Meet Chef Alex O’Neill
Born in upstate New York, Chef Alex O’Neill emerged from an upbringing steeped in a familial adoration for gastronomy and communal bonds. His parents, emigrating from Puerto Rico to Binghamton, NY, eventually settled in the desert landscapes of Tucson when he was five. Alex’s formative years were immersed in the ambiance of a traditional Caribbean household, fostering an innate culinary passion through observation, learning, and active participation with his family.
Alex instinctively gravitated towards the restaurant industry, and when the opportunity presented itself, he immersed himself in the lovely atmosphere that Renee’s Organic Oven offered. A student of History at the University of Arizona, he subsequently became an elementary school teacher at Old Pueblo Children’s Academy for the next four years. In 2012, Alex returned to his original passion for food, joining the inaugural team at Agustin Kitchen.
In this environment, Chef Alex acquainted himself with the demanding dynamics of the restaurant industry. Swiftly ascending the ranks, he earned the position of Executive Chef, overseeing one of Tucson’s foremost restaurants. In 2017, a transformative summer internship at Thomas Keller’s esteemed 3-star Michelin, Per Se, afforded him an invaluable education into what it meant to be a modern chef.
Chef joined the Fox Restaurant Concepts team in 2019, dedicating five years to local establishments such as Wildflower and Blanco, all while supporting culinary teams nationwide, including Nashville, Chicago, and Denver. This journey culminated in a return to the desert, finding a new home at El Mezquite.
Over his 15-year culinary career, Chef Alex has always regarded his kitchens as veritable classrooms. He strives to cultivate his team, disseminate knowledge, foster collaboration, and nurture young culinary talents into proficient chefs within these spaces.