Chef Ferrell Alvarez
After starting as a dish washer at the young age of 15, working as a eager prep cook throughout high school and eventually attending and graduating from Cincinnati Culinary Arts Academy in 1998, Chef Ferrell Alvarez made his way to Tampa, Florida to further his professional career. There he would gain nationwide recognition for a unique culinary view and artistic ambition. Over the next 16 years, Ferrell would forge a path through the Chef’s journey.
He began as a line cook at Saddlebrook Resort and eventually finished out his four and a half year tenor as Sous Chef Tournant overseeing five restaurants on property. He would then earn a position at the Tampa landmark, Mise en Place. There, he was able to work with Chef Marty Blitz and transition from lead cook to Sous Chef and ultimately earning the title as Chef Blitz’s’ Chef De Cuisine.
Seven years later, Ferrell would take over at Cafe Dufrain as Executive Chef and turn it into a groundbreaking sustainable restaurant. His heart to help people and his vision for Tampa fused together with long time friend and business partner Ty Rodriguez in 2011 when they launched their own magazine, The Local Dirt, which highlighted the array of sustainable food and local independent businesses in the Tampa Bay area.
In December of 2013, Chef Alvarez was able to live his biggest dream when he opened his own restaurant, Rooster & the Till. Focusing on what’s always been important to him, Rooster & the Till is a small 40 seat Modern American restaurant focusing on the best ingredients from local farms and gardens and preparing them with integrity, proper technique and lots of love.
With invitations to cook at Friends of James Beard dinners and multiple charity events along side colleagues such as Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Carmen Gonzalez and Richard Sandoval, Chef Alvarez has made a name for himself as a forward-thinking culinarian in Tampa. In the first 10 months of being open, Rooster & the Till has earned both Best New Restaurant and Best Chef from Creative Loafing and Best New Restaurnt from Florida Trend Magazine.