|Photo courtesy of The Pitch|
John McClure, the Chef / Owner of Starker's Reserve restaurant on the Country Club Plaza was found dead in his home last Wednesday by Starker's manager Dean Smith. While much has been written about Chef McClure over the last 5 days since his passing the cause of death still comes as a great shock to Kansas City's restaurant community.
At only 35 years of age, McClure was a quickly rising star in the local and regional culinary world. He attended the Culinary Institute of America before working working in New Orleans and returning home to work at the American Restaurant and 40 Sardines before being hired at Starker's in 2004. At only 30 years old he bought the restaurant in 2006 and revamped the menu, keeping some of their traditional items while adding a little southern style and flair. McClure had also announced plans to open Barrio, a taqueria in Westport, in the upcoming months.
While those that knew him fondly remember the larger than life personality with a flair for the dramatic presentation the way he left this world will forever be hard for his family, friends, and loyal diners to accept. Tormented by internal demons that even those closest to him still do not fully understand, John McClure took his own life last week. Leaving behind questions as to how someone who's personality exuded warmth and confidence, his family has chosen to be open with the circumstances around the passing of their loved one in hopes that his death may help others avoid the same choice.
|Photo Courtesy of KC Star|
The future of Starker's Reserve, the yet to be opened Barrio, and how to honor their son's legacy are all matters the family will be deciding on and when more of those details become available we'll pass them along. Until then, Rest in Peace John McClure you, and your contribution to the Kansas City food scene will be greatly missed.
A memorial for John McClure will begin tonight, October 24th at 7 at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road).