Rex Hale was born and raised in Marshfield, Missouri near St. Louis. He supported himself by working in restaurants while going to school studying biology and chemistry at the American University in Washington, D.C. and Tulane University in New Orleans. While enrolled at Tulane, he met Ella and Dick Brennan who owned Commander’s Palace down the street.
After graduation, he returned to St. Louis to start his ad hoc apprenticeship at Tony’s, which was considered one of the best restaurants in town. After working there, and in several classic and nouvelle French restaurants, he went to work at the American Restaurant in Kansas City under Great Chef Bradley Ogden.
After a year, he joined the staff at Commander’s Palace where he worked with Great Chef Emeril Lagasse. In 1985, the Brennan family transferred him to their Brennan’s of Houston’s as executive chef. Later in 1985, the television crew of Great Chefs, showed up to tape Chef Rex Hale (or as Dick Brennan Sr. liked to call him, “King Rex”) for the PBS series, Great Chefs of the West.
Chef Hale went on to work under Great Chef Stephan Pyles at Baby Routh in Dallas, then the Jumby Bay Resort in Antigua. He finally returned to St. Louis in 2012 as executive chef of Three Sixty atop the Hilton, and later taking on the additional responsibilities of executive chef of the Restaurant at Cheshire in the same property. In 2016, he reorganized both restaurants and renamed Cheshire to “The Boundary”.