Vagabond Restaurant’s Alex Chang has quickly built a reputation for his outspoken personality and eclectic cuisine. Chat Chow TV sat down with the 25-year-old executive chef to find out more about his background, what he thinks of the Miami food scene and what’s in store for the restaurant.
Chang first came into the spotlight a few years ago after filming a documentary with about his college supper club that caught the attention of restaurateur Alvaro Perez Miranda who invited him out to New York City to do a pop-up dinner. The dinner went well and the two stayed in touch, eventually reconnecting for the Vagabond Restaurant concept.
He admits that he has been a bit outspoken about Miami’s food scene since arriving but that he didn’t necessarily mean it in a negative light, “I thought I was just saying what everyone was saying to me but I guess no one wants to say it publicly,” but adds he thinks that there is prime opportunity for the city’s food scene to grow because it isn’t overly saturated like other markets.
As for the inspiration of his menu it’s a reflection of items that he enjoys eating — with heavy emphasis on local vegetables, which has been a challenge for him in the summer months when produce isn’t easily available.
“We’re finding ways to challenge ourself and do something different instead of do something just order tomatoes from California,” he adds. “If we showcase a vegetable on the menu we want it to be from around here.”
As for the future of the restaurant, after a successful launch of brunch and lunch he admits to toying with the idea of of a special tasting menu with hopes of launching that down the line.
Curious what he thinks of Miami’s culinary journalism? Check that out at the 10 minute mark. Or if he thinks Miami has truly embraced him? Find out all that and more in the video above.