Chef Art Moore’s barbecue chicken and other smoked delights are a defining part of his menu.
Writer: Karla Walsh
Each week in dsmWeekly, we’ll introduce you to a local food company owned by a person of color. Catch up on the first three features: Street Eats DSM, G.G.’s Chicken & Waffles and Palm’s Carribean Cuisine.
For Art Moore, it’s a challenge to remember a day in his life when he hasn’t worked in the culinary industry.
“My first job was Papa John’s when I was 15, where I moved up to manager and shift leader,” he says. “Then I went to Burger King and Domino’s and held manager positions around town.”
Food was a passion of his entire family as well, so after finishing a shift, the Kansas City native came home and often tinkered with recipes for his favorite barbecue specialties. Eventually, Moore landed at the Cajun restaurant Fat Tuesday, where he was lead cook and assisted with the catering division as the brick and mortar opened. Those days stirring pots of gumbo and frying catfish at Fat Tuesday helped Moore spot a hole in the market.
“At the time, Patton’s [which is now closed] and Fat Tuesday were the only soul food restaurants here that were serving fried chicken, fish, red beans and rice, and chicken and waffles,” he remembers. “I wanted to offer more options … and mix in some classic Kansas City barbecue.”
So in the summer of 2013, Moore pulled together a business plan and launched Chef Artis T’s Catering and Events with the help of his wife, Jessica, who is the business manager. Together, the couple co-own the business and have four kids. Moore started by popping up at events and selling his signature barbecue sauces, then added on-location private catering and customized in-home cooking classes to the mix. The most-requested items on his menu include barbecue smoked chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese, and caramel cake. (Is your stomach growling yet?)
“Many are based on family recipes passed down and tweaked through the years. Personally, I love the smoked chicken, baked beans, brisket and smoked ribs,” Moore says. “We cater backyard barbecues, weddings, pretty much any event. I love how food ties people together. My goal is to feed families and make sure everyone has a plate and a seat at the table.”
Since he lives, eats and breathes (OK, maybe not the latter) food, Moore supplements his catering and event income as a line cook at Nationwide Insurance Co.
While business has mostly been on pause during the pandemic as he restructures his setup for safety, Moore has his sights set on launching a food truck and a barbecue trailer.