Local Chef Alex Belew Wins ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Season 21

HELL’S KITCHEN: Contestant Alex. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.

Alex Belew, former owner of Dallas and Jane in Murfreesboro, has been competing on chef Gordon Ramsay’s television show Hell’s Kitchen for the last 14 weeks. He made it to the final three and then in an intense cook-off he gained one of the two final spots tying with his strongest competition, Dafne Mejia. That final spot came down to the wire.

The semi-final competition started with Alex, Alejandro and Dafne being given an opportunity to plan a menu for Chef Ramsay’s new Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in Atlantic City, as the grand prize for winning the competition is $250,000 and the job as head chef at the new restaurant.

After some rest and relaxation and lunch with Ramsay, the three semi-finalists were toyed with a bit before being taken back to the studio/kitchen/restaurant to begin the semi-final elimination round by preparing the dishes they had planned for their menu. Dafne went with her favored Italian food, Alex stuck with his Southern roots, and Aljandro chose a Vietnamese inspired menu.

In the end, Alex received three 10s from the world-renowned guest judges on his five-course meal, Dafne received two, and Aljandro wobbled and lost his way on his chicken dish, which led him to elimination.

“At the end of this competition I can honestly say that no matter what happens I cooked my ass off,” said Belew on his Facebook page. “I took all of those brutal punishments like a champ and did my best to maintain a level head and encourage all of my teammates. It was without a doubt the most growth I’ve ever experienced and the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.”

For the final dinner service competition, Alex and his team battled head-to-head with Dafne and her team. The teams were made up of previously eliminated chefs. Because Alex received three tens in the semi-final elimination round, he got to choose first, and his first pick was Aljandro. He had obviously been paying attention to each of the eliminated chef’s strengths and weaknesses because he pulled together a strong team who were obviously on his side.

Both teams had kitchen nightmares with undercooked food, but there were minimal fireworks. Even Tara, whom Alex was afraid would have a meltdown due to the obvious chip on her shoulder, buckled down and produced just a soupcon of drama.

It was a very close race because the diners loved all of the food, so it was really down to Ramsay’s decision as to whom he thought would be able to handle opening his restaurant, and that was Alex.

Alex Belew remembers learning to cook in his grandmother’s kitchen in Rover, Tennessee helping her make biscuits and boiled custard in Mason Jars. He graduated from The Art Institute of Tennessee with a Culinary Arts degree, and then went on to learn in many of the best kitchens that Tennessee has to offer, including Husk and Blackberry Farm. He had his own catering service, taught high school students culinary arts taking them to prestigious awards, and he also owned his own restaurant that closed due to the pandemic.

Having won many local and regional culinary competitions, he sold his business before joining the Hell’s Kitchen competition and took the plunge hoping to win and take his culinary endeavors to the next level by tying his lot to that of Ramsey.

Upon winning the competition, Belew said, as he looked at his wife in the audience, “I cannot have imagined this happening in my lifetime… This is the single greatest thing I have ever done next to marrying this lady and having our two boys…This is insane! Insane!”

Hell’s Kitchen is an American reality competition cooking show that premiered on Fox on May 30, 2005. The series is hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who created and appeared in the British series of the same name. Each season, chefs compete for a job as head chef at a restaurant, while working in the kitchen of a restaurant set up in the television studio.

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  1. This is poorly written. In the first paragraph you said chef Dave Ramsey. Several other mistakes throughout the article. Please double check your spelling of everyone’s name. I have watched this show for years, and on night one, I picked Alex as the winner.

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