Alex Hitz, the creator The Beverly Hills Kitchen, comes to this business with an extensive technical as well as artistic knowledge of food. He was co-owner of the successful The Patio by The River in Atlanta, Georgia, which was subsequently sold to Canoe. Mr. Hitz holds a B.A. in English from Washington and Lee University, in Virginia, attended graduate programs at the University of London in English and Theatre, L'Université de Paris-La Sorbonne in French Culture and Civilization, and holds degrees from Peter Kump's Cooking School in New York City as well as Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Hitz has apprenticed with some of the finest chefs and home cooks in the world, and is no stranger to getting his hands dirty in a commercial kitchen.
Until Recently, Alex's skills were known to those lucky (and fabulous) enough to be invited to the dinners he frequently hosts at his home in the hills high above Sunset Boulevard. He regularly entertains guests such as former first lady Nancy Reagan and Heiress Betsy Bloomingdale in his home for elegant dinner parties.
An Atlanta native, Hitz grew up on southern cooking and learned its mysteries from Dorothy, the family's cook. "She had a sixth-grade education and she taught me more about cooking and the world than anybody I know," Hitz says. Every year, the chef pays tribute to his heritage at his pre-Oscar party, one of the most impressive buffets west of the Mississippi: fried chicken; pulled pork with a Carolina barbecue sauce; shrimp and grits; stewed tomatoes; cole slaw; corn pudding; ham biscuits; coconut and caramel cakes; and pecan shortbread cookies.
Hitz has always been most at home in the kitchen. In his early 20s, after attending Le Cordon Bleu, he became a restaurant partner in Atlanta, but it wasn't until he moved from New York to Los Angeles, in 1999, that he began cooking in earnest. Having an enormous kitchen that would make even the most pampered chefs drool helped. The more Hitz entertained, the more his friends swooned.
"More and More, I enjoyed [cooking] again," he says. "And the people were very enthusiastic. They were very sweet. They said 'Keep going, keep going! This is so good you should sell it!'" In October 2009, his newly launched food line, The Beverly Hills Kitchen, debuted on QVC, and is now, as of January 2011, exclusively available on HSN. The first offering is Beef Bourguignon, a boil-in-a-bag concoction packed with fresh carrots and pearl onions, generous hunks of meat, and an aromatic sauce with hints of red wine and subtle spices.
Alex has written articles for Avenue and Town and Country about food, restaurants, manners, and entertaining, and is, himself, an accomplished host and chef. He comes to The Beverly Hills Kitchen with lifelong exposure to culinary excellence both in America and abroad, tireless attention to detail, and a fundamental understanding that food is history, culture, art, commerce, tradition and sensuality all rolled into one.