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Kelsi Baker Walden and her family hails from the area around Godfrey and wanted to open a restaurant in the building that previously housed the restaurant and bar the Rotten Apple. She reached out to Hale to join in the endeavor.
Chef Rex Hale, an avid supporter of local produce, would be able to grow his own on site. More importantly, he would be able to mentor the younger Baker Walden on her first starring role. While he is the “head chef” and the name St. Louis diners are likely to know, she is running the kitchen.
When thinking back on where she got her love of food, Kelsi Walden Baker, the co-owner of the new Metro East restaurant Bakers & Hale does not hesitate. It was Grandma Baker.
Chef-owner Rex Hale – who previously ran four restaurants including Boundary and 360 St. Louis under Lodging Hospitality Management – debuted Bakers & Hale on Aug. 6, a fresh, farm-to-table concept with longtime employee, friend and Illinois resident Kelsi Baker Walden.
“I think the most exciting thing is that we can cook with the seasons,” Hale says. “We can actually grow things on the property, serve things out of the garden and have an opportunity to share our love for food with people in this area.”
The locavores at these spots source their ingredients from the region.
Rex Hale is pretty much living his dream, chopping up signature salads in his own restaurant -- with produce grown on his own grounds.
"All of this is from the garden here at Bakers and Hale," he says, gesturing to a table full of vegetables.
Longtime friends and colleagues Rex Hale and Kelsi Baker Walden officially opened the doors to their seed-to-table restaurant Bakers & Hale at 7120 Montclaire Ave., in Godfrey, Illinois, on Monday, Aug. 6.
Hale and Kelsi Baker Walden bring a "seed-to-table" experience to Godfrey, Illinois.
"It’s local, and it’s personal,” says chef Rex Hale, describing the food and experience at Bakers & Hale, the restaurant that he opened today in Godfrey, Illinois, with chef Kelsi Baker Walden, a longtime friend and co-worker.
With the official opening a week or so away, the owners and operators of Bakers & Hale gave some local officials a chance to try out some of the food at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.
Nothing goes along with the wholesome goodness of the new farm-to-table restaurant, Bakers & Hale, like children painting and decorating with pictures of naturally, locally grown ingredients.
“We want to be a part of the community, along with offering great food,” said executive chef Rex Hale.
Illinois will soon get a new locavore experience, courtesy of a favorite St. Louis chef. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, chef Rex Hale, who currently helms the kitchen at Three Sixty and helped open Boundary and Basso at The Cheshire, will open his own place.
A new restaurant named Baker’s and Hale is creating a lot of excitement and anticipation around Godfrey. The restaurant at 7120 Montclair Ave. in Godfrey, the old Rotten Apple location, is expected to open within an estimated month.
The new endeavor, Bakers & Hale, will replace the former Rotten Apple Pub & Grill just off I-255.
Rex Hale and his longtime employee Kelsi Walden-Baker are leaving Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM) to open a new, rustic American restaurant across the river in Godfrey, Illinois, as first reported by St. Louis Magazine.
After nearly seven years of running the kitchens at LHM's four restaurants – Boundary, Fox & Hounds Tavern, Basso and Three Sixty at Hilton at the Ballpark – Hale is headed out on his own.
Bakers & Hale
7120 Montclaire Avenue
Godfrey, IL 62035
(Sunday Brunch 9-1; Lunch 1-4; Dinner 4-Close)
Closed on Tuesday