Alex McCrery

Alex McCrery

Co-Owner of Tilit NYC, and Co-Host of Opening Soon Podcast

I have always enjoyed making people happy in my work. Food came to me early as a New Orleans native with excellent cooks in my family. Both with my cooking and Tilit, I love that we can take a tangible necessity of life and find a way to make it better, more interesting and exciting to the end user (or diner!).

Focus. This was tiled into the wall from Chef Minh Bui at 56 degrees. This reminded us that with each dish we put out, to focus on what we were doing, whether it was chopping chives or searing fish. It carries true through everything I've ever done since in career and personal life. When you lose your focus, you can't be at 100%!
Commander's Palace was basically culinary school for me. I walked in that "blue monster" eager but ignorant. I walked out with a wealth of knowledge and experience that carried me through the next several roles in my career.
In St. John, we were given very little guidance, instruction or rules. We were tasked to cook 3-4 dishes family style for 100 people every night with the given ingredients at our disposal. People praised my food and I knew it would be my outlet.
I think the ability to work well with others, learn and stay humble are of the utmost importance in the kitchen.
Leading by example, and including everyone in the process is imperative. Collaboration doesn't need to just be with the upper tier, it should go from top to bottom.
When hiring, we look for people who have a willingness to learn, humility and a true belief in what we're doing. At Tilit we've been fortunate to cultivate a team of believers in our product and mission, and not just salespeople.
There are always people to look up to and learn from, regardless of where you are in your career. I look to larger fashion brands for design inspiration and other businesses for ways to make our workplace more enjoyable and rewarding.
I'm fortunate to live in NYC so there's inspiration everywhere you look and it's constantly changing and improving. Trying to keep up in New York is motivating and inspiring!
We cannot do our job at Tilit without pizza every Friday. Seriously, that's our family meal at Tilit and every Friday we have a team lunch from Prince Street Pizza.
The first major book was given to me by Minh Bui - "Lavarenne" Pratique by Anne Willan. It's basically a picture book for every french cooking technique you could need. I'm a visual learner so I love this book!

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