Alexander is an iconic figure in American cooking and a James Beard Award-winning author, chef, and restaurateur. He has owned multiple celebrated Harlem eateries, including the reopened Minton’s Playhouse; The Cecil, which was Esquire Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant in America” in 2014; and the acclaimed Café Beulah, which was New York City’s first fine-dining African American restaurant. Smalls was named one of NYC Restaurant Power Players by Zagat. He is the author of three critically acclaimed cookbooks, and his most recent book, Meals, Music, and Muses, was named one of the Top 5 Lifestyle Books 2020 by Publisher's Weekly. Smalls is also a world-renowned opera singer and the winner of a Grammy and a Tony Award.