Chefs

Monday, August 18, 2014

d'Bronx has its own house baker, Alvero Medina

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 2:24 PM


Mexican-born Alvero Medina arrives at the Overland Park d'Bronx restaurant at 5 a.m. every morning to begin baking the array of sweets -- including scratch-made carrot cake -- for all of the d'Bronx locations.
  • Mexican-born Alvero Medina arrives at the Overland Park d'Bronx restaurant at 5 a.m. every morning to begin baking the array of sweets -- including scratch-made carrot cake -- for all of the d'Bronx locations.

Last month, The Pitch ran a story about how few local restaurants could afford to employ a staff pastry chef, and that many new restaurants bought their desserts from commissary kitchens or big-box stores, like Costco. The dining spot that surprised us for having its own in-house baking program was d'Bronx Authentic Deli and Pizzeria, the locally owned chain of four popular metrowide pizzeria/delicatessens. (The original venue is still at 3904 Bell; the others are at Crown Center, in Mission and in Overland Park.) 

When Don Foringer purchased d'Bronx from its founders, Robert and Janet Bloom, in 2005, he says very few of the signature desserts were made by the culinary staff; the cheesecake and apple pie were made in-house, but some of the sweets were outsourced.

All outsourcing ended, Foringer says, immediately after he opened the Overland Park location at 7010 West 105th Street (in the former Hannah Bistro location) and created a fully equipped house bakery to supply all of the d'Bronx restaurants. To oversee the bakery, Foringer hired longtime Hy-Vee baker Alvero Medina to create a full range of standard desserts (cheesecakes, pies, layer cakes) and seasonal desserts — lemon cookies during the summer and maple sugar cookies or pumpkin bars during autumn, for example.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Novel nominated for Bon Appetit award

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Chef-owner Ryan Brazeal's innovative entrees and desserts influenced the judges at Bon Appetit to choose Novel among Kansas City's new restaurants as a nominee for "America's Best New Restaurants." - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • Chef-owner Ryan Brazeal's innovative entrees and desserts influenced the judges at Bon Appetit to choose Novel among Kansas City's new restaurants as a nominee for "America's Best New Restaurants."

Until early this morning, chef and restaurant owner Ryan Brazeal was almost the last person to know that his 13-month-old restaurant, Novel, had been nominated by Bon Appetit as one of "America's Best New Restaurants." Fifty new restaurants from across the United States were nominated; the list will be winnowed down to 10 (and that list will be posted August 19).

"I hadn't even gotten an e-mail from Bon Appetit about the nomination," Brazeal says. "It wasn't until I began receiving text messages from chef pals like Patrick Ryan and Michael Corvino this morning — and Facebook messages of congratulations — that I knew that something was going on."


Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Monday, July 21, 2014

French Bee Bakery in Parkville is opening second location in Lenexa

Posted By on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Tracy Torres, left, the owner of the 16-month-old French Bee Bakery in Parkville, is opening a second location of her bake shop and luncheonette in Lenexa this autumn with the assistance of pastry chef Aubrey Jameson.
  • Tracy Torres, left, the owner of the 16-month-old French Bee Bakery in Parkville, is opening a second location of her bake shop and luncheonette in Lenexa this autumn with the assistance of pastry chef Aubrey Jameson.


Tracy Torres, owner of the 16-month-old  French Bee Bakery in Parkville, had a five-year plan when she gambled most of her savings on opening a cozy bake shop and luncheonette at 404 East Street in downtown Parkville. But it has been less than two years, she says, and her plan is moving much faster than she thought it would.

"I had a dream of expanding my business," Torres says. "Just not as quickly as it's actually happening."

The divorced mother of four — her triplets all graduated from Rockhurst College in May, and her eldest daughter just completed a law degree at the University of Michigan (all worked part time for her at the French Bee) — is taking another big gamble this year: She's opening a second French Bee in Lenexa, at 87th Street and Renner Road, in the same office building that houses the second Grand Street Cafe. Torres is hoping to have her second location — which will also serve light breakfasts and lunches in a buttercream-colored dining room, like the original venue — by November.

"I have to be open for the holidays," Torres says. "It's imperative."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The American Culinary Federation is coming to KC

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Ben Vaughn, a popular Food Network personality (he hosted the network's Health Inspectors series), will be one of the culinary experts giving presentations at the American Culinary Federation convention in Kansas City next week. - FOOD NETWORK
  • Food Network
  • Ben Vaughn, a popular Food Network personality (he hosted the network's Health Inspectors series), will be one of the culinary experts giving presentations at the American Culinary Federation convention in Kansas City next week.

