Alex Chang was a Kinesiology major at the University of Southern California when he and his roommate started an impromptu short order restaurant and dinner party called Paladar (http://munchies.vice.com/videos/chefs-night-out-paladar/) out of their apartment in 2009. The underground dining club quickly became a hotspot in the LA food scene and led to the making of a documentary based on their illegal business. In 2013, the documentary debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it received rave reviews from Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Vice Magazine and the Huffington Post. This random turn of events became a game-changer for Alex Chang that took him from the lab to the kitchen.
After seeing the film, international restaurateur and art collector Alvaro Perez Miranda, Vagabond's restaurant co-owner, was impressed, leading him to enlist Chang as Executive Chef at Vagabond's newly revamped restaurant.
After graduating, Chang learned the job market was not what it once was and decided to make the best of an unfortunate situation by pursuing his passion: cooking. He worked at Lazy Ox Canteen with Chef Josef Centeno in Los Angeles for one year before moving in with his father in Tokyo. Chang held an apprenticeship at Les Creations de Narisawa, a restaurant ranked #11 on San Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Shortly thereafter he moved back to L.A, where he worked as a cook at Animal with chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo; known for their innovations in the Los Angeles dining scene.
Chang then brought his talents to Mexico where he worked at Restaurante Pujol and Quinotinil, ranked #10 Best Restaurant in Latin America. Chang continued developing his technique in Belgium where he was an apprentice to Kobe Desramaults at Michelin rated restaurant, In De Wulf. Chang's experiences and Chinese/Mexican background have helped shape his rustic cooking style with European and Latin American influences, which he now brings to Vagabond.
"Food is a story and a reflection of my life and the experiences that I have had," says Chang. At the tender age of 25, Chang serves as an example of a new generation of entrepreneurial minds who are forging their own paths by working hard and working with heart.