The Missouri Restaurant Association and Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association announces Steve Cole is assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director for the association. He will focus on membership development, legislative issues, education, creating marketing resources and providing operational support for the more than 600 restaurant and allied members of the Missouri Restaurant Association.
Cole is well-known in the hospitality industry and a respected Kansas City restaurateur. He owned and operated the highly-regarded Café Allegro restaurant from 1984 – 2002. Café Allegro was heralded for its innovative, contemporary, seasonal cuisine, an extensive selection of world class wines and liquors and its warm, welcoming atmosphere. Café Allegro earned numerous awards and honors during Cole’s ownership, including the “Highest in Food” from the Zagat Restaurant Survey and Best of Award of Excellence from The Wine Spectator every year from 1989. In June 2002, Cole sold Café Allegro to a local hospitality investor. Most recently, Cole held the position of food and beverage director at the newly renovated Kansas City Marriott Downtown. In his new position with the MRA/GKCRA, Coles says “this is an amazing opportunity to utilize my business and creative skills to serve the needs of the restaurant industry about which I am personally and professionally impassioned and indebted to.”
Cole is very familiar with the GKCRA, having served as past-president of both the Missouri Restaurant Association and the GKCRA. In 1994, he was named “Restaurateur of the Year” by the Missouri Restaurant Association. Steve has also served as a board member of Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association.
Cole has been involved with numerous food and wine organizations, including the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, the oldest and largest food and wine society. He previously served as a national officer for the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, holding the title Commandeur and Chambellan Provincial. Additionally, Cole is one of 18 American members of the exclusive, Club des Sabreurs, founded in France at the turn of the century. Giving back to the community has always played an important role in Cole’s life. From 1989 through 1996, he was the founding chair and chairman of Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation~Kansas City (SOS), which raises money and awareness for hunger relief and the homeless. From 1992 through 2001, he represented Kansas City and the Chiefs at the Taste of the NFL fund-raiser that is held each year in conjunction with the Super Bowl, also raising money for the homeless and hunger relief.
The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association (GKCRA) is a trade association with more than 600 members consisting of restaurants, caterers, hospitals, schools, institutions, clubs and in-plant cafeterias as well as vendors serving the local restaurant industry. Members work together to represent, educate and promote the restaurant and hospitality industries in the Missouri counties of Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte and Kansas counties of Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte.