The Cincinnatian Hotel and Palace Restaurant proudly introduces Kansas City native Joe West as its new Executive Chef. For the last several years Chef West has been plying his trade as Chef de Cuisine at one of Kansas City's best restaurants, Bluestem, where he worked under Chef Colby Garrelts, James Beard Award winner: Best Chef of the Midwest for 2013. Throughout his career, he has worked under four Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chefs and five James Beard Award Winners.
Born in Japan where his father, a Marine met his mother, West quickly understood the respect for food as art. West grew up around professional kitchens as a kid while his mother was a server of two high end restaurants in Kansas City.
As a family, they would dine out and embrace the food culture as much as possible. He credits this exposure at an early age as a foundation to his love for food. West began his culinary career at the age of 16 as a prep cook at 40 Sardines under James Beard Award winning Chefs, Debbie Gold and Michael Smith. West knew then he had found his calling and went on to compete in and win a number of national culinary competitions to garner a scholarship to one of the country's best culinary schools.
During his time in school, he had the privilege to stage during the opening year of Alinea, home of Chef Grant Achatz, cook in the kitchens of Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, Kevin Taylor and Bryan Moscatello. West graduated on the Dean's List of Johnson & Wales University in 2007.
After culinary school, West went on to fine tune his skills and create his own personal style through a culmination of well known culinary mentors and highly decorated establishments. First, he returned to Bluestem as Pastry Sous Chef, working under Megan Garrelts, a James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Award Semi-Finalist. He then joined the team at the Delaware Café as Executive Chef, where he became the youngest Executive Chef to achieve a 3 and half star rating by the Kansas City Star at the age of just 22. He later moved west to be Chef de Partie at the 5 Star, 5 Diamond and Michelin 2 Star, Alex Restaurant and was promoted to Sous Chef at Stratta, both under Alessandro Stratta, at the Wynn Las Vegas.
After three years in Vegas, West decided to return home to Kansas City, where he was welcomed back to Bluestem as Chef de Cuisine.