Bio

Alex Garcia is a Nuevo Latino chef who helped popularize a version of Cuban food at several New York City restaurants and on the Food Network. After spending a few years working as a waiter, Alex attended Northeastern University in Massachusetts where he earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management. He later attended the Culinary Institute of America, and Florida International University. Alex worked alongside famed Nuevo Cuban chef Douglas Rodriguez for four years at Yuca restaurant in Miami. Garcia's work in New York has included stints at Erizo Latino in Soho, Babalu, Patria, Calle Ocho and, most recently, Habana Room.

His first cookbook, In a Cuban Kitchen, was published in September 2004 in the United States and in England.

Statement

I had the pleasure of meeting Cristian even before he was born. Through my friendship with his father, John "Gungie" Rivera, I've always had the chance to cook for John and Cristian's mom at various restaurants, and I even cooked at Cristian's baby shower at a restaurant I owned with Ralph Mercado called Babalu. It is through my cooking that I got the chance to interact with such a beautiful and strong little boy, whether it was before he was born or when John would take him to my restaurants. When Cristian got sick, I volunteered to make him special meals and I also cooked at the first Cristian Rivera Foundation Gala. I am proud to be part of the Cristian Rivera Foundation and to be one of its Committee Members. I know what John went through with Cristian's illness and I feel a loss just from speaking with him. As a father myself, I can only imagine what it's like to lose a child and I don’t want to have to keep picturing such a terrible thing. I feel that someone needs to educate and eventually find a cure for this horrible disease, Pontine Glioma. If everyone joined forces, we'd be able to make even more of an impact.