Rising Star Baker Alexander Roman of Somerset - Biography

Chicago, Illinois

May 2018

As a child, Chicago native Alexander Roman spent time prepping tamales with his parents, both of whom hail from northern Mexico, and he realized early on that he wanted to work with his hands and to make food for a living. 

Roman initially began his career as a savory cook. He followed his wife to New York City and cooked at Rising Stars alum Adam Schop’s Nuela, where a pastry chef first turned him onto baking. Roman spent the next two years as a sous chef at Northern Spy, all the while baking loaves in his small city apartment. He and his wife decided to move back to Chicago, where he began baking fulltime. During his two years at Sandra Holl’s Floriole, Roman was promoted to head baker and was later hired for the same position at Rising Stars alums Art Jackson and Chelsea Jackson’s Pleasant House Bread, known for its pioneering in-house milling program. 

Today, Roman’s bagels, dense loaves of rye, airy baguettes, and burnished miche accompany meals made by Rising Stars alum Lee Wolen at Boka Group’s Somerset. His program puts an emphasis on locally grown, freshly milled flours, and as a founding member of Chicago’s Artisan Grain Collaborative, Roman helps connect area bakers and restaurants to small Midwestern farmers. He also brings his Mexican heritage to the table with specialty breads and an unforgettable mole negro croissant.