A native of Cleveland, OH, Chef Zander Tekus discovered his appreciation of food and the culinary arts as a young child. Surrounded by a large Greek family, food was the centerpiece of every gathering. He was first exposed to his calling as a chef at the age of four, when he attended his first cooking class, where he learned how to make a raspberry soup. With a raspberry bush growing in his yard, he fell in love with the idea of cooking with fresh, locally grown ingredients. After graduating from Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts in 1998, Chef Tekus moved to Colorado to begin an externship at The Hotel Boulderado. This was a dream come true for him, as he had become enamored with the Colorado lifestyle after visiting the state as a teenager.
Zander has a deep love and appreciation, not only for the beauty of Culinary Arts, but also for the impermanence of what is created. As a chef, Tekus often labors for long periods of time over a meal that disappears within seconds at the hands of a stranger. But it is this impermanence that reminds him to stay in the present as he creates the beautiful details on each plate he serves.
Tekus is a vocal advocate of mental health awareness in the food service industry. He became involved in supporting his co-workers and others in the industry after a stream of tragic events struck the region where he calls home. Zander is in the process of developing seminars and workshops dedicated to the mental wellness of all those who are a part of the industry – from farmer to cook.
Over the last 20 plus years working in kitchens, Zander has been fortunate to have learned from such celebrated chefs as Todd Slossberg, Michel Nischon, James Mazzio, Jami Flatt, Hugo Matheson, Gabriel Kreuther and Rick Moonen.
Chef Tekus is currently an Executive Sous Chef at Aspen, Colorado’s newest supper club, 7908 Aspen. When he has free time, he enjoys the amenities of the Roaring Fork Valley with his wife Ali and two young children, Rowan and Noa who are constantly reminding him to do better.