Alexander Smalls

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On the heels of his newest cookbook release, Alexander Smalls reflects on his life in music, restaurants, and mentoring young Black chefs

Alexander Smalls smiles for the camera at an event.
Alexander Smalls smiles for the camera at an event.
Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images

In the middle of a global shutdown, Meals, Music, and Muses: Recipes From My African American Kitchen debuted — the third book from opera singer and longtime restaurateur Alexander Smalls. The New York resident and partner in The Cecil and Minton’s in Harlem with JJ Johnson (now closed), Smalls has lived a remarkable life: Born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, he traveled the world singing, then returned to New York, eventually opening a catering company and his first restaurant, Cafe Beulah, in the mid-1990s. Read on for more on his fascinating journey and advice to young Black chefs at this moment…

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