Chef Alex Belew’s earliest childhood memories revolve around food. He grew up in the South, where food is the heart of the home. Many weekends were spent in his grandmother’s kitchen in Rover, Tn, helping her make buttermilk biscuits and boiled custard served in Mason Jars.
His culinary fundamentals were built at The Art Institute of Tennessee in Nashville, where he graduated with Honors with a Culinary Arts degree. Afterwards, Belew spent years learning, self-teaching, and working in some of the top kitchens in Nashville, including Husk by Sean Brock. Intrigued by creating an in-home dining experience to rival in-restaurant dining, Alex Belew Catering was established in 2007.
Belew stepped away from the commercial kitchen in 2012 to instruct high school students in Middle Tennessee, teaching knife skills, meat cutting, molecular gastronomy (food science), and nutrition. He eventually created the top culinary program in the state with his students winning the prestigious NRA Prostart Championship in 2014 at Blackman High School.
A 2014 visit to Chef Curtis Duffy’s three-Michelin-star rated Grace Restaurant was a life-changing event. That “flawless restaurant experience,” and a return visit to meet one-on-one with Chef Curtis, challenged everything Belew knew about the restaurant industry, and altered the trajectory of his career. No longer satisfied with just “serving food,” Belew was inspired to create a world-class dining experience in Middle Tennessee. To prepare, he honed his skills further by staging in prominent kitchens such as the Spoon & Stable, Blackberry Farm, Brasserie Jo’s, and Table 3.
Belew was soon winning local and regional culinary competitions throughout the South. He was selected the “fan favorite” at the Chef’s Taste Challenge in New Orleans in 2017, won the 2018 Charity Chopped in the ‘Boro fundraising contest, and won the 2014 KC steak cookoff. Belew also took home top honors twice at the annual Taste of Elegance contest, a pork competition that is put on by the National Pork Council in every state. Belew’s first restaurant, the award-winning Dallas & Jane, opened in 2018 in Murfreesboro. An homage to Alex’s grandparents, the restaurant quickly garnered acclaim and was voted the Best Restaurant in Rutherford County by Eater Nashville and the local Firefly Awards.