About Rex Hale

Executive Chef Rex Hale

From the Farmhouse to Farmers Markets, Rex Hale knows good food begins at home. Trace Rex Hale’s interest in cooking to its roots and you’ll wind up standing in the bustling, heartland of a Missouri farmhouse where his grandmother spent summers cooking for up to 30 people.

Until 2018, Rex worked for LHM Hotels, a hotel company that owns 18 hotels consisting of Doubletrees, Sheratons, Hiltons, Marriot, and few boutique hotels such as Cheshire Inn.

Rex loves his profession. It has taken him around the world and fueled his passion for cooking. His talents in the kitchen brought him early recognition, in 1990 Food & Wine Magazine named Rex among America’s rising culinary stars. The James Beard House selected Rex as a candidate for Best Chef of the Midwest in 1991. He was amongst four top culinary talents including Charlie Trotter for this honor. 

Rex discovered the beauty of Central Coast living while In Ojai. He created “California Coastal Harvest” for the bounty of food and wine available in the Central Coast. At the time Rex also received recognition from the James Beard Foundation. Wine Spectator described Rex’s cuisine as an amalgam of his cooking experiences. “He studies the culture behind the regional foods and incorporates that country’s philosophy into his cooking. Rex shows respect for the seasons and for ingredients yet cooks with a restraint that’s uncommon.”

Experience

  • Prepared numerous Catered Events for Charitable Organizations including Earthdance Organic Farm School, Alton Forward, Caring Solutions, March of Dimes, Urban K-Life, American Cancer Society, Eden’s Glory, SlowFood St. Louis, Sisters of the Earth, McCluer High School Theatre Program and Ferguson Farmers Market.  Catered for numerous other organizations and individuals including Bohlen Family Farms, Flourish Farms, Such and Such Farms and all farms in the collaborative.  Extensive caterer for Alton Works and John and Jayne Simmons and Family.
  • Acted as consultant for Alton Works, Alton Forward and Rex Retail.  Organized a massive regional wide effort to provide food to those in need in the St.Louis Metropolitan area during the CoronaVirus Pandemic in the world of 2020.
  • CONSULTING CHEF
  • Chef Rex Hale was instrumental in starting up Bakers & Hale.
  • 2011-2018     360, Boundary and Basso                         Restaurants and Bars, St. Louis MO.  – LHM Hotel Corporation
  • Corporate Executive Chef       www.360-stl.com • www.boundary-stl.com • www.basso-stl.com
  • Planned and developed opening of these restaurant operations. Actively implemented the training, mentoring and development of the culinary staff.
  • 2008-2011     McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, St. Louis, MO.
  • Executive Chef           Overseen all planning and implementation for opening of this 5 million- dollar restaurant operation. Created and overseen program for the training, mentoring and development of the culinary staff.
  •  Charlie Gitto’s Restaurant at Harrah’s Casino, St. Louis, MO.
  • Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill, St. Louis, MO.
  • Mike & Charlie’s Restaurant at Harrah’s Casino, Kansas City, MO.
  • Corporate Executive Chef       Set up all kitchen operating standards from recipes to organization and ordering.
  • 2001-2004     Pastore’s, Los Osos, CA. 
  • Chef/Owner   The menus were created nightly to use only the finest product from the local market. The restaurant received accolades in various local publications.“It’s not just this world traveler’s long resume that’s impressive. It’s Hale’s exceptional taste and ability to produce cuisine, both complex and simple that’s consistently great.” States Kathy Marcks Hardesty.
  • 2000- 2001    The Cliffs Resort, Shell Beach, CA.
  • Food and Beverage Director
  • & Executive Chef        Monthly, prepared Winemaker Dinners with local wineries. Food & Beverage Director oversaw all aspects of the food and beverage department. While as Food Beverage Director created an extensive Wine List including some of the finest wines from the central coast of California, France and Italy. Planned and assisted in developing several events at the resort including; The KCBX Wine Classic, The World of Pinot Noir.
  • 1998-2000     Little Dix Bay Resort, Virgin Gorda, BVI   
  • Executive Chef           www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/little-dix-bay-virgin-gorda
  • Harvey Steiman of The Wine Spectator stated, “On my visit Little Dix offered by far the best food I tasted in the Caribbean,” in his profile on the Caribbean in the November 30, 1999 issue. This Rosewood Resort is a member of the elite group of Preferred Hotels, Leading Hotels of the World and Small Luxury Resorts. The food at Little Dix Bay received accolades in a number of publications including Gourmet Magazine, Wine Spectator and Bon Appétit.
  • 1996-1998     Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai, CA.
  • Executive Chef           www.ojairesort.com
  • The food received praise from John Mariani a nationally recognized food writer. Mariani states “The solidity of Hale’s ideas is evident on the plate.” Received accolades in various publications including Esquire, Wine Spectator and Los Angeles Times. Prepared Taste of Ojai for 130 highly recognized Travel and Food Writers at Chelsea Market in New York.
  • 1993-1996     Jumby Bay Island Resort, Antigua, W. I.
  • Food and Beverage Director & Executive Chef https://www.oetkercollection.com/hotels/jumby-bay-island/ A Relais & Chateau Resort. Conceived a one-acre garden that produced assorted specialty produce for the hotel’s kitchen. Prepared menus at Gourmet Magazine facilities for food writers to familiarize them with the food of Jumby Bay and the Caribbean. The resort received international accolades in such magazines as Food Arts, Nation’s Restaurant News, Conde Nast Traveler, Gourmet, Departures and Wine Spectator.
  • 1989-1992     The American Restaurant, Kansas City, MO.
  • Executive Chef           The cuisine received local and national accolades. Chef Hale received a nomination for Best Chef of the Midwest from the James Beard Foundation. Chosen as one of the Top New Chef’s in America in Food and Wine Magazine.
  • 1987-1989     Baby Routh, Dallas, TX
  • Executive Chef           Profiled in Restaurant and Institution Magazine and in Bon Appetit
  • 1985-1987     Brennan’s of Houston, Houston TX.
  • Executive Chef           Featured on PBS TV Series, Great Chefs of the West.

