Chef Interviews

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Scott Welsch wants to make his Orange Box a food oasis

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Chef Scott Welsch takes a rare moment to sit in front of his restaurant, Orange Box.
  • Brooke Vandever
  • Chef Scott Welsch takes a rare moment to sit in front of his restaurant, Orange Box.
Scott Welsch excuses himself and runs outside to make sure the tires of an 18-wheeler don't crush the newly laid brick walk outside his month-old restaurant, Orange Box. The chef watches the driver carefully execute the turn. His bricks are safe for at least one more morning.

This is life at 2700 Jarboe, where Welsch's tiny lunch spot is tucked between houses and aging manufacturing buildings. Rainbow umbrellas and patio furniture reclaimed from his own home sit outside the restaurant, a short walk from the new Roasterie plant.

"I always wanted to have a little hole in the wall that has great food," he says. "The people are different. People come to a hole in the wall for the experience, not for the fine china. I never wanted to be on the Plaza taking on the giants."

Continue reading »

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chef Ali Shirazi, Part 3: Public sampling of Original Juan's test kitchen batches

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 10:03 AM

You never know exactly whats on the shelves from the test kitchen.
  • You never know exactly what's on the shelves from the test kitchen.
A lot of the salsas and sauces in the Pain Is Good lineup from Original Juan include the batch number. It's not a marketing gimmick; it's the result of recipes being put through the paces in the test kitchen at 111 Southwest Boulevard. The one putting the recipes through those paces is test kitchen chef Ali Shirazi.

He gave Fat City a peek inside his kitchen (Parts 1 and 2 of the interview ran earlier this week), but his latest creations are on display every day in the small retail gift shop. Folks in Kansas City have an advantage on the rest of the country — they get to try salsas, dips and rubs before they come to market.

"People keep asking for something two months later, and I get frustrated because I know we don't have it," Shirazi says. "But then I get excited because it means that product has legs."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chef Ali Shirazi, Part 2: Dreams of Morocco and the bunny secret

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Chef Ali Shirazi works on a batch of cilantro.
  • Chef Ali Shirazi works on a batch of cilantro.
A good chef can tell if a recipe is a winner or loser just by looking at the ingredients. A great chef knows exactly how to save any recipe. Chef Ali Shirazi, who mans the test kitchen for specialty-foods manufacturer Original Juan, just keeps making new ones.

Yesterday, Shirazi talked about how he relishes the challenge of his job, unless it involves the world's hottest pepper. Tomorrow, he'll explain how you can try the latest products he's whipping up in his test kitchen through Original Juan's retail store.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chef Ali Shirazi loves testing his limits daily at Original Juan

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Chef Ali Shirazi loves his test kitchen.
  • Chef Ali Shirazi loves his test kitchen.
The concoctions arrive in jelly jars and glass bottles — barbecue sauces and brining mixtures that have been in the family for generations. The recipes are handwritten, typed or never put down to memory at all. Still, each comes with the same plea. You are the first to see this outside of the family. Please help me bring this to market.

Chef Ali Shirazi runs the test kitchen for Original Juan, the specialty-foods manufacturer at 111 Southwest Boulevard, where he has developed thousands of products over the past three years.

"I always say, 'Yes, I can do that.' It just sometimes takes a few tries," Shirazi says.

In his defense, it's not that easy to make harvest apple barbecue sauce, salsa that rings in at over 1 million Scoville Units (the scale to determine whether something will incinerate your tongue), and hot sauce from pumpkin seeds.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chef Cari Jo Cavalcante, Part 3: The tale of the 'Paris Dish'

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM

These are treasured plates at the Bloomsbury Bistro.
  • These are treasured plates at the Bloomsbury Bistro.
Everyone brings back keepsakes from a vacation, but Cari Jo Cavalcante has a whole restaurant full of mementos, thanks to one memorable trip to Paris. In the fall of 2000, the chef had no idea that she would be the owner of the Bloomsbury Bistro by the following spring. So she booked a spring tour of the French city, and two weeks after her new restaurant opened, Cavalcante was bound for Charles de Gaulle Airport, leaving a newly trained staff to keep the kitchen fires stoked. Her excitement over her new business and that trip is embodied by five-dozen little white plates and what has come to be known as the "Paris Dish." She shares the story of the treasured dessert plates today.

On Wednesday, she talked about growing up in sniffing distance of a chocolate factory, and yesterday, she admitted that she would do just about anything to get out of eating liver and onions.

