Walking away is not, in any case, German's style – instead he's always marched, one step at a time, towards what he wants. A Dominican-American New Yorker from Washington Heights, he went to the New York Art Institute's well-regarded cooking school and then landed jobs at Manhattan restaurants like the Gramercy Park Hotel and Joseph's. Though he was finding his way in New York's competitive scene moving up from line cook to executive chef-level positions, he let his wife, May, convince him to go West, moving to her hometown Oakland, and, in 2014, he opened his own restaurant there, the funky, fast-casual fish place alaMar.