Rex has a resume that reads like a Who’s Who of great restaurants. He was executive chef at Brennan’s in Houston, The American Restaurant in Kansas City, Baby Routh in Dallas, The Cascades Hotel in South Africa, Jumby Bay Island Resort in Antigua, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and Little Dix Bay Resort in the British Virgin Islands. 

Awards and Acknowledgements

  • From the Farmhouse to Farmers Markets, Chef Rex Hale knows good food begins at home. His interest in cooking traces back to the bustling heartland of a Missouri farmhouse where his grandmother spent summers cooking for up to 30 people.
  • Rex loves his profession and is a strong advocate for the farm-to-table movement. His talents in the kitchen brought him early recognition – in 1990 Food & Wine Magazine named Rex among America’s rising culinary stars. The James Beard House selected Rex as a candidate for Best Chef in the Midwest
  • Rex has a resume that reads like a Who’s Who of great restaurants. He was executive chef at Brennan’s in Houston, The American Restaurant in Kansas City, Baby Routh in Dallas, The Cascades Hotel in South Africa, Jumby Bay Island Resort in Antigua and Little Dix Bay Resort in the British Virgin Islands.
  • Wine Spectator described Rex’s cuisine as an amalgam of his cooking experiences. “He studies the culture behind the regional food and incorporates that country’s philosophy into his cooking. Rex shows respect for the seasons and for the ingredients yet cooks with a restraint that’s uncommon.”
  • RISING STAR CHEF
  • FOOD & WINE
  • BEST ROOF TOP BAR IN THE WORLD
  • Travel Magazine
  • BEST NEW RESTAURANT IN US
  • Esquire Magazine
  • RISING STAR CHEF RUNNER UP BEST CHEF’S MIDWEST BEST HOTEL CHEF IN AMERICA
  • JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION
  • GREAT CHEF’S OF THE WEST
  • CELEBRITY CHEF
  • 2015 TOP CHEF

His skills attract raves not only from diners, but from peers, also. Gourmet Magazine, Bon Appetit and the Wine Spectator all praised Rex’s creations. He was also involved in the PBS series, “Great Chefs of the West.”