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GUIDE | These Kansas City-area restaurants, bars, chefs are 2024 James Beard Award semifinalists

Drastic Measures
Posted at 12:28 PM, Jan 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-24 13:28:37-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Restaurants, bars and chefs from across the Kansas City area are being recognized on a national level for their excellence.

The James Beard Awards, which celebrates exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary and hospitality fields, announced its 2024 semifinalists on Wednesday.

Read below about the semifinalists being recognized right here in the metro:

Emerging Chef — Jeff Workman, The Campground

Jeff Workman, chef at The Campground in Kansas City, Missouri, is being recognized as one of the nation's top emerging chefs.

According to The Campground's website, it is an aperitivo cocktail bar and restaurant that sources its food locally whenever possible. The restaurant also focuses on incorporating hunted, fished and foraged ingredients.

You can try The Campground's ever-changing menu by visiting its location at 531 Genessee St. between Thursday and Sunday, 5-10 p.m.

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program — Affäre

Affäre, located in Kansas City, Missouri's Crossroads Arts District, is a modern German restaurant that provides seasonal cocktails, plenty of brews and sustainably-farmed wine.

Owners Katrin and Martin Heuser are partners, both in marriage and in the restaurant industry.

Martin Heuser told KSHB 41 News that Affäre, located at 911 Main St., offers both traditional family dishes and German food with a modern twist.

Best Chef: Midwest — Johnny Leach, The Town Company

Johnny Leach, executive chef of The Town Company, is being recognized as a semifinalist for the Midwest's best chef.

Leach and his wife Helen Jo Leach — The Town Company's executive pastry chef — create rotating menus "fueled by a network of local farmers, ranchers and other unique purveyors," according to the restaurant's website.

The menu is focused on encapsulating rustic roots, the Kansas City experience and redefining the Midwestern table.

The Town Company is located inside of Hotel Kansas City at 1228 Baltimore Ave. in Kansas City, Missouri.

Best Chef: Midwest — Katie Liu-Sung, Chewology

Another Kansas City chef being recognized is Katie Liu-Sung with contemporary Taiwanese eatery Chewology, located at 900 Westport Road.

The restaurant focused on its gyoza when it arrived to KC, due to its strong connection with Liu-Sung's childhood.

Chewology also partners with other local companies when creating its dishes.

Best Chef: Midwest — Romain Monnoyeur, Westport Cafe

Just under half a mile away sits Westport Cafe, a restaurant with a chef also recognized as a semifinalist for the "Best Chef: Midwest" category.

This restaurant brings a French flair to Kansas City, and Monnoyeur even offers a private chef experience, where he collaborates with the customer to create a specialized menu.

You can visit Westport Cafe and Monnoyeur at 419 Westport Road.

Best Chef: Midwest — Rozz Petrozz, Saltwell Farm Kitchen

Located about an hour outside the KC area in Overbrook, Kansas, Saltwell Farm Kitchen and chef Rozz Petrozz offer a five-course farm-to-table culinary experience.

Saltwell Farm Kitchen projects that if you come for a meal, it will be a three to four hour event.

The restaurant says its weekly-changing menu takes inspiration from the surrounding farmers and foragers.

You can find Saltwell Farm Kitchen in a walnut tree grove located at 214 N. 800 Road in Overbrook.

Outstanding Bar — Drastic Measures

From 2023 Outstanding Bar finalist to 2024 semifinalist, Drastic Measures in Shawnee is receiving honors from the James Beard Awards once more.

“When those lights go down and the music goes up, there is no air of pretension about the drinks,” Drastic Measures partner Jay Sanders previously told KSHB 41 about the bar's 2023 nomination. “What we really sell is experiences. Drinks are secondary to atmosphere and vibe for us.”

Drastic Measures bills itself as a small, rustic neighborhood cocktail lounge. For the owners, creating a welcoming environment is a major priority.

“Hospitality for us, it’s not about just selling you a drink and taking $12 from you," Sanders said in April 2023. "It’s about making sure that you know that you’re loved and respected and that we got you.”

Drastic Measures can be found at 5817 Nieman Road in Shawnee.

2023 NOMINEE | Kansas City's Yoli Tortilleria earns national recognition with James Beard Award nomination