Continue reading »

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chef Cari Jo Cavalcante, Part 2: Hiding the liver and onions and loving Thomas Keller

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM

The Bloomsbury Bistro is tucked away inside the Mission Road Antique Mall.
  • The Bloomsbury Bistro is tucked away inside the Mission Road Antique Mall.
Chef Cari Jo Cavalcante, the owner of the Bloomsbury Bistro, has made Kansas City her home the past three decades, and she's glad that the world is finally catching on to all that the city has to offer.

"Kansas City is just a great town. It's been interesting to be here 30 years. The other night, I was coming home from a meeting and I saw the downtown skyline. It's changed so much since I lived here. It's nice that we're really getting more recognition for our food," Cavalcante says.

On Wednesday, she talked about her dream of becoming a sportscaster and what led her to the bistro space in Prairie Village. Tomorrow, she'll share the story behind the "Paris plates." Today, she's diving into all of the things she loves and hates in the kitchen.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bloomsbury Bistro's Cari Jo Cavalcante keeps besting the competition

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Bloomsbury Bistros Cari Jo Cavalcante has carved out her niche in the Mission Road Antique Mall.
  • Cari Jo Cavalcante
  • Bloomsbury Bistro's Cari Jo Cavalcante has carved out her niche in the Mission Road Antique Mall.
In the genteel quiet of Bloomsbury Bistro, a former hard-nosed field hockey player is plating a bowl of soup for the last lunch table of the day. Her fingers are sure, and her feet are light, even now in her 50s. But after a decade of running her restaurant inside the Mission Road Antique Mall, owner and chef Cari Jo Cavalcante is proud that Prairie Village has come to know her softer side and her savory side and her pastry side.

“I’m unashamed to say that we are known as a ladies-that-lunch place. They’re the ones who have kept me in business all these years,” Cavalcante says, drinking a glass of water after the lunch shift in lieu of the standard post-game Gatorade.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Brick's Sheri Parr, Part 3: A guide to pairing music and food

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM

The stage at The Brick has hosted all kinds of acts over the past 13 years.
  • The stage at the Brick has hosted all kinds of acts over the past 13 years.
Beer and wine pairings abound, but when it comes to what music goes with what food, you're taking a shot in the dark. That's why Fat City decided to ask Sheri Parr, owner of the Brick, for some musical pairings. We supplied the style, and she gave us her gut reaction to what should be on the table while you're listening.

On Monday, Parr explained why her dream meal involves conch salad, and on Friday, she talked about starting her career at the Grand Emporium and how running a restaurant runs in the family.

Continue reading »

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Brick's Sheri Parr, Part 2: The best green sauce in town and Mardi Gras on her mind

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM

The dining room at The Brick is as eclectic as the menu.
  • The dining room at the Brick is as eclectic as the menu.
The beads will come out from behind the bar in about a week as the Brick transforms into New Orleans North for a day. That day is Fat Tuesday, February 21, and owner Sheri Parr and her staff will be serving up crawfish pie and plenty of cocktails to the crowd that will be waiting when her restaurant opens at 11 a.m. On Friday, she talked about her first business idea — a teahouse — and tomorrow, she'll be offering her recommendations for what food goes well with what tunes. Today, she shares her love of cabbage salad and who she thinks has the best breakfast sandwich in the city.

What are your culinary inspirations? Right now, I’m really into Mardi Gras fare. I love looking online and in magazines. I’ve also got a great staff that are fun to work with. I can’t do it all myself, and they’ve all got special skills that come together in the kitchen.

Continue reading »

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Brick's Sheri Parr is firing on all senses

The Brick's Sheri Parr is firing on all senses.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM

The Bricks Sheri Parr got her start behind the bar.
  • The Brick's Sheri Parr got her start behind the bar.
The looks started coming from booths and tables around the dining room in the Brick in the winter of 2010. Owner Sheri Parr would look up from the bar or just outside the kitchen and wonder whether somebody need a refill or their check.

“I’m used to people looking at me when they need something, but then the staff would tell me, ‘No, Sheri, they’re looking at you because you were on television.’ I’m used to working hard. I’m not used to just getting noticed,” Parr says.

The gawkers came in the months after Parr and her 13-year-old restaurant appeared on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, to see the rock bar and scratch kitchen that kicks out dishes like the Oklahoma Dog: a Boulevard-beer-battered, deep-fried hot dog wrapped in bacon. They’ve stayed because the Brick isn’t about gimmicks. It’s a soulful representation of a woman, who will be the first to tell you that she’s not a chef; she just happens to have been around great food all her life.

Continue reading »

  • The Brick's Sheri Parr is firing on all senses.

Most Popular Stories

Recent Comments

Slideshows

All contents ©2014 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation