The Town Company, led by executive chef Johnny Leach (Town, Del Posto, Momofuku), intertwines rustic roots and refined beginnings that embody the Kansas City experience as we know it today. Leach, along with his wife, executive pastry chef Helen Jo Leach (Eleven Madison Park, Milk Bar, Del Posto), have created menus that celebrate local culinary traditions with elevated, modern renditions. Charming, yet inventive, The Town Company redefines the concept of a new Midwestern table. With an intimate menu based around the white oak burning hearth, The Town Company’s menu rotates consistently throughout the year and is fueled by a network of local farmers, ranchers, and other unique purveyors.
The Town Company, helmed by executive chef Johnny Leach, intertwines rustic roots and refined beginnings. Its sister bar concept, Nighthawk, is also be influenced by Leach’s direction. With both concepts, Leach will fold in his hyper-seasonal philosophy into his role. Between his Oregon beginnings, residency in New York City, and reverence for Kansas City history, Leach’s background paints a picture of a dynamic career and excitement to experiment.
Leach previously worked at esteemed New York restaurants including Town, Del Posto, and Momofuku, and collected accolades and unforgettable experiences, including an appearance on David Chang’s Netflix original series, “Ugly Delicious.” Along the way, he created lifelong friendships and partnerships, the greatest of which being with his wife, Helen Jo, who will work alongside him as executive pastry chef of The Town Company and other hotel outlets. Committed to giving back to his community, Leach’s involvement with No Kid Hungry and other charitable organizations connects his professional career and personal values.
Drawing from his experience in the Pacific Northwest, Leach’ s menus highlight hyper-seasonal ingredients from local farms. Leach provides a top-to-bottom hospitality experience for guests, using his food to foster a restaurant that doubles as a creative meeting place, and is punctuated by warm embraces.
HELEN JO LEACH
HELEN JO LEACH
Executive Pastry Chef
Executive pastry chef Helen Jo Leach leads The Town Company’s dessert program, Hotel Kansas City’s Lobby Café, and events programs. Leach’s Midwestern-inspired approach to pastry incorporates native ingredients and experimentation with the restaurant’s centerpiece hearth, bringing her wealth of acumen, artistry, and excitement to The Town Company’s and Hotel Kansas City’s pastry programs.
Leach’s talents opened doors to work at esteemed spots like Eleven Madison Park, and Del Posto – the restaurant where she met her husband. Later on, she assisted Christina Tosi in opening and building the Momofuku Milk Bar empire. After eight lively years in New York City, Leach and her husband, The Town Company’s executive chef Johnny Leach, moved to the Pacific Northwest, where her leadership shaped the dessert program at two of Gabriel Rucker’s restaurants in Portland: Little Bird Bistro and Le Pigeon. As she mastered new facets of the craft, Leach’s passion navigated her through the intensity the industry demanded.
Entering her positions at The Town Company and Hotel Kansas City, Leach enjoys exploring Midwestern flavors with help from the space’s hearth. Oftentimes sharing ingredients in the kitchen and culinary books in their home library, she and Johnny look forward to exploring their curiosity with plants native to Kansas City and collaborating on menus.