Since 2005, Chef John McClure has served inspired cuisine as the executive chef of Starker’s Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri. McClure purchased the restaurant in 2006 and continues Starker’s four decade legacy as an establishment known for the highest quality seasonal food, innovative presentations and superb wines, all served in an intimate, comfortable atmosphere.
McClure grew up on a cattle ranch surrounded by bountiful farms. It was during these formative years that he developed an appreciation for the raising of livestock and the cultivation techniques that yield such fundamental ingredients as wheat and vegetables. He knows first-hand what it takes to get a meal from the farm to the table! The atmosphere of earnest work in which McClure came of age served to nurture his respect for the fine ingredients that infuse his culinary creativity today. Inspired by his mother and grandmothers, McClure has utilized his dedication to his craft and firm culinary training to establish him in the industry. And Kansas City appreciates his ingredient driven menu that is both approachable and delicious.
Through hard work, commitment and a respect for food, Chef McClure captured the essence of his home region and established the roots of his culinary education. His inspirations come from his mother and grandmothers and his aspirations are to utilize his savvy personal relations and larger-than-life personality to create an ingredient driven menu that is approachable and delicious.
Chef McClure’s culinary journey began as a Navy chef on an aircraft carrier stationed in Japan. Fresh out of high school, McClure immersed himself in the local culture, delighting in the opportunity to sample Japanese food and provide meals for thousands of military personnel on a daily basis. After the Navy, McClure attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he honed his cooking skills before moving to Kansas City after graduation to work at the renowned American Restaurant. A subsequent move to New Orleans found McClure savoring the culture and cuisine of the Big Easy. He added authentic Creole and Cajun cooking techniques to his repertoire while working with James Beard award-winning chef Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s Restaurant. Moving closer to home, McClure assumed the position of sous chef at 40 Sardines in Overland Park, Kansas, where he worked with other James Beard award-winning chefs Debbie Gold and Michael Smith.
Chef McClure’s commitment to providing an unparalleled dining experience is evident in his carefully orchestrated menu and the accompanying wine list. With over a decade’s experience in the culinary arts, he produces innovative dishes that are hand-crafted using only the freshest seasonal ingredients. From a fundamental appreciation for simple ingredients, to a veritable toolbox of creative cooking techniques, Chef John McClure shares with his patrons his lifetime of passion for food and his desire to make every visit to Starker’s Restaurant a memorable one.