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Meet Lamar Moore of Bar Harvest Restaurant Group in River west

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lamar Moore.

Lamar, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in the South Side of Chicago. I began showing my love for culinary arts at the age of 8. Growing up in a large family and cooking at his grandmother’s side, I learned the importance of cooking with love, taking care of people, and giving back to those less fortunate. As I continue to cook from the soul, and have maintained a progressive culinary career with more than 17 years of experience, from sports stadiums to restaurants and hotels. I take pride in the relationships he has developed over the years and always does business with local farmers who produce the freshest ingredients. As a member of the American Culinary Federation, I have connected with other professional Chefs as well as mentored aspiring Chefs. And students through Pro start, Ccap, and As the Keynote Speaker at the National Restaurant Association Show, every year .I have provided over 1000 future Chefs with insight, guidance and direction. I have also been featured in many media outlets including Zagat News Weekly,, Food Network and the Chicago Tribune.

I have worked for great restaurants such as Mccormick and Schmick’s, the smoke daddy bbq, Tanta Peruvian cocina, soldier field, of the Chicago bears, Coopers Hawk winery and restaurants

I also taste master for Mariano’s grocery store, chef ambassador for chef works clothing, and more

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Growing up on the south side of Chicago there were struggles and great times
Single parent family home with great support from my grandparents and mother and 3 brothers, help guide me through

My grandparents kept me grounded, my mother kept me on track, and my brothers gave me protection, love and care, the neighborhood we grew in was rough, lots of crime, and shootings, and my time in high school and culinary school I would take 2 trains 2 buses back and forth on an average of 2 1/2 hours travel, needless to say I learned how to get up early.

During my first job as a cook, I wasn’t well respected, I was given broken promises of promotion, growth, and never happened. I often wondered why as I gave 100% daily.

I eventually relocated to California, as a chef, which I will tell anyone that time molded my career as a chef, GOD placed some very great men on my life to teach me how to be a chef, a man, a better brother,

I faced racism along the way, as a young. Adult coming from a high school basketball. Game and being arrested by a police officer for no reason, having my wrists handcuffed until I bled, driven around Wrigley field and being dropped off near KKK,

Living in California, having a police officer, run to you, knock you on the ground with a machine gun on the back of your head with your face in the ground, being arrested only to find out it was “mistaken identity “

Working as a black chef or many companies and only being 1 of a few if any was frustrating, as why I strive even harder to build and create more opportunities not only for all, but in communities like where I grew up, to be the face that I didn’t see.

One most recent great success, I worked for Theater Gates, directing the currency exchange cafe on the Southside of Chicago leading Culinarians and helping to put great food back into an underserved community.

In addition to that along with gates, I led a culinary incubation program in Gary, Indiana at Arthouse Social Kitchen, where I taught classes, held seminars, and programs for local business owners, and recreated partnerships with the mayor of Gary and team, with the help of grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies, and knight foundation

Bar harvest restaurant group – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Well, finally I’m Able to step out on my own as a chef, I Will be partnering with a group to develop new concept in river west, project yet to be named, but plans to open this this fall.

Funny I am known for making so pretty darn good biscuits and BBQ.

What I am most proud of as a company, we believe on team, we give each other the opportunity of voice communication, most of all we give back to our team by allowing them to be the creators and curators.

What sets me apart from others, hard work, transparency, not only do I give back to community I am community

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is great when you have someone to share it with.

Success is defined when you’re doing something you love, it has no financial value attached

My criteria is to be successful you have to be happy with so you are, be the better version of yourself, and do what makes you wake up determined, and sleep with a dream

The markers I look out for, happy people, fun loving. Hard working, emotionally centered meaning being able to praise loudly and criticize softly, and also being able to accept criticism,

These are factors of growth and success.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: @chef_ljm
  • Facebook: Lamar1
  • Twitter: @lamarjmoore

Image Credit:
Chef works, Tim daily, Hormel foods

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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