Born & raised in Malaysia, Alexander Ong apprenticed at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur for 4 years before coming to the United States. Recruited by the Ritz Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta, he has traveled throughout the United States working on assignments for the company. In 1995, he moved to San Francisco where he worked with chef Jeremiah Tower at Stars for 3 years. Though he was trained in classical French cooking, he decided to return to his Asian roots and opened Le Colonial’s kitchen & then Xanadu in Berkeley where in 2000 he was named Rising Star Chef by the San Francisco Chronicle.
In 2001, he became Chef and managing partner of Betelnut Pejiu Wu in San Francisco. Under his leadership, Betelnut was awarded 3 stars by the San Francisco Chronicle & has been one of San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 restaurants since 2001 & a Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand recipient since 2007.
He has been a guest blogger for the San Francisco Chronicle’s Food section & has worked with notable organizations such as Kikkoman USA, California Raisin Marketing Board, Niman Ranch, Chefs Feed, Visa, The James Beard Foundation & Google.
His recipes have been featured in various food magazines such as 7X7 magazine, San Francisco Magazine & Sunset magazine. He has also been mentioned in notable cookbooks such as “The Seventh Daughter” by Cecilia Chiang & “Inside the California Food Revolution” by Joyce Goldstein.
Chef Ong is a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Asian Cuisines Advisory Council. Currently, he is the Principal of Chef Alex Ong LLC, a consulting company that specializes in sustainable cooking practices and Asian cuisines. Amongst his lists of clients are various universities, corporate dining, tech startups, food manufacturers and national chain restaurants. His crowning achievements include the Hampshire Dining Common and The Blue Wall at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he was the lead consultant in the food program.
Chef Ong plays a very active role in the pursuit of sustainability in the local farming and ranching industries. He teaches a very popular Taste of Asia cooking class series at the famous San Francisco Cooking School where he shares his expertise of the cuisines of Asia and features the bounty of local farmers and ranchers.
Admittedly a bad golfer and an even worst fisherman, he dreams of serving hot bowls of noodles at the 9th hole of every PGA golf course and fishing camp.
Instagram, Twitter: @chefalexong