Since Executive Chef Eric Lees’ depart from Sonoma State, culinary services has been scrambling to fill the void he’s left behind; but the wait is over with the arrival of the new executive chef.
Alexandre Purroy, a local chef with international experience, has joined university culinary services as their new executive chef. Growing up in Santa Rosa, Purroy graduated from Montgomery High School and went on to study in the hotel and restaurant department at City College of San Francisco.
He first became interested in the restaurant business after a New Year’s Eve job as a busboy. After walking away with $100, he found a passion for a new career in the cooking industry.
After college, he did his apprenticeship at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. It was always Purroy’s dream to travel the world and work on his cooking skills. He has spent over 20 years traveling the world and holding chef positions at five-star hotels over 10 countries.
If that didn’t make him qualified enough, he has spent the last 15 years as the chef and owner of the restaurant Doce Lunas in Kenwood. Traveling and cooking all around the world gives Purroy an edge because it gave him inspiration from different foods and places he has been.
Sonoma State students are looking forward to the changes regarding their food.
“I heard that there was a new executive chef, but I didn’t realize how much experience he had,” said freshman Sarah Joyce, who eats at The Kitchens regularly. “It makes me wonder what ideas he has in store for the food here. I can’t wait to see the improvements he can make.”
A large part of being executive chef of Culinary Services requires knowledge of what the students at Sonoma State want when it comes to their food. Purroy wants students to know he welcomes and accepts their suggestions to all the food options on campus.
“[Students can] feel free to… talk to me and let me know how you like everything or how you don’t. [I’ll] have an open forum policy, let’s talk about food,” said Purroy.
According to a prepared statement by Sonoma State about Purroy, he hopes students are placed into a comfortable environment with their food and are able to recall their experiences, and have a better appreciation for other types of food.
With the start of his new job at Sonoma State, Purroy is meeting with members of the community to get their take on Culinary Services to see if any improvements need to be made. Overall, Purroy is excited to take all of his culinary experience and turn it into a culinary learning experience for the students.