A self-described social minister, celebrity chef and brand spokesman, Alexander, is a staple on
the New York City hospitality scene. By profession, Alexander is a Chef, a Restaurateur, an
Author and an Opera Singer. He has received great acclaim in the New York City restaurant
scene, including being named one of Zagat’s “19 NYC Restaurant Power Players You Need to
Know,” and winning Esquire’s “Best New Restaurant in America 2014,” for The Cecil. As the
Executive Chef, Co-owner and Creator of the newly reopened Minton’s Supper Club and its
award-winning sister restaurant, The Cecil, Alexander endeavors to entertain the world. He is
joined in these recent restaurant projects, which fall under the Harlem Jazz Enterprises umbrella
by Chef de Cuisine Joseph “JJ” Johnson and partners Dick and Laura Parsons.
Alexander has successfully introduced New Yorkers to his brand of hospitality and New
American Cuisine, which he refers to as Afro-Asian-American Cooking at The Cecil and Southern • Revival Cooking, at Minton’s. Southern Revival cooking is Alexander’s interpretation of Low
Country Cooking, which is a culinary discipline that he developed for his three previously
popular and highly regarded restaurants, Cafe Beulah, Sweet Ophelia’s, and The Shoebox Cafe,
also in New York City.
Alexander has spent the last twenty-five years traveling the world and studying the cooking
techniques, cultures and “food-ways” of the African diaspora. Through the course of his travels,
he has developed a unique insight and passion for the influence of the migrating people of
Africa and how through their culinary efforts, they changed the palate of our global expression.
Those lessons form the foundation of his Harlem based restaurant, The Cecil, which is the first
Afro-Asian-American brasserie in the world. In January of 2015, Alexander was invited by The
James Beard Foundation to present his culinary exploration of the African Diaspora to a sold-out
audience at The James Beard House.
In addition to his success in the culinary world, Alexander is also the author of the acclaimed
memoir and cookbook, “Grace the Table,” with a foreword by Wynton Marsalis. His creative
talents stretch not only to the world of literature, but also to the world of music as an opera
singer, receiving both a Grammy Award and Tony Award for the cast recording of Porgy and
Bess, by George Gershwin, with the Houston Grand Opera.
Alexander has appeared on a wide range of food and culinary platforms, with guest appearances
on national TV, magazine and news programs. He has appeared often on The Food Network on
such shows as “Recipe for Success” and “Throwdown!” with Bobby Flay.
Alexander is passionate about his involvement with the non-profit organizations with which he
is involved, including Harlem Jazz Enterprises’ deep involvement with C-CAP, Careers through
Culinary Arts Program. He is on the Advisory Board of The Union Food Lab, at Columbia
University, and is a former board member and Artistic Director of Opus 118.