Celina Tio

Chef/Owner of The Belfry

Chef Celina Tio has proudly called Kansas City her home since joining the renowned American Restaurant in 2001. Since then, Chef Tio has been collecting accolades and making waves for Kansas City throughout the national culinary scene, most recently featured in Saveur magazine and “The Today Show” designating KC as one of the nation’s top culinary destinations for high-end dining in 2012.

After being named Chef of the Year by Chef Magazine in 2005 and James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Midwest in 2007, Chef Tio made national television appearances on the Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef” and Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” In 2009, Chef Tio started her first proprietary restaurant, JULIAN. In 2017, Tio closed JULIAN in order to focus exclusively on  The Belfry and her consulting business.

To sample even more of Chef Tio's culinary creations visit her most recent ventures, The Belfry, located in the Crossroads Arts District near downtown Kansas City.

What makes KC a great environment for creativity and the arts?
I think a lot of creative people have grown up here but left to go elsewhere, but now have come back and their talent has flourished.  A lot of people have come back after realizing that big cities aren’t all they are cracked up to be; that Kansas City has the convenience and culture of a bigger city but with incredibly nice people.

What is your favorite spot in Kansas City?
I would say my neighborhood.  I love living in Roanoke/Midtown area.  It’s a great eclectic mix of cultures and people.

Where's your favorite place outside of Kansas City?
I really love the wine country in Oregon. Willamette Valley.

What's your most treasured possession?
It would be a poem that my husband wrote for me and hand painted.

Who do you most admire in real-life?
Probably Julia Child – that’s who my restaurant is named after.

When and where are you happiest?
In my kitchen at the restaurant.  First thing in the morning when nobody’s there.




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