Chefs

Monday, May 18, 2015

Taste of Kansas City: a delicious debut of the summer season

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2015 at 3:41 PM

ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond


It's always best to launch into summer with a sense of good taste.

Every year for the past 12 years, The Pitch's annual Taste of Kansas City food-and-drink event has been the lighthearted bacchanal signaling the approach of summer. This year the festivities feature 23 local food and beverage vendors, including Westside Local, Waldo Pizza, Scratch Bakery and Plowboys Barbeque among the establishments ready to share samples of their products beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21, in the KC Live Block of the Power & Light District.

Taste celebrates the local culinary scene by highlighting the invited vendors' signature dishes and beverages, permitting patrons the opportunity to dine deliciously on bites from Blue Bird Bistro, Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Unforked, Morton's Grille, the Melting Pot, Parkville Coffee, Pezzettino Italian Deli & Market, Pizza Bar, Hotel Phillips, Jerusalem Café, Tippin's, Grace's Best Cookies, and Hungry Monkey Party Bites.

Beverage vendors will  include Captain Morgan rum, Red Bull, Stiletto vodka, Tallgrass beer and United Beverage. US Foods is the event's presenting sponsor; other sponsors are Vapur West, Mac Properties, and the WellSpring School of Allied Health.

This year's competing chefs in the annual Golden Fork competition include last year's winner Justin Voldan, now  the  executive chef at Westside Local, competing against the new executive chef at the Hotel Phillips, Frank Lalumia. The other four formidable competitors are Jonathan Pye of the Rozzelle Court restaurant at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Mario Galan of Avenues Bistro, Vincent Paredes from the Downtown Marriott Hotel and Basilio De Dios (best-known locally as "Tito Le Chef")  the chef and proprietor of the former Latin Bistro restaurant (it closed last October) and a new food truck called American Fusion. 

Taste tickets cost $45 for VIP admission or $35 for general admission. See pitch.com to purchase in advance or bring a few dollars more to buy at the gate Thursday evening. The event is for patrons who are 21 and older.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

BoysGrow Farm partners with the Rieger's Tony Glamcevski for a new supper series, starting in May

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 2:27 PM

GATHERANDGROWKC.COM / HAMMERPRESS
  • gatherandgrowkc.com / Hammerpress

Tony Glamcevski is perhaps best known as the unflappable general manager at the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, but that doesn't mean his work is confined within the walls of that restaurant. Recently, Glamcevski has announced a new project in partnership with BoysGrow, a local nonprofit that blends a curriculum of farming, agriculture and entrepreneurship over a two-year program for inner city youths. Introducing Gather & Grow Farm Suppers, a brand-new "supper series" held at the BoysGrow farm and curated by Glamcevski. 

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Green Dirt Farm puts Farm Table Dinners on sale tomorrow

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 2:47 PM

The sheep — and 15 celebrity chefs — are calling your name. - PAUL M. INGOLD
  • Paul M. Ingold
  • The sheep — and 15 celebrity chefs — are calling your name.

One of the hottest culinary tickets in Kansas City goes on sale tomorrow.

The Farm Table Dinners — hosted from May through October on the grounds of the local award-winning cheese-making farm, just north of Weston, Missouri —  will be prepared by 15 of Kansas City's best-known chefs. Each meal features a sampling of the Green Dirt Farm cheeses, passed hors d’oeuvres and a featured seasonal cocktail, all served while that night's featured chef prepares a unique meal that will be served at a single harvest table that seats 30. 

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Chef Gina Stipo, in town tonight, answers Fat City's questions

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 1:19 PM

Chef Gina Stipo lived a different life in Kansas City two decades ago. - ECCOLACUCINA.COM
  • eccolacucina.com
  • Chef Gina Stipo lived a different life in Kansas City two decades ago.

It's been two years since chef Gina Stipo last created a dinner with local chef Jasper Mirabile Jr. People remembered, though. The sequel, a "Tuscan Spring Dinner" tonight at Jasper's, has been sold out for a while.

And Stipo remembers living in Kansas City, though it's been awhile. "I was still in the corporate world then," she says.

Stipo left the corporate world — and Kansas City — in her early 30s and made a major career change: "My hobby, in those days, was food. I made the decision to go to culinary school, and my life completely changed."

She graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education, then moved to Italy, settling in Siena, where she lived and taught cooking classes and led culinary tours through Italy for 13 years. She moved back to the United States last year.

The Pitch spoke with Stipo by phone ahead of her KC visit.

The Pitch: Why did you choose Louisville to be your home base on your return?

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Patrick Ryan and Ryan Brazeal once again nominated for 'Best New Chef' award

Patrick Ryan and Ryan Brazeal are once again nominated for 'Best New Chef' award.

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 11:58 AM

Chef Ryan Brazeal's sweets are loved locally, but will he get a sweet surprise on Thursday? - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • Chef Ryan Brazeal's sweets are loved locally, but will he get a sweet surprise on Thursday?

The nominees for this year's "Best New Chef: Midwest," sponsored by Food & Wine magazine, are particularly impressive: 10 bright young Midwestern chefs from six cities seeking honors (Story restaurant's Carl Thorne-Thomsen was the winner-take-all "Best Chef" in last year's competition) decided not by a panel of judges but by online voters.