Kansas City’s most acclaimed restaurants and barbecue joints might have a run on reservations later this month. Chefs from other cities invariably are interested in checking out buzzworthy local spots, and downtown Kansas City will be awash in white chef jackets July 25–29, when hundreds of members of the American Culinary Federation gather for their annual convention at the downtown Kansas City Marriott.

The schedule includes a barbecue competition, in a “Pork 101” class, a workshop in buttercream sculptures, and trends in modern food trucks when the ACF — a national organization of more than 20,000 professional chefs and cooks — meets here. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the four-day event.

The 2014 convention is the first time that the event has been held in Kansas City, according to an ACF spokesperson, and it’s the reason that the Greater Kansas City Chef’s Association is hosting a barbecue competition for attendees the night before the convention kicks off.

Continue reading »

An in-house pastry chef is hard to find, but worth the search

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Carter Holton is one of the few full-time pastry chefs in Kansas City. He says it's a sweet life. - BROOKE VANDEVER
  • Brooke Vandever
  • Carter Holton is one of the few full-time pastry chefs in Kansas City. He says it's a sweet life.


Not long ago, I was dining at a little Platte City café that served home-style food. The kind of restaurant that you might guess served homemade apple pie or bread pudding. But the waitress was much more excited about that night’s special dessert: a pretty square of chocolate mousse deliciousness called Tuxedo Cake.

“Do you make this here?” I asked the server.

“Oh no,” she said, laughing. “It’s from Costco.”

The dessert was pretty good. Why wouldn’t it be? The big-box store Costco supplies a lot of ingredients and products to local restaurateurs. Desserts, too. I’ve seen the store’s signature fudgy, chocolate layer cake — without attribution, of course — in several Kansas City restaurants. It’s inexpensive, it’s rich, and most people can’t tell — or don't care — that it’s made in a commercial bakery and not in the restaurant’s kitchen.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Uberdine re-creates a school lunch tray, the chef Joe Shirley way

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 4:07 PM



Last Saturday's Uberdine event, "School Days," featured chef Joe Shirley's versions of, from top left, mixed vegetables, Jell-O, chicken patty, tuna casserole, rectangle pizza, and bread and butter.
  • Last Saturday's Uberdine event, "School Days," featured chef Joe Shirley's versions of, from top left, mixed vegetables, Jell-O, chicken patty, tuna casserole, rectangle pizza, and bread and butter.

It has been at least 24 years since local chef Joe Shirley — the founder of the Uberdine series of pop-up restaurant events — last ate a school lunch at Horace Mann Elementary School in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri. But he has never quite forgotten the experience — or his favorite things on the heavy plastic lunch tray.

"My favorite days were the ones where the kitchen served a nice homemade cinnamon roll with chili," says Shirley. "And the cinnamon roll was just barely touching the chili, giving a slight chili note to the sweet roll."

Shirley created his version of that roll for the Uberdine event he titled "School Days" last Saturday at the St. James Place Community Kitchen — a nonprofit organization at 3934 Troost — that serves as many as 250 free meals five nights a week to patrons, many of them homeless. The "School Days" event raised enough funds for St. James Place to pay for at least one night of meals for the men, women and children who patronize the facility.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Monday, June 2, 2014

Kansas Town restaurant losing chef, may change concept

Posted By on Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Kansas Town owner Michael Bechtel, left, confirms that chef Garrett Kasper, right, is leaving the five-month-old restaurant. - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • Kansas Town owner Michael Bechtel, left, confirms that chef Garrett Kasper, right, is leaving the five-month-old restaurant.

After five months as the executive chef of the Kansas Town restaurant at 1403 West 39th Street, Garrett Kasper has given his notice; the 27-year-old will be joining the staff of the uncompleted Lulu's Asian Bistro, the new venue in Westwood planned by Malisa Monyakula, the owner of Lulu's Thai Noodle Shop in the Crossroads. The bistro is scheduled to open in July at 2701 West 47th Street.

"I was looking for a new opportunity," Kasper says. "I've got several different projects going until Lulu's opens."

"Garrett gave me his two weeks' notice," says Kansas Town owner Michael Bechtel. "We're looking at different options for the future of the restaurant. Our original plan was to open a pasta and pizza restaurant before we decided on the Kansas Town theme. We may return to that. We're weighing several possibilities."

Bechtel is a visual artist, and Kansas Town, despite its rustic name, was an unabashedly artistic restaurant with dishes - both large and small plates - composed as beautifully as modern paintings. The restaurant, which opened last January, has received mixed reviews from both critics and diners. 

