Rising Star Chef Alex Chang of Vagabond Restaurant & Bar - Biography

Miami, FL

March 2016

Raised in California, Alex Chang was born in Hong Kong to a Mexican mother and a Chinese father. Home alone in Santa Barbara with a father gone to Tokyo, a mother working full time, and a sister off to college, Chang sought to build the family together-ness he was missing through the most sacred of traditions: dinner. In high school at the time, Chang began carving his future career path through unfamiliar territory—the kitchen—guided by a Rachael Ray cookbook. 

Chang enrolled at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he ate his way through the city. He and a friend started hosting dinner parties and began charging a small fee for their three course efforts. Two years in, those efforts turned into 60 covers a night and two dining room turns. Paladar supper club was born. During Chang’s last semester, Paladar became the subject of a documentary of the same name which made it all the way to TriBeCa Film Festival. 

After graduation, Chang cooked at Lazy Ox Canteen for a year before moving to Tokyo and staging at Les Créations de Narisawa—the self-proclaimed hardest thing he’s ever done. Back in the States he spent an influential two years cooking Animal, followed by six months at renowned Pujol and Quintonil in Mexico City. In 2015, Chang opened Vagabond with Miami restaurateur Alvaro Miranda in the stylish neighborhood of MiMo, for which he won a StarChefs Rising Star Chef award in 2016.