Seinfeld’s former chef Alex McCrery launches workwear brand

Alex McCrery is the cofounder and designer of Tilit. Born and raised in New Orleans, LA Alex moved permanently to New York in 2005 to further his culinary career. After an 18+ year career as a chef working in restaurants including Commander’s Palace (New Orleans, LA), Aureole (New York, NY) and Antonucci (New York, NY) Alex launched Tilit with his partner and wife Jenny Goodman. Alex first noticed a large gap in the marketplace for quality made hospitality workwear having spent four years as the private chef to Jerry Seinfeld and his family. Determined to build a line of USA made workwear that could crossover to streetwear, was born in November 2012. The company is based in the Lower East Side and 100% of their garments are manufactured in Manhattan.

As for this personal style:

Jeans: Definitely a Levi’s guy here, I generally buy 3-4 pairs of the black 511 and where them till they break down.

Shirts: I wear a white Everlane Pocket T seven days a week. (I have quite a few!)

Pants: If I’m not wearing Jeans it’s our new Tilit street pants set to drop this Fall. They’re a classic work style slack. One of the pluses of designing clothes is that I also get to street test them before they hit the market!

Suits: I am so not a suit guy!

Shoes: Shoes are definitely my weak spot! I have a closet full of Vans, but when I want to dress up the look it’s with a blacked out pair of Common Projects. Winter time I’m still sporting a three year old pair of Billy Reid boots (amazing). For work/dress shoes I go to my Westerlind Derby shoes. When I occasionally make it to the gym it’s a black on white Nike Presto.

Accessories: I usually keep accessories to a minimum, although Yellow 108 makes some great hats.

Outerwear : I have a Filson winter coat that fits amazing and keeps me warm on the coldest days in NYC. For Fall/Spring my goto is our soon to be released butcher trench coat in black.

Favorite Cologne: Au natural for the most part. When I need a little spruce, Aesop has a Marrakech intense eau de toilette. Just a touch!

Your favorite App: Our friends just launched The Liquor Cabinet app that gives you a full menu of cocktails, recipes and tools for making them. It’s a great way to impress our dinner guests with something special. Also really digging Slack as we just switched all of our inner office communication over to it.

Favorite piece of technology: iPhone.

Next tech purchase: My wife and I just had our first little girl, so I assume it will be some sort of baby related tech purchase! Any recommendations?

Now for a recipe!

Makes 10-12 empanadas

Empanada Dough

1 ½ c AP Flour

1 tsp Kosher Salt

¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper

4 oz. Cold Unsalted Butter

2 Egg Yolks

¼ c Chilled Water

In a food processor combine flour, salt, cayenne, and diced butter. Pulse until butter resembles tiny pebbles. Remove from the food processor and place in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and water. Combine by hand to form a dough. Add flour or water as necessary to achieve a semi dry dough. Do not overwork! Place into a gallon size ziploc bag, flatten and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. (This can be done the day ahead of you like.)

Empanada Filling

3 links Fresh Chorizo

½ c Shredded Cheddar Cheese

¼ c Roughly Chopped Cilantro

10-12 Squash Blossom Tops

Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Squeeze the sausage out of the casings and into the pan. Let the sausage cook down making sure it crumbles apart. If there is a lot of fat/oil then place the sausage onto a paper towel after removing from the pan. Place the warm sausage into a medium mixing bowl and add the cheese, chopped squash blossoms and cilantro. Mix well with a spatula or spoon.

Lime Crema

¼ c Cilantro

Zest of 1 Lime

Juice of Half a Lime

1 c Sour Cream

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until the empanadas are ready.

Forming & Baking Empanadas *Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Place the chilled dough onto a floured surface. Cut into 10-12 equal size pieces. Flatten by hand or lightly roll with a rolling pin each piece into a rough circular shape. The dough should be very thin without holes in it.

Evenly distribute the filling amongst to flattened dough pieces, being sure to leave about a half inch of space around the entire outside. Fold the ends up to form a semicircle and crimp the edges to close the empanada.

Lightly oil a baking sheet with vegetable or other high heat oil. Place the empanadas evenly around the sheet. Lightly brush the tops with oil. Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating. Top with fresh tomatoes, cilantro and your lime crema. Enjoy!

Editors' Recommendations