Meet The Chef
My name is Alexis, and I am the founder and chef of Syncopated, where I offer you the chance to dine to the 'beet' of my culinary rhythm through playful, vegetable-forward pop-up dinners. For me, cooking is all about being present in the moment, listening to the ingredients themselves as well as what my mind desires; I use basic rules and techniques to guide me but allow my imagination to take my dishes in a truly personal, unexpected direction. Recipes are the starting point - while they provide great inspiration and structure, I never follow them strictly, letting the food lead the way to the end result.
This musical approach to cooking, or syncopation as I like to call it, ties directly into my other two passions, dancing and playing the drums. When I vibe with choreography or a song, it is because there is a bold combination of offbeats and accents formulating a captivating pattern to which my body connects and instantly wants to groove. These rhythms and artistic choices stand out because they are risky and unique, encouraging me to be unafraid to showcase my individual flair. But they also make the piece what it is, and although they might not fit in at first, I now cannot imagine the song or dance without them. The same goes for my food, except here, the plate is the stage - each surprising component on its own might not make sense, but everything is always meant to be eaten together. And all the ingredients that are typically placed in the background despite being the total essence of the dish are given the chance to shine front and center, and they are conducted to contribute just the right amount of texture or flavor to form a syncopated yet perfectly balanced, irresistible bite! Hence, the name Syncopated was the best way to describe my brand.
I try to incorporate all of these artistic endeavors into my cooking whenever I can because it fuels my creativity in such a special way - in fact, I even self-published a Nutcracker-inspired cookbook in December 2020, because what better way is there to celebrate the holiday season than with a story that brought me so much joy growing up and is already rooted in the most delightful gastronomic satisfaction?!
Along with graduating at the top of my class from both The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, I spent time in the kitchens of Balaboosta as the Executive Chef, two Michelin-starred Aquavit, one Michelin-starred Dirt Candy, Annisa, and L’Artusi. With over 10 years of professional experience in some of New York's top restaurants, I am grounded in a strong, diversified foundation from which I love to break away whenever possible.
I am also enamored with spices and bringing a global perspective to my cooking whenever possible. A winner of the Minor's Flavor Expedition Recipe Contest, I was fortunate to travel through Paris, Lyon, and Valence as part of my prize, and I have worked in the kitchen at Oaxen Krog in Sweden along with visiting Switzerland and Israel over the past few years. I enjoy pulling from my career, travels, and Jewish culture as I create my menus, with each dish often corresponding to a special moment from my past and presented with a fascinating, undeniably delicious twist.
On my days off, I am a huge fan of taking dance classes throughout the city with my younger sister Tori (one day to be performing on Broadway!), along with keeping in shape through dance cardio and strength training with The Limit. And with whatever time I have left, I can be seen sharing my love of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. any chance I can.