Once again, Patrick Ryan, the larger-than-life chef-owner of Port Fonda, and Ryan Brazeal, of Novel restaurant, are nominated in this category. They were also nominated last year.

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  • Patrick Ryan and Ryan Brazeal are once again nominated for 'Best New Chef' award.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nick Wesemann, Patrick Ryan, Howard Hanna and Bluestem up for James Beard Awards

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 12:09 PM

Pastry chef Nick Wesemann (recently the winner of CCVI's Food Fight 6) has earned a Beard nod.
  • Pastry chef Nick Wesemann (recently the winner of CCVI's Food Fight 6) has earned a Beard nod.

The James Beard Foundation released its list of semifinalists today for the organization's 2014 Restaurant and Chef Awards. Three Kansas City chefs are among the semifinalists, including the American Restaurant's pastry chef, Nick Wesemann, who is one of 20 nominees in the nationwide "Outstanding Pastry Chef" category.

Howard Hanna, the executive chef and co-owner of the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange,  and Patrick Ryan, chef and owner of Port Fonda, are nominated in the "Best Chef: Midwest" category.

Bluestem restaurant, co-owned by Colby and Megan Garrelts — Colby was voted "Best Chef: Midwest" in 2013 — is nominated in the nationwide "Outstanding Restaurant" category.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jax Fish House adds a fish with many aliases

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 2:15 PM

Call it lemonfish or eight other names.
  • Call it lemonfish or eight other names.


Next Wednesday kicks off the Lenten season — and yes, we'll be posting our list of local fish-fry meals next week — when many local restaurants offer seafood specials for dining patrons who observe meatless Fridays (and Ash Wednesday, February 18, which is also a no-meat day for Catholics) during this period.

In the case of Jax Fish House (4814 Roanoke Parkway, 816-437-7940), the new seafood venue on the Country Club Plaza, chef de cuisine Bobby Bowman is adding a new fish for a limited time to his menu: the meaty, mildly flavored cobia, which is also known as black kingfish, black salmon, ling, lemonfish, crabeater, prodigal son and aruan tasek.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The American's Nick Wesemann wins CCVI's Food Fight 6.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 1:38 PM

The American's pastry chef, Nick Wesemann.
  • The American's pastry chef, Nick Wesemann.

Three of Kansas City's most talented pastry chefs — Carter Holton of Sasha Baking Co. and the River Club, Elizabeth Paradise of Story restaurant, and Nick Wesemann of the American — fought it out, metaphorically speaking, for the top honors at last night's Food Fight 6.

Wesemann won the judges' award, but the other two pastry chefs didn't leave empty-handed: Holton received the most votes in the people's choice category, and Paradise swept past her competitors in a flash-challenge competition that required each of the chefs to frost and decorate a cake ... blindfolded.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Food Fight 6 sweetens CCVI’s biggest fundraising night

Posted By on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 9:53 AM

Food Fight chefs, from left, Holton, Paradise, and Wesemann. - BROOKE VANDIVER
  • Brooke Vandiver
  • Food Fight chefs, from left, Holton, Paradise, and Wesemann.


“God forbid it’s Key limes,” Carter Holton says. “Have you ever tried to juice one of those?”

The pastry chef for Sasha’s Baking Co. and the River Club is answering my question with the ironic theatricality familiar to anyone who has talked to him for more than a couple of minutes. On this January morning, he means to entertain not just me but also the other two pastry chefs I’m interviewing. They’re amused — they have to be, because all three are going to have to juice, zest, slice or otherwise confront something citrus this week, when they compete against one another for charity in Food Fight 6. The Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired’s annual culinary-themed fundraiser happens Monday, February 2, at Union Station’s Science City.

This year, the event is called “The Final Course” — you know, dessert — and the contestants are obliged to make creative use of the in-season fruits — including grapefruit, lemons, oranges and, yes, limes. Each chef gets six cases of the stuff to work with, having spent months pondering the broader possibilities of peel, pith and pulp.

“We know it’s citrus,” says Elizabeth Paradise, pastry chef at the Prairie Village restaurant Story. “We just don’t know what kind of citrus.”

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Room 39 remodels its original dining room … and ownership

Posted By on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 3:48 PM

Room 39's Ted Habiger and the new marble bar.
  • Room 39's Ted Habiger and the new marble bar.

When chefs Ted Habiger and Andrew Sloan opened the first Room 39, at 1719 West 39th Street, in 2004 (taking over the storefront previously occupied by a melancholy coffeehouse), they turned the space into a sunny, attractive, 11-table dining room. But no one was going to walk out of the place singing the praises of the decor. Why would they? The excellent food was the draw.

A decade later, the interior of the original Room 39 (a second location opened in Leawood in 2008) has gotten a makeover that's so subtle, even frequent patrons might not notice all the changes. Habiger, with assistance from his wife and co-owner, Jackie Kinkaid Habiger, and design consultant John O'Brien of Hammer Out Design, have slightly narrowed the bar, installed new light fixtures in the dining room and over the bar, refinished the hardwood floors (they're now darker, with a matte finish), and repainted the trim and at least one wall.

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