5 Questions with Chef Nelson German
NELSON GERMAN is an Afro-Latino chef of Dominican descent who owns alaMar and Sobre Mesa in Oakland. Born and bred in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, Chef Nelson worked countless hours in New York City restaurants & spent time studying the art of simple Mediterranean cuisine through his travels to Spain, France and Italy & learned local, seasonal, sustainable California cuisine at SupperClub SF. His talents have garnered rave reviews from San Francisco Chronicle and Oakland magazine and earned him spots at the prestigious Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival and Chefsfeed Indie Week Portland. He was also commissioned to showcase California Cuisine in Mexico City by Visit California. Most recently he was featured as a contributing chef in East Bay Cooks, a recipe book which highlights the East Bay’s top restaurants, bars, and bakeries.
BFiO: Whose food in Oakland do you enjoy as much as your own?
CHEF NELSON: Shakewell. You can taste the love and the soul in every dish.
BFiO: What food do you think is overrated?
CHEF NELSON: Avocado toast.
BFiO: What’s missing in the Oakland food scene?
CHEF NELSON: Dominican food.
BFiO: At what local Oakland markets do you shop for ingredients/food?
CHEF NELSON: Mandela Grocery.
BFiO: What does The New Normal look like for Oakland restaurants & food businesses in the age of COVID-19?
CHEF NELSON: More takeouts, less dining out and large party trays are going away.