Campfire Chefs

Chef Megan Garrelts

Bluestem and Rye KC

Kansas City, MO

August 4–6, 2019

Chef Megan Garrelts is a James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef and her recipes have been featured in numerous national publications including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Saveur and the Wall Street Journal. She opened Bluestem and Rye KC restaurants in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband and cooking partner, Chef Colby Garrelts, winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Midwest in 2013.

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Megan moved to Chicago to work at TRU. While working at this outstanding restaurant helped formulate her personal vision of fine pastries, the experience was also a watershed moment: she met her future husband there, Colby Garrelts.

From Chicago, the Garrelts cooked up a storm during stints in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, before the duo returned to the Midwest to realize their dream of owning a small fine-dining restaurant. Landing in Kansas City, the couple opened Bluestem in 2004. With Bluestem, the Garrelts offer the ideal marriage of their outstanding culinary skills, showcasing progressive American cuisine and desserts.

In 2012, Colby and Megan expanded, opening Rye KC, a restaurant celebrating the Midwestern foods they grew up eating. Their cuisine takes traditional dishes and presents them from a chef’s point of view, while preserving the heritage of the dish. It also provided plenty of inspiration for the chefs’ second cookbook, 2015’s Made in America.