Alex Kinderman…A Rising Star
Kendall College Trust
October 9, 2019
In just the past year, Alex Kinderman has rubbed shoulders with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, worked for Rick Bayless and mentored local kids interested in food. The rising star student clearly has excelled at putting to good use winning the Kendall College Trust Premier Scholarship for two years in a row now.
“It’s helped me not only in financial terms but also in opening up the spectrum of people I know,” says Kinderman, who earned his associate degree in culinary arts and has now started working on a bachelor’s in hospitality and restaurant management. “KCT has helped me really just be able to put myself out there.”
And he’s done a remarkable job doing just that.
Last year, Kinderman beat out 20,000 applicants to become one of only 38 people chosen to compete on the most recent season of MasterChef in Los Angeles. Though he created dishes with the other contestants, he was an alternate and ended up not getting camera time. Still, he says, “it was definitely something really remarkable to be a part of.”
Back in Chicago, Kinderman, 20, has proven to be the stuff stars are made of, too. He’s spent the past two summers helping at Kendall College Trust’s educational camps for teens from underserved communities. “It was a really great experience just being able to work with all these kids who have the same passion we have, who want to go into cooking and learn more about it,’ he says.
And when he wasn’t mentoring youth, Kinderman kept busy through the summer staging on the prep teams at Bayless’ eateries Topolobampo and Frontera. Now that courses have resumed at Kendall College, where he’s the head resident assistant in the dormitories, he plans to work with the restaurant group’s events department a couple days a week.
The son of immigrants—his mom is originally from Mexico, while his dad moved to the United States from Argentina—Kinderman is certain his future will be in the food he first learned to cook from his maternal grandma. “I want to open my own restaurant,” he says of his future goal. “In the meantime, I know that I want it to be Mexican cuisine. That’s definitely my burning passion.”
The Kendall College Trust has awarded millions of donor-supported scholarships to hundreds of Kendall College students, like Kinderman, since 2008. “Giving that money is a way to help those people who have all these ideas and just need that extra push to get out there and really pursue what they want in the culinary world,” he says.