Food & Drink

Kansas City Cuisine Scene Winners 2014

There’s never been a better time to eat and eat well in Kansas City. KC magazine’s top picks in Kansas City’s culinary world.

Meet this year’s cuisine scene winners

Story by Kimberly Winter Stern  |  Photos by Paul Andrews

The hottest thing in Kansas City right now—aside from the ethereal slice of Fervere polenta bread that Novel’s Chef Ryan Brazeal serves alongside his Berkshire pork terrine—is our ever-evolving food landscape.

We’ve gone from a polite simmer to a full-on boil in 10 years, thanks to the über-creative chefs, food artisans and producers who have unleashed their boisterous imagination and pent-up energy onto our palates. No longer a two-trick pony town, where succulent steaks and ‘cue hog the culinary spotlight, KC’s cuisine scene is all about passion on a plate heaped high with local, seasonal ingredients and a spirit infused with chef-producer collaboration.

Farm-to-table dishes, nose-to-tail philosophy and seasonal ingredients echoing our rich Midwest surroundings define the restaurants we flock to in neighborhoods from the West Side and Prairie Village to the Crossroads and Leawood. The common thread throughout KC’s food playground is a lack of pretension and a refreshing shrug-of-the-shoulders humbleness from the culinary magicians who pull much more than a rabbit out of a hat each night—don’t forget the heirloom pork, Kobe beef, buffalo, grain-fed veal and even ostrich that are star proteins, too.

So when Executive Editor Katie Van Luchene and I started combing the gastro-sphere and querying local food enthusiasts for standouts in this food-frenzied city late last year, the list was delightfully long—a very good conundrum, indeed. After a few sips (too many) of Cocktail Wizard Ryan Maybee’s celebrated Pendergast, we whittled down our picks.

The year is deliciously young. Bundle up, motor on over to your restaurant of choice and let the chef impress you with his or her culinary-point-of-view. Your table is waiting, in a city that is a well-seasoned hotbed of good food, good drink and good vibrations.

Click the pic below to find out our pick for Kansas City’s Chef of the Year!