332 Atwells Ave
Meet the Chef
Executive Chef Alexander Willis, an Alabama native, has always loved cooking for people. Even as a kid, his family couldn’t keep him away from the kitchen or watching food-related shows on TV. Often, he would even make his parents breakfast-in-bed just to put a smile on their face. Chef Willis knew that cooking was his calling and started out as a dishwasher before deciding to enroll at Kendell College for Culinary Arts in Chicago. Upon graduation, he landed a job working at the world-famous, MOTO Restaurant, working under Homaru Cantu. Here, he would learn the importance of all the restaurant operations which included understanding the tasks and responsibilities of working every position. MOTO restaurant was also where he found his love and talent for all things pastry.
Eventually, Chef Willis would move to Nashville, TN then to Memphis, TN where he began working with Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman who would be the two chefs he attributes to instilling his love of Southern cuisine and changing his overall approach to food and service. After moving on from Memphis, Chef Willis would move to Seattle to work at Canlis before moving back to Chicago where he was the Sous Chef under Jared Wentworth of The Promontory. He worked his way up to Executive Pastry Chef at the sister restaurant and Michelin Star awarded, Dusek Board and Beer. After following Chef Jared Wentworth to work with him at Mordecai, Chef Willis would move to Providence, RI to live with his girlfriend. In late 2019, he came across the Executive Chef opportunity at a Southern inspired restaurant, Saje Kitchen. With his Southern roots and love of southern cuisine, this was the perfect setting for Chef Willis to express the food he loved most.
Chef Willis considers it his job to inspire and educate the guests about the true flavors and history of their food and loves to go the extra mile in order to do so. Now working at Saje Kitchen, Chef Willis only uses the finest, and freshest ingredients to bring out the best in his cooking. He places a high priority on using local ingredients while always keeping waste to an absolute minimum. He is more than excited to be working at a restaurant that allows him to showcase the food he wants to share with us all.