With screenshots from his phone and computer, it's a quick peek at the tech that a chef, with interests around the country, uses to manage a mini culinary empire. It also explains why the music at Mestizo may be more important than you first thought.
As we visit with these three masters of food, and ask them what they think about food reviews from critics and patrons on-line, their toughest day in the business, the importance of local ingredients, and we'll answer this question: is Kansas City a cut-throat restaurant town?
In previous interviews with Fat City, Gold has confessed to being a chocoholic, Tio talked about what it was like to work at Disney World, and Habiger hoped to one day discover a secret stash of morels. You can listen live at KCUR (89.3 FM on your radio dial) or online.
"You just have to make good food,” he says. “It's not rocket science.”
His wife, Megan Garrelts — pastry chef and, with Colby, co-owner of the restaurant Bluestem — points to the white wall that separates this room from the dining space where their kids have amused themselves. The wall is coming down, making way for an open kitchen with a chef's table. The couple and their partner, Kim Cooley, want the kitchen to be a focal point here at Rye, the restaurant they plan to open in mid-November.
The new venture caps a busy 12 months for the Garreltses. *Bluestem: The Cookbook (the couple’s first) arrived last November; an extended kitchen-management gig with Park Place’s Trezo Vino ended when that venue closed in March; and 2012 was the fifth year that Colby Garrelts was a finalist in the Best Chef: Midwest category at the James Beard Awards. Fat City caught up with the two to find out the latest with Rye.
A once-familiar face in Kansas City's culinary scene, chef Marshall Roth (who was the executive chef at the Hollywood Casino's Final Cut steakhouse before moving to Wichita last March) will be in Kansas City for a visit next month. Roth will be attending the September 13 grand opening of the new Ambassador Hotel at 1111 Grand. This week, Roth joined the Tulsa-based boutique hotel chain's family.
Roth, who has spent the last six months working as executive chef at the Hawker Beechcraft Global Delivery Center in Wichita, was hired to be executive chef for the new Ambassador Hotel in Wichita. Like the Kansas City property in the old Gate City Bank Building, the Wichita Ambassador Hotel — slated to open in December — is a boutique lodging venue in a historic downtown building (the former Henry's Men's Clothing Store at 420 East Douglas). Roth will oversee the kitchen at the uncompleted hotel's Siena Tuscan Steakhouse.
“There was no really good, hole-in-the-wall pizzeria in Kansas City,” he says. “The pizza is the story here. I wanted to specialize in one thing and do it right.”
The buzz has been growing since Milone, 31, opened his pizza shop on the West Plaza in January, dishing up slices and strombolis — he calls them “Italian burritos,” and they come out of the oven a little more than a foot long. The pizzas are big, too: 16- and 18-inch pies centered on a thin, dinner-roll-puffy crust.
"We've got to show people what Kansas City is about, and I embrace the barbecue," Wishon says. "We do everything in-house. We make our own sides and sauce, and smoke everything on hickory and cherry."
Because she expects an estimated daily crowd of 50,000 people (that's more than twice the average of the 21,000 who attend a regular-season game at home), Wishon has been crafting the menu since late January, when she began overseeing the 550 people who prepare and serve food at each Royals game.
Last evening, six local chefs competed for the Golden Fork Award at the Pitch's Taste of Kansas City event, held in the KC Live Block of the Power & Light District. Chef and restaurateur Jasper Mirabile Jr. served as emcee for the Iron Chef-style competition where the competing chefs were given a limited bag of ingredients - in this case, the items included pork, kosher salt, figs, balsamic vinegar, a tiny bit of cream, fingerling potatoes, fresh herbs (saffron, rosemary, cumin and chives), canned artichoke hearts, lentils, capers, and rice - and had 75 minutes to complete a dish to be judged by me, food blogger Emily Farris (FeedMe KC) and culinary instructor and caterer Mary Berg.
Charles d'Ablaing of Chaz on the Plaza, the Raphael Hotel's dining venue, was voted the top contender, with chef Bobby Stearns taking second-place honors and EBT Restaurant's Tate Roberts voted for third place; the other competitors were Beth Barden of Succotash; Michael Foust of the Farmhouse; and last year's winner, Jesse Vega of the Our Lady of Mercy Country Home.
Former Kansas City restaurateur Sean Cummings, best-known for his Grille on Broadway restaurant, called Fat City today to report that his friend and original chef, Lorenza "Poco" Guiterrez, the owner of the beloved Poco's on the Boulevard restaurant at 3063 Southwest Boulevard, passed away after a long illness.
"Poco wanted to live the American Dream," Cummings says, "and she did. She opened her own restaurant and ran a food-truck business. She was an amazing woman."
Fat City will report on funeral arrangements when the information becomes available.
Garrelts is one of five finalists in the Best Chef: Midwest category. He's no stranger to the contest, having been nominated five years in a row. He's up against another streak: a Minnesota juggernaut. The Twin Cities have taken the Midwest category the past three years.
The awards dinner is in New York City May 7.
"I think somebody just likes me to come to New York and spend all my money," Garrelts said. "But seriously, it's satisfying and nice to be recognized, and I'm just hopeful that the fifth time is the charm."
im still out done!! Nasty and desperate poor excuse for a man - from Chrisean
Baliff, whack their peepees!
Excelsior Springs is so pround of Courtney's accomplishments