Chef of the Year: Colby Garrelts, Bluestem and Rye

Out of all the major – and majorly impressive – chefs in the Kansas City food scene, Feast readers have voted Colby Garrelts to the top of their list. In May 2013, the James Beard Foundation named him Best Chef: Midwest, just five months after opening his second restaurant, Rye. (And Bluestem, his flagship fine-dining restaurant, has been recognized consecutively in 2015, 2016 and 2017 as a James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurant.) Garrelts’ calling card is still Bluestem’s seasonal menu, which inspired the lauded 2011 Bluestem cookbook. At Rye, he showcases his famous fried chicken – a recipe that took him almost a year to perfect – with a second location slated to open in Country Club Plaza this fall. (Photo by Landon Vonderschmidt)

Bluestem, bluestemkc.com and Rye, ryekc.com

» Runner-Up: Carlos Falcon, Jarocho Pescados y Mariscos, jarochokc.com