Chef Alex Raij of Saint Julivert Fisherie - Biography

Brooklyn, NY

October 2018

Alex Raij was born to Argentinian Jewish parents in the Midwest. They encouraged home cooking and exploration of other cultures. Raij’s interest in Spanish cuisine started in 1997 after reading an article about Ferran AdriĆ  in Food Arts magazine. She immediately enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America, and upon graduation in 1999, joined the opening staff of Meigas, a Spanish restaurant in Manhattan. Not only did she fall in love with Spanish cuisine, but she also fell in love with one of her co-workers, Chef Eder Montero, who would later become her husband.

In 2007, the pair opened El Quinto Pino, an authentic multi-regional tapas bar in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Later, a few blocks away, they opened Txikito, a strictly Basque restaurant inspired by Chef Montero’s Basque roots. La Vara opened in 2012 in Brooklyn, serving Spanish food influenced by Moorish and Jewish recipes and ingredients. Soon after its opening, La Vara received two stars from The New York Times critic Pete Wells. The pair also opened a daytime eatery and coffee shop TekoĆ”, which recently shuttered. The space reopened in September 2018 as Saint Julivert Fisherie, a seafood restaurant inspired by the Spanish seaside. Raij has been a semifinalist for James Beard’s “Best Chef, New York City” every year since 2013.