Chef Rob Magee BBQ Passed Away after Battling Illness
We are sad to announce that the award-winning chef Rob Magee passed away on Saturday, December 4, 2021. He was chef and co-owner of Q39.
The Kansas City Barbeque Society confirmed his death news, writing:
“We are sad to report the passing of KCBS Lifetime Member, Rob Magee. Rob was extremely passionate about barbeque and made it his life, passing his gift along to so many. Rob earned his degree from the Culinary Institute of America and worked in some of the finest restaurants. He truly embraced the world of barbeque and set the standards very high in the sport and for the cuisine. In 2008 and 2011, his team Muchin Hogs, won KCBS Team of the Year and had many years of success in competition barbeque. He was also instrumental in numerous KCBS CBJ classes and in the KC Extreme Makeover Project. Rob later opened the famed Q39 which has become a staple in the barbeque community. Rob will be missed by so many and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”
Rob Magee found a desire for cooking at an early age and took a degree from the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America at the highest level. He made a point to honor the tastes in the best kitchens across the country he was working for, so when he moved to Kansas City and became obsessed with mastering the art of KC barbeque.
Magee assembled a competition barbeque team called the “Munchin’ Hogs” while working as executive chef for Hilton. As they reached the highest level of competitive barbeque in events across the country, they won an array of competitions and national championships over 10 years.
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What’s BBQ Chef Rob Magee’s Cause of Death?
BBQ Chef Rob Magee’s cause of death has been reported as a long-time colon cancer but US day News doesn’t confirm or refuse this reason for his death and we are waiting for more official information, so stay with us.
Rob spent a long time of his career on the culinary side of the hotel business, working for international chains like Westin and Hilton. Then he hit the smoke-and-brisket circuit in 2002 after more than a decade as executive chef for the Hilton Kansas City Airport property. His “Munchin’ Hogs” team reached great things in competition barbeque which were great enough to make Magee back to the restaurant ranch.
During his career of working for others, he had a habit of jotting down ideas for a restaurant he someday wished to open. Eventually, that dream became a reality after he found great joy and success with his award-winning barbeque; so he opened Q39 in Kansas City’s historic Midtown neighborhood in 2014.
Since its opening, Q39 has become well-known to KC natives and travelers alike as one of the city’s best barbeque restaurants.
Magee didn’t need the hassle or the potential heartbreak of a brick-and-mortar operation. And KC isn’t hurting for barbeque. But Q39 lives up to Magee’s pitmaster reputation, it’s one of the best new barbeque joints to open in the metro in a long time.
There was lots of barbeque in Kansas City but there was nothing like this with over 30 years of restaurant and cooking experience under Chef Rob Magee’s belt.
Reactions to Chef Rob Magee’s Death
Many people reacted and stated their condolences on social media websites following this tragic news.
Jack Stack Barbecue wrote on Facebook: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Rob Magee, Owner and Executive Chef at @q39kc. With his unique vision, talent, and love for barbecue, Rob has left an indelible mark on the pages of this city’s great barbecue story. Our thoughts and prayers are with Rob, his family, and his team through this difficult time.”
One wrote: “Sad news for our city and for the barbecue community. We have lost another great BBQ pitmaster. I am saddened to hear the news Chef/Pitmaster Rob Magee of Q39 has passed away. Such sad news for all of us. May God bless his family!”
His coworker, Justin McCabe, wrote on his Facebook page: “Rob Magee. If you don’t know the name you should. I worked with Rob at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in the early 2000s. At the time he was our Chef and Director of Food & Beverage. He decided he wanted to start a BBQ team, the Munchin Hogs at the Hilton. I remember the first contest he competed in, the Lenexa BBQ Battle and we hosted a client event for our hotel clients. His team of 4 didn’t do all that great that weekend, but we had a good time. He continued to develop his recipes and technique while his BBQ became a big draw for groups booking at our hotel. And as Rob perfected his craft and became a nearly unstoppable force in competition BBQ, little did you know you could have been the first to try Q39 BBQ at the restaurant inside the Hilton Kansas City Airport before he left to open his first of two restaurants in KC. Last night Rob lost his battle with cancer, and with it, our city and BBQ community lost a revolutionary BBQ legend. Rob used only his owns rubs, sauces, and recipes to sit on top of the BBQ world. A true champion. When I started cooking BBQ, I aspired to be Rob. RIP old friend. Prayers to your wife and family as they try and carry your legacy forward.”
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