Our Favorite Chefs in the Greater Kansas City Area
Mike Foust, Farmhouse
Chef Mike Foust is the owner of The Farmhouse, River Market’s farm-to-table, tip-to-tail restaurant serving classically creative comfort foods reflecting each season’s bounty.
Foust has been working with local Kansas and Missouri farmers and ranchers since day one to guarantee the freshest ingredients. Animals are respected and raised just for their kitchen by using as much of each animal as possible, with butchered cuts not commonly used in modern cooking. Bacon, lardons, chicharrones, broths and stews are all made in-house from pastured animals grown specifically for The Farmhouse. Bartenders make their own seasonal syrups, purees and shrubs. Crops are picked at dawn and delivered early in the day so guests can enjoy what the region has to offer, with all parts of vegetables used to make stocks, sauces and ketchup.
The result is ethically responsible and ridiculously delicious soul-soothing meals, so it’s no wonder why Foust looks up to Alice Waters, chef, food activist, owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant and champion of local sustainable agriculture.
Gaining inspiration from Mother Nature, Foust’s seasoning of choice is none other than the salt of the Earth to season his dishes. His signature dish is clay pot rabbit, a whole rabbit cooked like a stew in a clay pot.
Without any form of advertisement, The Farmhouse has solely relied on word of mouth since 2009 to earn its place as a Kansas City favorite.
At your next visit, enjoy a surprise catered menu prepared by Foust just for you and your guests by reserving the Chef’s Room, a small private space seating up to eight.
Debbie Gold, The American
Chef Debbie Gold is the executive chef of The American in Crown Center where culinary artistry is a constant.
The restaurant is truly a valentine to Kansas City, with its lattice look paying homage to the lace on Hallmark’s Valentine’s cards and its opening day being held on Valentine’s Day in 1974. Guests celebrate milestones at The American to put an exclamation point on any special occasion, with countless wedding proposals made at table four.
The American transitioned from a restaurant with nightly dinner service to a restaurant available for private dining events in January 2017. Additionally, there are a series of events open to the public called The American Concept Series.
A Chicago native with a degree in restaurant management, professional culinary training in France, years spent in the restaurant industry, owning her own restaurant and receiving national accolades, Gold calls The American home. She enjoys taking everyday foods and giving them a wow factor, valuing fresh, seasonal foods prepared with classic techniques. Gold appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and is Kansas City’s first James Beard Award winner.
Enjoy a unique culinary experience with a spectacular view of the Kansas City skyline by hosting your next event at The American.
Michael Corvino, Corvino Supper Club and Tasting Room
The Corvino Supper Club and Tasting Room are two restaurants under one roof, each capturing different experiences from chef Michael Corvino.
Centered around social dining featuring shareable plates, Supper Club’s menu changes with the seasons and the kitchen’s imagination. Nightly live music adds to the lively ambiance as guests dine on fresh, modern American cuisine with the best ingredients and techniques from around the world.
The Corvino Tasting Room is known as the jewel box—a small, intimate room seating up to 18 guests that is separated from the Supper Club. Experience unique eats and curated wine pairings between Corvino’s plating table and the bustle of the cooks.
Chef Corvino looks up to chef Michael Ciamarusti, owner of Providence in Los Angeles, a restaurant with a focus on seafood sustainability with a program called dock-to-dish that connects small-scale fisherman and sustainable seafood directly to chefs. Corvino is inspired by his travels and discovering new ingredients, which appear in his new dishes on his menus that change just about every week. His favorite meal is usually made from the hands of a friend. In Kansas City that includes Howard Hanna, Ryan Brazeal, and Megan and Colby Garrelts.
Raised in Washington, Corvino spent years working in the finest restaurants across the country before opening Supper Club in April 2017. Since then, Supper Club has received the prestigious AAA Four Diamond rating, one of only two restaurants in Kansas City to achieve this distinction.
Colby and Megan Garrelts, Rye and Bluestem
Colby and Megan Garrelts are the husband-and-wife chefs and owners of Rye and Bluestem restaurants. Both chefs are proud to be from the Midwest, with savory and sweet recipes reminiscent of generations around the kitchen table.
Rye in Leawood celebrates the traditional Midwestern foods the couple grew up enjoying with a chef’s point of view known for its fried chicken, vegetables just off the stove, Parker House rolls and seasonal pies, all made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. They even use produce from their family farm in Parker, Kansas. The alcoholic beverages also have a local focus, with a selection of Missouri and Kansas beers and spirits, classic cocktails and regionally inspired drinks.
Bluestem in Westport just north of the Country Club Plaza marries cuisine and hospitality for a truly memorable experience. Featuring an intimate dining room with various courses and à la carte offerings showcasing Colby’s progressive American cuisine and Megan’s variety of decadent American desserts for dinner, catering and private events, Bluestem has earned both local and national awards, including the James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurant in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
As chefs, they are inspired by the seasons and family. Both look up to chef Michel Bras and his family in France as well as chef Claudia Flemming—Megan often uses her cookbook The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern. Megan’s favorite seasoning is salt in sweet foods to make the flavor pop, and depending on the dish he’s cooking, Colby favors a mixture of salt, sugar and fat. His favorite meal is linguini and clams, and she enjoys osso buco with orzo and fall veggies.
With culinary degrees, numerous awards, features in national publications and two published cookbooks, the Garrelts combined their talents and professional careers into two exceptional restaurants.