Stratta is a fourth-generation hotelier, born to parents from locales well known for their culinary traditions; his Italian father is from the Piedmont region, and his French mother from Nice along the Côte d’Azur. As his father was president of Princess Hotels & Resorts, he spent much of his early life living in luxurious resorts in countries all over the world, including Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, France, Mexico, and Pakistan; this upbringing helped him become fluent in French, Italian, Spanish, and English. Stratta attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, California and graduated with honors in 1983.

Stratta began his career as a patissier-in-training at the Stanford Court Hotel. He then accepted an internship at the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco; soon after, Alain Ducasse invited Stratta to join the team at his Louis XV restaurant there. After two years, Stratta returned to the United States, and began working for Daniel Boulud at Le Cirque in New York City.

In 1989, Stratta became the executive chef at Mary Elaine’s restaurant at The Phoenician. While there, he was featured in Food & Wine Magazine as one of “America’s Ten Best New Chefs.” There he earned a 4-star rating from the Mobil Travel Guide and also received critical acclaim as the best restaurant in the Phoenix area. In 1998, Steve Wynn invited Stratta to become executive chef of the Renoir restaurant at The Mirage in Las Vegas. The restaurant earned Mobil Travel Guide’s highest rating of 5 stars just six months after opening.

In 2005, Stratta opened his namesake restaurant Alex, it received ratings of 5 stars from the Mobil Travel Guide, 5 diamonds from the AAA Restaurant Ratings, and 2 stars from the Michelin Guide.

Stratta was also chosen as an Iron Chef on Iron Chef USA. In his only battle appearance on the show, he defeated superstar chef Marcus Samuelson.
Anthony SerranoAaron May