Alex Harrell, Angeline
Louis Armstrong has a song “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,” and after listening to this interview with New Orleans chef Alex Harrell, you may find yourself humming that tune. Alex, chef/owner of Angeline in the French Quarter, is a thoughtful and enthusiastic representative of his adopted city. He’s a ‘Bama boy who started his career frying fish and now helms a restaurant named this year by Zagat as one of the 10 Hottest in New Orleans. With menu items ranging from Eggs in Hell -- local farmers’ eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce -- to smoked pork cheeks with jalapeno and satsuma, this is a chef not afraid of layering flavors, but he’s so quietly matter-of-fact of about it, you can forget until you eat his food. Once you do, there’s no forgetting. He’s part of the epicenter of the vibrant New Orleans food scene post-Katrina, and yet, he’s never too busy to cook up a little something special for his kids when they visit daddy in the dining room for dinner.