Alex Harrell pairs his lifelong experience with seasonal and accessible products with his classical technical skills in the kitchen at Angeline. Hailing from southeastern Alabama, Harrell spent his childhood weekends on his grandparents’ Gulf Coast farm digging potatoes and picking fresh berries and figs to cook with his father. After earning his bachelor’s degree in science and biology from Hampton-Sydney College, Harrell began working in a small, beachside seafood restaurant owned by a family friend. It was this position that inspired Harrell to pursue his career as a chef.
In 1998, Harrell moved to New Orleans and began working as a pantry chef at Bayona under chef Susan Spicer. Under chef Spicer, Harrell acquired proper technical skills. In 2000, he began working for chef Gerard Maras. While under Maras, Harrell worked his way from lunch line cook at Gerard’s Downtown to sous chef at Ralph’s on the Park and Table One. He credits both chefs with inspiring him to continue to continue studying proper technique, precision, and the value of fresh, available ingredients.
When celebrated French Quarter bistro Sylvain opened in 2010, Harrell joined the team as head chef, serving thoughtful contemporary American fare. While at Sylvain, Harrell was praised for his simple, laid-back approach to food and was featured on CNN.com’s Eatocracy and Time.com. In 2014, Harrell announced his departure from Sylvain to open his own restaurant Angeline, which opened in March 2015. Angeline embodies Harrell’s simple, clean approach to Southern cooking.