In the captivating world of culinary arts, chefs often draw inspiration from their diverse backgrounds, infusing their dishes with flavors that reflect their cultural heritage. Enter Chef Nelson German, a talented Afro Latino chef who has captivated the culinary scene with his innovative approach to cooking. Chef Nelson's Afro Latino roots have played a significant role in shaping his culinary identity and his two successful Oakland restaurants, alaMar Dominican Kitchen and Sobre Mesa.
“I have been in the business for 24 years and have worked with many styles of cuisine. Now, I am mainly focusing on my roots. alaMAr is now a full Dominican restaurant that is inspired by my lineage and family. While Sobre Mesa, is inspired by my ancestors and deeper roots."
Chef Nelson's journey as a chef began out of curiosity which later became a passion. “ As a kid, I was always curious and attracted to the kitchen. Watching my mom, grandma, or auntie have a great time while cooking meals for our family. It was that energy that really made me say ‘I want to do this.’”
As Chef Nelson honed his skills, he embarked on a quest to explore the diverse influences that shape Afro Latino cuisine. From the African, Spanish, and Indigenous roots that intertwine in Dominican food to the flavors of other Afro Latino cultures, he embraced the opportunity to learn and incorporate all of it into his cooking.
“The most prominent influence in my food is the African side. That is the culture I want to feature the most in my cuisine.”
Another culture Chef Nelson features in his cuisine, is the culture found right here in The Town. “Oakland has made me embrace my culture even more, which now I get to bring into my cooking. The culture in Oakland has really brought me to where I am now.”
Chef Nelson German's Afro Latino roots have not only shaped his career but have also become the driving force behind his culinary journey. With his innovative approach, he continues to push boundaries, creating dishes that pay homage to his heritage while appealing to a global audience. Through his passion, creativity, and dedication to cultural preservation, Chef Nelson is an inspiring figure in the culinary world, leaving an indelible mark on the Afro Latino culinary community.
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