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Q39 owner, executive chef passes after battle with colon cancer

Rob Q39 South.jpg
Posted at 5:30 PM, Dec 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-04 20:16:38-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Q39 announced “with a heavy heart” the passing of owner and executive chef Rob Magee.

Magee battled colon cancer for five and a half years.

“A friend and mentor to many, he truly appreciated the thousands of people that enjoyed his BBQ from around the world,” Q39 shared in a social media post Saturday.

The Q39 website described Magee as a person who “never tired of learning, honing his skill as an explorer of tastes and flavors, devising original sauces and rubs, always experimenting further and only using the finest scratch ingredients.”

Even after working in kitchens all across the country, when he moved to Kansas City, Magee was dedicated to mastering local barbecue, cultivating a technique Q39 calls "chef-driven barbecue."

Magee spent 15 years in the competition barbecue circuit and was no stranger to success. He led his team the Munchin’ Hogs to victory in an array of prestigious competitions and national championships.

Rob wins Vegas.jpg

Q39 continued Magee's legacy of award-winning barbecue. Some of the restaurant's awards include:

  • 2015 Trip Advisor’s FlipKey Best Restaurant Worth Traveling For
  • 2016 Yelp’s Top 25 Restaurants in Missouri
  • 2017 Eater’s 10 hottest new restaurants in KC
  • 2018 Midwest Living Top Things to Do in Kansas City, Missouri

Q39 said Magee was proud to represent Kansas City and bring a "unique BBQ experience" with restaurant-goers.

“Rob was a true champion and no one could have packed more life into these last five years,” the Q39 post said. “His commitment to BBQ will live on as Q39 continues to share his culinary passion.”

Magee opened his first Q39 location in 2014 at Midtown in Kansas City, Missouri.

Q39 said more details will be shared about a public memorial or ways to celebrate his life.