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, May 23, 2014

Chef Justin Voldan of Hotel Phillips wins Golden Fork Award

Posted By on Fri, May 23, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Hotel Phillips executive chef Justin Voldan, left, with sous chef Himesh Zimba, received the 2014 Golden Fork Award at last evening's "Taste of Kansas City" event sponsored by The Pitch.
  • Hotel Phillips executive chef Justin Voldan, left, with sous chef Himesh Zimba, received the 2014 Golden Fork Award at last evening's "Taste of Kansas City" event sponsored by The Pitch.

Justin Voldan, the 30-year-old executive chef at the Hotel Phillips Kansas City, won the 2014 Golden Fork competition at Thursday night's "Taste of Kansas City" event, sponsored by The Pitch in the KC Live Block of the Power & Light District. Voldan competed against five other local chefs in preparing a meal from a collection of ingredients presented to them just moments before the cooking competition started.

For a slideshow of photographs from this year's "Taste of Kansas City" event, click here.

Voldan, an Illinois native, has been at the Hotel Phillips for three years; the Golden Fork Award was his first major culinary-competition win since he moved to Kansas City in 2011. Each of the competing chefs was given the same ingredients to use in preparing one or two (and in some cases three) unique dishes that were judged by me, author and blogger David Hayden, and food blogger and cookbook author Emily Farris. The event raised funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City.

The competing chefs, in addition to Voldan, were second-place winner Charles d'Ablaing from Chaz on the Plaza; third-place winner Shawn Brady from the Ambassador Hotel; Cruz Vasquez from Accurso's Italian Restaurant; Bobby Stearns from Ophelia's Restaurant; and the 2013 Golden Fork Award winner, Jason Wiggins from the InterContinental Hotel Kansas City.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, April 21, 2014

Remedy Food + Drink was the right antidote for chef Kelli Daniels

Posted By on Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Since taking over the kitchen at Remedy Food + Drink three weeks ago, chef Kelli Daniels has revamped the entire menu except for the eggplant fries and corn dogs introduced by the restaurant's opening chef, Max Watson. - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • Since taking over the kitchen at Remedy Food + Drink three weeks ago, chef Kelli Daniels has revamped the entire menu except for the eggplant fries and corn dogs introduced by the restaurant's opening chef, Max Watson.

Last night, The Pitch reported that two of Kansas City's more iconoclastic chefs, Ray "Pete" Peterman and Kelli Daniels, had taken new jobs in the metro. Peterman is taking a break from running a full-service restaurant's kitchen (he was last at Blue Grotto in Brookside) and will be replacing baker Jason Provo as the head of Baked in Kansas City's bread program.

Daniels had moved out of Kansas City last February to take a job as a chef for the historic Hotel Fauchere in Milford, Pennsylvania. That gig lasted one month.

"They made some promises about housing and my salary that they weren't able to keep," Daniels says. "I never wanted to leave Kansas City in the first place, but it didn't seem like there were many job opportunities for me here."

Ironically, after Daniels got into her unpacked rental van ("I had brought two-thirds of my things with me," Daniels says. "My girlfriend, who had just quit her job in Kansas City, was going to bring the rest") and made the 17-hour trip back to Kansas City, she was offered a job relatively quickly.

"I had spoken with the owners of Remedy Food + Drink before I left town," Daniels says. "And when I got back into town, there was a job opening. I'm thrilled to be there. It's my style of concept, my kind of food."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Baked in Kansas City hires Pete Peterman; Kelli Daniels is at Remedy

Posted By on Sun, Apr 20, 2014 at 8:21 PM

Ray "Pete" Peterman joined the Blue Grotto staff after closing his own 39th Street restaurant, Peanches, last year. Now, instead of baking pizza, he's joined the Baked in Kansas City staff and will be breaking bread.
  • Ray "Pete" Peterman joined the Blue Grotto staff after closing his own 39th Street restaurant, Peanches, last year. Now, instead of baking pizza, he's joined the Baked in Kansas City staff and will be breaking bread.



Two of Kansas City's more peripatetic chefs, Ray "Pete" Peterman and Kelli Daniels, have recently started new jobs in the metro: Peterman, who took over the pizza kitchen at the Blue Grotto in Brookside in January, has been hired as the chief bread baker for the three-month-old bakery and restaurant, Baked in Kansas City at 706 Westport Road. He completed his job at the Blue Grotto - which is now owned by that restaurant's former general manager, Fenton Molloy - last week.

Chef Kelli Daniels, formerly of the Elms Hotel & Spa and the Good You food truck, was reported as moving to Milford, Pennsylvania, to oversee the kitchen in a historic hotel property. She was hired two weeks ago to take over the kitchen at Remedy Food + Drink at 500 West 75th Street; Daniels is replacing former Remedy chef Marcheski Hervey.


Tags: , , , , , ,

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