orn April 21, 1980, Alex Stupak made his first appearance in a professional kitchen (as a prep cook) at the age of twelve having convinced the restaurant’s owner he was of legal age.
Alex took full advantage of his high school’s unique Culinary Arts program and also joined VICA, the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, and quickly started to participate in culinary competitions, eventually competing at the national level during his senior year. He swept the competition and won a full scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America, securing a culinary degree and an externship at Boston’s prestigious Clio Restaurant. Here Alex had his first opportunity to work the pastry station, part of a mandatory rotation for all cooks, and to his surprise enjoyed the work, although at the time he did not anticipate making it his career.
After graduation from the CIA Alex moved to Chicago where he became roundsman (or tournant) at Tru. Within fourteen months he was offered the position of sous chef at The Federalist in Boston. However, a twist of fate, landed him in the position of pastry chef.
Fascinated by innovation and technique and seeking an environment that supported his vision, Alex returned to Clio to become the restaurant’s first pastry chef. Boston Magazine awarded him the title of “Best Pastry Chef” in 2003, and in the following year, Food & Wine Magazine hailed him as “a visionary”.
In 2005, Chef Grant Achatz asked Alex to be the pastry chef at Alinea. The restaurant’s opening was a highly anticipated event in the restaurant industry, galvanizing Alex to excel with his menu. He was asked to recreate his magic on-air, making appearances on broadcasts including The Today Show, Colameco's Food Show on PBS, and The Discovery Channel. The recently published Alinea cookbook includes several of Alex’s recipes.
An invitation from Wylie Dufresne to take on the mantle of pastry chef at wd~50 fulfilled Alex’s combined ambitions to cook in New York and to work in an environment that fostered his creative vision; he joined the team at wd~50 in August of 2007.
Chef Stupak was victorious on Iron Chef in 2008. Pastry Art & Design named Alex “One of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America” in October of 2008, and shortly thereafter, Vogue’s food critic, Jeffrey Steingarten, deemed him “an unstoppable font of new ideas”.