Born and raised in Malaysia, Alexander Ong apprenticed at the Shangri La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur for 4 years before coming to United States. Recruited by the Ritz Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta, he has traveled throughout United States working on assignments for the company. In 1995, he moved to San Francisco where he worked with chef Jeremiah Tower at Stars for 3 years. Though he was trained in classical French cooking, he decided to return to his Asian roots and opened Le Colonial’s kitchen and then Xanadu in Berkeley where in 2000 he was named Rising Star Chef by the San Francisco Chronicle.
In 2001, he became Chef and managing partner of Betelnut Pejiu Wu in San Francisco. Under his leadership, Betelnut was awarded 3 stars by the San Francisco Chronicle and has been one of San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 restaurants since 2001 and a Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand recipient since 2007.
He has been a guest blogger for the San Francisco Chronicle’s Food section and has worked with notable organizations such as Kikkoman USA, California Raisin Marketing Board, Niman Ranch, Chefs Feed, Visa, The James Beard Foundation and Google. His recipes have been featured in various food magazines such as 7X7 magazine, San Francisco Magazine and Sunset magazine. He also has been mentioned in notable cookbooks such as “The Seventh Daughter”by Cecilia Chiang and “Inside the California Food Revolution” by Joyce Goldstein.
Chef Ong is a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Asian Cuisines Advisory Council. He also serves on the Advisory Board for Asia Society of Northern California. Currently he is consulting while plotting his next food adventure.