República chef de cuisine Robert Cantu moves on

Before Spanish-themed restaurant República’s August 4 opening on the Country Club Plaza, the publicity machine at Bread and Butter Concepts, which owns the restaurant, was in full swing. The restaurant’s kitchen crew — executive chef Bradley Gilmore, sous chef Rick Mullins and chef de cuisine Robert Cantu — was given prominent mention. Cantu, in particular, got the star treatment; he was, Bread and Butter said, a summa cum laude graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, and his résumé included a stint at the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas.

But when República recently introduced a new menu, Cantu’s name was absent.

Bradley Gilmore explains Cantu’s departure this way: “I think Robert wanted us — Bread and Butter Concepts — to be a little more corporate than we are. He had come from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and they have very set ways of doing things.”

“That’s not true,” Cantu says. “It wasn’t a good fit.”

Cantu joined Bread and Butter Concepts last May and helped Gilmore create the first menu for the new Plaza restaurant.

“Robert moved here because his wife is a pediatrician with Children’s Mercy Hospital,” Gilmore says. “So he’s going to stay in Kansas City. I’m sure he’s getting offers.”

Cantu says he is getting offers. “I’m still looking around.” he says.

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