James Beard Award Winner | Tony Award Winner
Grammy Award Winner | TV Personality
Restaurateur | Author
winner, 2019 Beard Award
'Best American Cookbook'
IN THE PRESS
About Alexander Smalls
Alexander Smalls, James Beard Award winning chef, author, and raconteur was the visionary co-owner of renowned restaurants, The Cecil and Minton’s. Critically acclaimed and located in the heart of historic Harlem, Minton’s, the birthplace of BeBop in the 1930’s, harkened back to the Jazz Age evoking a sexy supper club with live music serving Low Country cuisine inspired by Smalls’ childhood. His award-winning restaurant, The Cecil, NYC’s first Afro-Asian-American restaurant, was named “Best New Restaurant in America” by Esquire in 2014.
A 2019 recipient of a James Beard Award for his cookbook, Between Harlem and Heaven, Alexander was recently bestowed the Creative Spirit Award from the Black Alumni of Pratt by the inimitable Ms. Cicely Tyson.
Over the past three decades, the chef and restaurateur has traveled the world studying the cooking techniques and foodways of the African diaspora. As the former chef-owner of renowned restaurants including Café Beulah, Sweet Ophelia’s, and Shoebox Café, Smalls has received great acclaim in the restaurant
scene, including cooking at the James Beard House, being named one of Zagat’s “NYC Restaurant Power Players You Need to Know” and being honored with the Legacy Award in 2014 by The Amsterdam News, one of the oldest African American newspapers in the country.
Smalls has appeared on a wide range of food and culinary platforms, with guest appearances on national TV, magazine and news programs. He has served as a celebrity chef judge on “Top Chef,” appeared on “The Chew” with Carla Hall and “Extra Virgin” with Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, and was recently featured in the Hallmark series “The Peete’s.” He has also appeared on The Food Network on such shows as “Recipe for Success” and “Throwdown!” with Bobby Flay, and NBC’s “The Today Show.”
In addition to his success in the culinary world, Smalls’ memoir and cookbook Grace the Table features recipes from his upbringing of Southern Revival cuisine. He has another forthcoming book from Flatiron Books Alexander Smalls’ African American Cooking due out in early 2020. Smalls is also a world-renowned opera singer and the winner of both a Grammy Award and a Tony Award for the cast recording of Porgy and Bess, by George Gershwin, with the Houston Grand Opera.