Chicago-born John Brogan ended up in Kansas City on a whim 10 years ago, and after getting a taste of the local restaurant scene, he knew he’d found his new home. Brogan played a key role in helping Colby and Megan Garrelts open Rye, their fried chicken restaurant in Leawood, Kansas, in 2012; he was chef de cuisine at Rye until January when he was promoted to executive chef. When the Garrelts announced that a second location of Rye would open in Country Club Plaza this fall, it was no surprise to learn that Brogan would be leading the kitchen. (Photo by Anna Petrow)
» Runner-Up: Theresia Ota, formerly of Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, jaxfishhouse.com
Editor’s Note: Ota is now executive chef at The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge (themonarchbar.com) in Kansas City.