Chef Alex Chang of The Vagabond: #TNTShowdown Chef Profile

The Taco & Tequila Showdown #TNTShowdown presented by MIAbites and The Liquid Projects is locked in for Sunday November 8th 6-9 pm at the Vagabond Restaurant and Bar.

Benefitting local non-profit, Urban Oasis Project, 12 chefs and bartenders will battle it out to be selected for best taco and tequila drink, and to further whet your appetite and give you a little back story, MIAbites will be profiling each of the chefs leading up to the event.Tickets to #TNTShowdown are $65 in advance and available on Eventbrite link here.

Our final #TNTShowdown Chef Profile features Chef Alex Chang, Taco & Tequila Showdown host chef at The Vagabond.  Thank you to Chef Alex and the Vagabond team for hosting and being so supportive of our event!  

Chef Alex Chang:  The Vagabond Restaurant and Bar and #TNTShowdown Host Chef

I first met Alex at Zagat's 30 Under 30 event last November. Come to think of it, it hasn't even been a full year, but so much has happened since then, especially for the chef. For those that are still unfamiliar with Alex Chang, he moved to Miami last year. Originally from Santa Barbara, he got into cooking as many other chefs do, experimenting with food as a teen while his mom worked a full-time job. That was merely the starting point. He moved to LA, started the pop-up supper club Paladar, which ended up as a documentary and debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival. From there, came stints at Lazy Ox Canteen, Animal, Les Creation de Narisawa, Pujol, and that's not even the entire list. 

So, yes, his food is good and even better, he's not afraid to do what most chefs seem so adamant to separate. He's just as comfortable making you chapulines (aka grasshoppers) and sweetbreads, as he is a classic, greasy burger. If you have not yet been to Vagabond, do yourself a favor and make a reservation for this weekend and come to the event, of course!

Being that he's half-Chinese and half-Mexican, we can't wait to see what he comes up with. 

We spent a few moments with Chef Alex to ask him our list of #TNT Chef Profile questions:

 How has being a chef/owner in Miami changed over the last few years?

It's hard for me to say because I have been here for just a year. So I'm still learning.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?

I would have done something related to sports science. I studied kinesiology in college because I loved playing sports growing up. I wanted to go to medical school but I realized I wasn't smart enough.

 What ingredient could you not live without? Your least favorite ingredient?

Favorite- Salt

Least favorite- Green bell peppers

What is the last dish you cooked for yourself?

Spaghetti alla Bottarga

Your favorite restaurant other than your own (naturally)?


If you cook alongside any chef…alive or dead, who would it be?

Victor Arguinzoniz [Chef/owner of Etxebarri]

What's your personality in the kitchen?


Lead by example

 Let’s talk tacos:  Corn or Flour?  Hard or Soft?  What is the craziest taco combo you have ever had? And where?  Can you give us a hint as to what you plan on submitting as your “Signature Taco” at TNTShowdown? 

Depends on what kind of tacos I am eating. Different types of tortillas are best for whatever they are going to be filled with. I don't know that I have had anything too crazy, I am more of a traditionalist.

 Why do you think YOU will win?

It's in my blood.

Taco & Tequila Showdown #TNTShowdown is presented by MIAbites and The Liquid Projects and will be held Sunday November 8th 6-9 pm at the Vagabond Restaurant and Bar. Join us! Tickets available for $65 advance sale on Eventbrite: