With a career that has taken him from the farm to Iron Chef and just about everywhere in between, Chef de Cuisine Harper McClure brings more than 10 years of diverse culinary experience to BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier, BRABO Tasting Room and The Butcher’s Block. For McClure, it all comes to down to quality ingredients.
“Food is what I am; it’s what I do,” says McClure. “Eating and respect for ingredients has been ingrained from my childhood onward.” Growing up outside of Syracuse, McClure credits his mother for instilling him with a love of natural foods like peanut butter and honey sandwiches. He also grew up with a strawberry field right behind his house – part of a working farm where he would later learn firsthand about organic dairy and pastured chickens.
After attending the Culinary Institute of America and gaining experience in charcuterie, sauce work and farming, McClure got his first big break as executive sous chef at Vidalia under James Beard award-winning chefs Jeffrey Buben and R.J. Cooper. Though he went on to embrace opportunities at Atlanta’s Bacchanalia and DC’s Equinox, McClure reunited with Cooper to assist on Iron Chef America in 2010.
McClure’s first experience working with Robert Wiedmaier came when he joined Marcel’s as executive sous chef in 2011. He enjoyed working closely with Wiedmaier and flourished in an atmosphere that combined regularly changing menus with whole animal butchering and European culinary traditions. After briefly leaving to open Federalist Restaurant, McClure returned to the Wiedmaier team at Marcel’s before assuming the chef de cuisine position at BRABO.
McClure lives in Washington, DC and is engaged to private chef and former Equinox sous chef Blair McCormick.