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Harry Starker's: A Culinary Approach that Endures in Kansas City Today

The final address for Starker's, on the Country Club Plaza, circa 2011 Harry Starker’s forty-year reign helped shift Kansas City’s understanding of fine dining away from formal French-Continental restaurants and towards more relaxed, eclectic creations that spoke to chefs’ creativity. Starker’s owner, Cliff Bath, graduated from Gilbert/Robinson’s management training and carried into his restaurant that G/R esprit de corps, naming his establishment for an English fifteenth-century gourmand with a penchant for drinking and riding his horse naked (hence the term “stark naked”). Patrons could relax but still expect high-quality food in smart surroundings. Significantly, Harry Starker’s introduced many Kansas City diners to fine wine, given Bath’s Sonoma background and desire to share his oenophile knowledge. When Bath’s executive chef, John McClure, bought the restaurant in 2004, he kept its reputation for wine but infused it with his own culinary philosophies, ones still carried on in

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