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Söntés is pleased to announce that Alex Sjoberg has been promoted to the role of Head Chef. As the kitchen’s new leader, he is responsible for creating the menu, training and supervising the staff and making sure that every dish that leaves the kitchen is the fresh and flavorful creation you’ve come to expect from Söntés.
Chef Alex started at Söntés in 2010, taking time away to work at Boston’s Red Lantern and to help open Harriett Brasserie in Minneapolis where he was the Sous Chef. He returned to Söntés in 2013 and has worked as our own Sous Chef for the past year.
Chef Alex has been cooking since he was 14 years old, and he attended the International Culinary School at the Art Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. He’s passionate about flavor, fresh ingredients, and good food done right. He is known for his creative and delicious fare, his skills in kitchen organization, and the know-how of hard work. At Söntés, he spent his first couple weeks as Head Chef cross-training his staff to work different stations in our kitchen so that they’re prepared for just about anything.
“I’ve learned from great Chefs far and wide,” he says. “But Rochester’s my home. I’m happy for this opportunity to bring what I know home to Söntés.”
A lesser-known fact about him, Chef Alex has a severe seafood allergy. (Yes, Söntés will continue to serve seafood!) But his allergy gives him an advantage in compassion. “I know firsthand what it means to dine out and trust that a restaurant will take me seriously,” he says. “And I’m the first person to figure it out when they didn’t. I won’t discredit a guest’s needs, not on my watch.”
One recent guest asked if she could “meet the Viking.” Chef Alex gladly came out of the kitchen to say hello, and yes, he does resemble a giant, reddish-blonde Norseman.
About his food, Chef Alex says, “I plate for the palate. Some Chefs plate for aesthetics, but for me, the right flavor is more important.”
Curious about Chef Alex? See his bio on our Who We Are page, and check out his interview below.
~ Interview with Head Chef Alex Sjoberg~
Where were you born?
Olmsted Medical Center.
I remember a trip to go gold prospecting with my Dad in South Dakota. I was around 8 years old. We left on a Friday night and wrote a note that we’d be back. [Answering the blogger’s next question, he laughs.] No, my mom wasn’t mad.
In Middle School, I had perfect attendance.
Being the Head Chef at Söntés is one of the greatest accomplishments I can imagine.
When I moved to Arizona and Boston, I packed everything into my car and drove with no idea where I was going to live. All I knew was what I wanted to do, to cook, and in Arizona, to go to culinary school, so I just packed and went.
Well, there is the number 13. I was born on Friday the 13th, in hospital room 139. Adding 1+3+9 you get 13. I was my Grandma Lundstrom’s 13th grandchild, and it took me 13 years to become a Chef.
What else do very few people know about you?
I once donated my hair to Locks of Love, on Christmas Eve. That was nine and a half inches, all reddish blonde.