Making a name for yourself as a BBQ restaurant in Kansas City is not an easy task. To also avoid the traditional styles and recipes that are so beloved here is nearly impossible—but that is precisely what Q39 has done. Head chef and founder Rob McGee had worked in some of the finest kitchens in the country before moving to Kansas City. While he was an executive chef at Hilton, Rob became obsessive about the local food scene, even starting a BBQ competition team named the Munchin’ Hogs. The goal at Q39 is to bring contemporary cooking techniques and creative flair to the traditional Kansas City BBQ ingredients.
Check out the head chef at Q39 showing off some of his favorite recipes:
The philosophy at Q39 is all about putting in the work to create fantastic food. The smokers are kicked on at 3 a.m. so the meats can start getting piled on around 6 a.m. All of the meat that comes out of the smoker is delicious, but the pork especially shines. A local favorite is the brined and grilled pork belly over a meaty cassoulet and seasoned with fresh thyme. A cassoulet is a classic French dish of slow-cooked white beans and pork, or duck sausage and fat.
The sides at Q39 show an attention to detail and sophistication that's rare from a BBQ joint. Coleslaw is an often-overlooked side that helps cut the richness of the meat with a much-needed hit of lightness and acidity. At Q39, the granny smith tinged slaw is hand-tossed to order to ensure that it never gets watery. Another local favorite is the Bourbon Ball, a creative liquid dessert concocted by melding Woodford bourbon, dark cacao, and Frangelico into a delicious medley. One thing is for sure, Q39 is not your everyday BBQ shack.
Cover image by jpellgen (@1179_jp) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.