ST. LOUIS – From small-town Union, Missouri, to the winner of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen season 20. Trenton Garvey, or Trent, as most people call him, had to keep a big secret for two years.
“It’s amazing, it’s insane. I’m super grateful. It’s a relief to finally let everyone know. I feel like I’ve lived a double life,” Garvey said.
He’s been working as the executive chef of the Blue Duck in Maplewood for about three years. He started at the original The Blue Duck location in Washington, Missouri, before getting this position.
He’s spent three years with an hour commute to and from work each day. Now, as the winner of Hell’s Kitchen, he’s taking his talents west to Las Vegas as part of his prize package from Hell’s Kitchen.
“My role is going to be head chef out there, so I’m going to be running the pass, helping run the kitchen and really just learning the ropes, and put myself in the learning position, which I’m really excited about, (and) understanding the structure the new facets of a $20 million a year restaurant,” Garvey said.
He said the support from the community has been overwhelming. He was in Las Vegas while The Blue Duck had a watch party for the season finale. He said the show hadn’t aired in Las Vegas yet, but he saw videos from his restaurant in Maplewood and couldn’t hold back the tears.
“I was like outside crying and tearing up. It’s just so incredible how many people have reached out. I just want to cook. I just want to make food. And I love to get to touch so many people by doing it, and getting to share that awesome journey with them because I didn’t expect to make it that far. Then when I won, I was like oh my god, this is not what I expected, but I’m so grateful for it.”
When Garvey found out his door was the one that opened on the show, signifying he was the winner, he also had a surprise under his belt. He proposed to his longtime girlfriend Macee on the show.
As the dinner bell rings in Vegas, so do wedding bells. The two have been engaged for two years since the show was originally filmed, but they could never tell anyone exactly how they got engaged, until now.
With a big move to Las Vegas and a new job on the horizon, they haven’t set a wedding date yet but plan to soon.
“With all of the awesome money that comes along with the show, that’s also going to help catapult the wedding dreams for her because she wants it simple but I’m like you deserve an awesome wedding. So, I’ve been waiting to be able to provide something really incredible for her,” Garvey said.
Garvey and his fiancée Macee came back to The Blue Duck for a meet-and-greet Thursday night with fans.
“I’m just so happy he won, but from episode two or three, I was like there’s no way he won’t win. He’s obviously the best,” James Kathriner said.
He and his girlfriend are big fans of the show and frequent The Blue Duck at least weekly.
“It’s definitely upsetting that he’s leaving but I know The Blue Duck can handle it,” Caila McLaughlin, a fan of the show said. “I’m just hoping to get a picture with him and get his autograph so I can hold onto that when he leaves.”
While Garvey is moving to Las Vegas, he said his dream is to still come back to St. Louis and open a restaurant of his own, where it all started eventually.
“Now it’s just going and learning, gaining as much knowledge as I can from Gordon Ramsay, and the restaurant group. And then I just want to just keep moving forward,” Garvey said.
“Maybe open up a restaurant out there, and then just keep making it back to St. Louis is what I’m excited about.”