Alex Young founded Zingerman’s Roadhouse as chef and managing partner in September 2003, operating as one of the seven businesses in the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. Serving really good American food, Alex is a 5-time James Beard nominated Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region, winning the title in 2011. The same year Roadhouse Macaroni and Cheese was named the Best Comfort Food in America by Alton Brown’s Food Network show Best of. In 2009, the Roadhouse was given the honor of being named one of the “Top 10 New Barbecue Restaurants” by Bon Appetit.
At the age of 17 with no professional culinary training, Alex moved to New York City and landed his first kitchen job cooking for The Central Falls Roadshow. From there he worked in many different kitchens throughout the country, helping open New York’s China Grill with Chef Mako Tenaka, working for Chef Reed Heron at San Francisco’s Corona Bar and Grill and opening The Pittsburgh Fish Market in Pennsylvania. He was named the first corporate chef of the Hilton Restaurant Group before being introduced to Zingerman’s co-founders Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig in 1997 and beginning the journey to opening Zingerman’s Roadhouse together.
Alex’s passion for local agriculture and farming steered him to founding and opening Cornman Farms, what is now a 42 acre farm in Dexter, MI, eight miles from the Roadhouse. Growing more then 70 varietals of vegetables and caring for over 150 animals, Alex has made the farm-to-table dining experience come to life in Southeast Michigan. Educating the staff, the patrons, the community and local students on the importance of farming and knowing where food comes from earned Alex the honor of being one of twelve top chefs from around the country named a James Beard food activist.
Maude Kasperzak (b. 1988 Toledo, OH) has been living and working in Baltimore, MD as a cake decorator/designer and visual artist ever since receiving her BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Currently, she is the Creative Director of Charm City Cakes overseeing behind the scenes as well as hands-on production of Chef Duff Goldman's team. Utilizing fondant, gum paste, and food dyes as her main mediums, Maude is able to bring her artistic abilities in painting, drawing, sculpture and design to each cake she works on. Throughout her four years with CCC, Maude has worked on cakes for notable cliental such as Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Uber, Order Up, Nascar, United Service Organizations, and Wheel of Fortune to name a few
When she’s not creating edible works of art at the bakery, Maude can be found working on her paintings, videos or on textile design for her and her collaborator (Oakland, CA fibers artist Natalie Ebaugh) accessory line called Girl Group.