals were prepared three times per day for seven consecutive days for emergency crews (1,200 people) working round-the-clock.
Post Oak Grill continued to be a superior destination for fine dining. As an entrepreneur, Polo expanded his New American Cuisine concept by opening Polo’s Signature restaurant located near West University.
Polo opened Saga Food & Wine in Midtown featuring New American Tapas and Post Oak Grill Downtown. His commitment to delivering personal attention to his customers and providing unparalleled dining experience to the most demanding of Houstonian palettes is what sets him apart from the competition. Polo creates Picasso-like dishes, provides signature experiences and an unforgettable ambiance.