Events

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Boozefish closes after this weekend's two-day party

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM

It's an offbeat selection of items for sale at Maija Diethelm-Floyd's estate sale at her Boozefish Wine Bar. A couple who became engaged in the restaurant several years ago and now live in another state are having Maija ship them a few things they remembered from that night.
  • It's an offbeat selection of items for sale at Maija Diethelm-Floyd's estate sale at her Boozefish Wine Bar. A couple who became engaged in the restaurant several years ago and now live in another state are having Maija ship them a few things they remembered from that night.

Looking for a bag of wine corks? (Great for some future craft project.) Framed artwork? Snazzy votive candleholders? Maija Diethelm-Floyd, owner of Boozefish Wine Bar in Westport, is selling all kinds of things — except the kitchen equipment — in an estate sale that she kicked off yesterday at her 13-year-old restaurant at 1511 Westport Road. The sale continues today and tomorrow from 1:30 to 9 p.m.

The sale represents another closing chapter in Diethelm-Floyd's life. She's in, she says, "intense negotiations" to sell her popular Westport bistro ahead of, as she told The Pitch in April, a permanent move to France before the end of the year with her husband, Steve Floyd. Diethelm-Floyd, the daughter of a French citizen, visits France later this month to see her stepmother and, she says, "and take care of some family business."

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This weekend's Latino Gay Pride Festival has a message — and Jujubee

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 12:16 PM

The founder and producer of Kansas City's Latino Gay Pride Festival, Mario Canedo, has watched his family-friendly event get bigger every year -- but not without growing pains and frustration. - SABRINA STAIRES
  • Sabrina Staires
  • The founder and producer of Kansas City's Latino Gay Pride Festival, Mario Canedo, has watched his family-friendly event get bigger every year -- but not without growing pains and frustration.


Last year, as the fifth annual Latino Gay Pride Festival was winding down in Hyde Park, the event’s founder and organizer, Mario Canedo, stepped on the stage, took the microphone and made an emotional speech.

He recalls: “I was crying at this point and said, ‘It’s time for me to say goodbye. I can’t do another festival. It’s too much hard work to produce this thing, to build it up every year.’ I was angry, exhausted — done.”

Canedo, who has always mounted the festival without a committee or many volunteers, was angry that five local drag performers had canceled at the last minute, leaving him with few acts to fill the one-day event’s rented stage. Canedo played recorded music instead, and other performers added encores to their sets. The show went on. And Canedo soon changed his mind.

“Everyone was having such a good time, and so many people asked me not to quit,” he tells me. “So I agreed to keep doing it.”

He also increased the festival’s scale. For the first time since Canedo started the event, in 2009 — 25 people showed up that first year, and 600 came last year — the festival is a two-day party. Friday night marks an adults-only street fair in Westport, with alcohol for sale and a national headliner, Jujubee, the Laotian-born veteran of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

It's fair season! Live animals, greasy food, games of chance

Posted By on Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 3:49 PM

This future vendor of chops, babyback ribs, bacon, and chitlins enjoys a lazy moment at the Wyandotte County Fair.
  • This future vendor of chops, babyback ribs, bacon, and chitlins enjoys a lazy moment at the Wyandotte County Fair.

I feel it's obligatory, when touring a county fair, to at least make a brief pilgrimage to see the winners of the 4-H animal competitions. Last weekend, at the annual Wyandotte County Fair, I paid homage to all the farm animals.

Don't ask me why the pigs, chickens, rabbits and lambs receive the blue ribbons and various titles. But I did ask one of the participating farmers if the animals were judged for "cuteness," and he looked at me as if I were a lunatic. I mean, there I was — someone who has never had the slightest interest in "farming" — walking about in the oppressive heat, looking at ducks and chickens pecking hopelessly in their wire cages, and all I could think about was the cruelty of it all and how it really was time for me to become a vegetarian. But then I got the hell out of the animal displays, ate a corn dog and drank a Hi-C fruit punch and considered playing one of those carny games (the one where you use a mallet to boost a rubber frog onto a lily pad). 

