Growing up in Queens, the son of South American immigrants, Alejandro had an early start in the food world helping his father out in the family's butcher's shop. Throughout his twenties he worked his way through the front of the house at a number of north shore country clubs and later shifted gears by attending CUNY CityTech’s hospitality management program. In 2010 Alejandro opened Floresta and despite acclaim closed a year later to pursue a career in teaching while working for the Union Square Hospitality Group.
Currently, he is an adjunct lecturer in the Hospitality Management Department at CUNY New York City College of Technology and is seeking a Masters Degree in Labor Studies from the CUNY School of Professional Studies. Through his academic work Alejandro hopes to contribute positively to workers rights in the hospitality field. Alejandro's current instructional workload includes first and second level culinary classes as well as food and beverage management and food safety classes. Recently Alejandro has started to provide consulting services for menu development, cost control, health and safety compliance as well as event planning through Son of the Butcher Consulting.
My first memory of campfire cookery...
Having an Argentine father who happened to be a butcher means that I grew up enveloped in the wisps of hardwood smoke my whole life. My first vivid memory of cooking over an open flame was when I was about ten years old and my father standing by the grill called me over, looked down at me, bent over and whispered into my ear, “Be careful what you wish for…if you do this now, you’ll be doing it for the rest of your life”. And with that, he handed me the tongs and I never looked back.
My favorite memory around a bonfire
I joined the Boy Scouts when I was twelve, and was already familiar with wood and fire from cooking at home. But what I had never seen, and would never forget, was the opening bonfire of summer camp at Ten Mile River. The scouts had built twenty foot high stacks of wood that they ceremonially lit at dusk. Staring open-mouthed at the way the flames shot up the stack of wood until it was enveloped in light--I still remember the shock of sitting in the back row of the amphitheater and feeling the heat kiss my skin as if to remind that fires' beauty is only matched by its power.
Worst experience in the outdoors
SLUGS! I don’t know how or why, but on one fateful trip, when I reached into my bag the morning after we arrived I felt what must have been like 40 slugs. Needless to say I almost ran home yelling at the top of my lungs.
Can't wait to...
Share some stories and break bread withs folks while we cook and drink into the night.