Alexander Smalls has a legendary history of catering to the palates of the city’s movers and shakers. He successfully introduced New Yorkers to his brand of new American cuisine, which he named Southern Revival Cooking, through his three previously popular and highly regarded restaurants, Café Beulah, Sweet Ophelia’s, and The Shoebox Café.
Author of the acclaimed memoir and cookbook, Grace the Table: Stories and Recipes from My Southern Revival Alexander, a self-described social minister and staple on the New York City hospitality scene, has appeared on a wide range of food and culinary platforms with guest appearances on national TV magazine and news programs.
In addition to his culinary success, Alexander, a former opera singer, received a Grammy and Tony Award for his recording of Porgy & Bess with the Houston Grand Opera.
Chef JJ, a champion for the use of high quality and flavorful ingredients, firmly believes that a chef should cook with what is in season. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America he was inspired to pursue his love for food by the cuisine of his Caribbean grandmother.
Chef JJ's talents were further honed in the kitchens of New York's most highly esteemed restaurants such as 'Centro Vinoteca', 'Jane' and 'Tribeca Grill'. He has spent time in Ghana studying West African cuisine and showcased his skills at 'Villa Monticello', Ghana's Premier Luxury Boutique Hotel and Spa.
Chef JJ is the winner of Rocco DiSpirito’s Dinner Party competition where he wowed the culinary elite with his eclectic twists on straight ahead cooking. His specialty is taking the simplest dish and making it complex by applying bold flavors and unexpected ingredients.
Daniel Krieger, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn