It was a case of the right time and the right place for both chef Joe West and Bread & Butter Concepts CEO Alan Gaylin.
West, a talented, versatile and in-demand player in the Kansas City food scene, was carefully considering his next gig, after he walked away from a partnership with Erik Borger to open Komatsu, a new ramen shop, earlier this spring.
Gaylin was looking for just the right chef to head up the kitchen at Stock Hill, his new steakhouse opening in the Board of Trade Building near the Plaza at the end of the year.
The two met in Alan’s office to see if there was a fit, and today they happily announced that West has accepted the position of executive chef of Stock Hill. Starting July 11, he'll jump straight into menu R&D for Kansas City’s newest locally owned steakhouse.
West says he had a few offers on the table from restaurants around the country after he walked away from Komatsu. He was trying to decide if he should stay in Kansas City or make an even tougher decision about whether or not he wanted to continuing cooking professionally.
“I was exhausted from trying to get my own pop-up restaurant Kusshi off the ground, and disappointed that Komatsu didn’t work out, so I decided to take some time off to think about my future and what I wanted to be doing,” West tells Feast.
That's when he took the meeting with Gaylin, and the two started sharing their background stories. West was immediately impressed with Gaylin’s work in the restaurant industry and his hands-on approach to running his restaurants. West realized then that Gaylin wasn’t just an investor, he was a true restaurant operator.
“It was really an honor to be asked to come and talk to him,” West says. “I walked away with so much respect for his success in the restaurant business in Kansas City, and I felt like we just clicked.”
This isn't the first time West has worked for Bread & Butter Concepts; while he was working on his own pop-up Kusshi, he worked a few days a week as a prep cook at Gram & Dun. He loved the camaraderie between the chefs, some of whom he had worked with before. It felt like home to him.
West brings over 14 years of culinary experience to Stock Hill. His impressive culinary career started right out of high school working for Michael Smith and Debbie Gold at 40 Sardines. He then moved to Chicago to work for Grant Achatz at Alinea. He has been a sous chef at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas, and the chef de cuisine at Bluestem working for Colby and Megan Garrelts. He has run multiple kitchens as the executive chef of the Cincinnatian Hotel, and was his own boss operating Kusshi.
“We are delighted to welcome chef Joe West to our culinary team at Bread & Butter Concepts,” Gaylin said in the release. “His wealth of knowledge and expertise in fine dining concepts will bring immense value to Stock Hill.”
Sounds like a match made in Kansas City culinary heaven.
Stock Hill, 4800 Main St., Kansas City, Missouri, Facebook.com/StockHillKC