Nelson German, Executive Chef/Owner of alaMar Kitchen & Bar and Sobre Mesa, tells the stories of the African and Caribbean diasporas through cultural foodways at his two award-winning restaurants/bars in Oakland, Calif. Not only has German paved his way to national notoriety (highlights in Glamour, Delish, Washington Post, Food & Wine; commercials for Coca Cola, Impossible Foods, Pam Cooking Spray; contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef – Season 18/Portland), he’s established himself as a community leader and curator of Oakland culture. German’s exquisite menus and architecturally-rich spaces invite a diversity of conversations and connections with Afro-Dominican recipes celebrating his roots. Contemporary techniques meet Chef Nelson’s favorite family dishes from his mother and grandmother’s recipe books.  

Born and bred in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, German began his career in New York City at the popular seafood destination Joseph’s Citarella and the Gramercy Park Hotel with Chef Yugi Wakiya, from whom he learned refined approaches to Asian flavors. Six years after graduating from culinary school, German became Executive Chef at Absinthe Wine Bar (NYC) and Jerry’s Cafe (NYC). In 2010, German and his wife moved to Northern California and he continued to immerse himself in studying the art of Mediterranean cuisine while cooking through his travels in France, Italy, and Spain.

German is among the celebrity chefs at the upcoming prestigious Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival (September 2022). He’s a featured panelist at Culinary Institute of America’s “Worlds of Flavor” International Conference and Festival (Napa, Calif., November 2021), and German participated in the James Beard Foundation’s “Summer Taste America” culinary series. German was named one of Plate magazine’s “2020 Chefs to Watch,” and “Best Chef 2022” from East Bay Express.

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