My friends like to go to county fairs to see the animals, see the people, maybe get on the Dragon Wagon or the Ferris wheel. I only go for the food: cotton candy, fried Oreo cookies, corn dogs, snow cones, and that delicious-sounding but always terrible "fresh-squeezed lemonade" that tastes like lemon-scented Pledge furniture polish diluted in swamp water. It was so hot, the concoction was actually kind of tasty.

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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.

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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.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Cafe Trio celebrates a decade by passing gifts around

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Chris Youngers, left, and Tai Nguyen had very little restaurant experience when they opened the original Cafe Trio at 35th and Broadway. A decade later, Cafe Trio is one of the few independent restaurant  operations on the Country Club Plaza.
  • Chris Youngers, left, and Tai Nguyen had very little restaurant experience when they opened the original Cafe Trio at 35th and Broadway. A decade later, Cafe Trio is one of the few independent restaurant operations on the Country Club Plaza.

If you're feeling somewhat philanthropic and have been meaning to dine at Cafe Trio - the intimate bistro at 4558 Main, just east of Mill Creek Park - Monday nights in June might be just the reason to do so. Tonight and June 23 and June 30, the owners of the 10-year-old restaurant, Chris Youngers and Tai Nguyen, are donating 10 percent of the night's receipts to a different charity. Tonight's percentage will be donated to the Good Samaritan Project; the funds raised on June 23 and 30 will be given to the Kansas City Care Clinic and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, respectively.

The charitable donations are just one way that Youngers and Nguyen are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Cafe Trio. Patrons dining at the restaurant in June are given a $10 gift card, and the staff serves champagne and cake to diners on Friday nights until June 27.

There have been times during the last 10 years that Youngers and Nguyen weren't sure they were going to make it to this anniversary, especially after the national economy tanked in 2008. "We had taken on debt to move from 35th and Broadway to this location in 2009," says Youngers. "We went from having 12 employees to 50 employees."

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Tonight will be the rowdy last hurrah for Pandolfi's Deli

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Pandolfi's Deli closes tonight, but owner Jake Hendershot  wants it to be a party -- not a funeral.
  • Pandolfi's Deli closes tonight, but owner Jake Hendershot wants it to be a party -- not a funeral.


Sicilians are notoriously superstitious and Kansas City's Columbus Park - for many decades a solidly Sicilian-American community - is a neighborhood where omens are taken very seriously. And the omens are practically overwhelming tonight: the first full Moon on a Friday the 13th in over a decade (there won't be another until 2049) and the last day of Pandolfi's Deli, the restaurant opened by Jake Hendershot four years ago in the former Lapetina floral shop. That's right, the one connected to the former Lapetina Funeral Home, where mob boss Charles Binaggio - among other mob greats over the years - was set out for public viewing in a costly copper casket in 1950.

But there will be a party tonight - no last rites permitted - at 538 Campbell when Hendershot and his staff (and a few special guests, including Hendershot's parents, his new bride Aubree, and former Pandolfi's chef Grant Cansler) will host a farewell bashfor the restaurant beginning at 5 p.m. The Barkley Martin Ensemble starts playing at 8 p.m. and festivities are scheduled to continue until 11 p.m. Or later. 

"We'll be selling food - we're already sold out of a couple things - until we run out of food," says Hendershot. "We're selling beer, wine and mixed drinks too. We made a lot of limoncello - it's in the freezer now."

Hendershot made the decision to close the neighborhood lunch venue last month. He hasn't ruled out opening another Pandolfi's in a different location.

"We're expecting at least 200 people," says Hendershot. "We'll have seating inside and outside."

If as many friends and fans show up as Hendershot expects, the street in front of the deli could be a mob scene. Figuratively, of course.

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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.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Taste of Kansas City 2014 set for this Thursday

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 4:50 PM

There will be sweet, savory and intoxicating samples to taste at the 2014 "Taste of Kansas City" event, to be held on Thursday, May 22, in the Power & Light District. General admission tickets cost $55 each. - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • There will be sweet, savory and intoxicating samples to taste at the 2014 "Taste of Kansas City" event, to be held on Thursday, May 22, in the Power & Light District. General admission tickets cost $55 each.

Twenty local food and beverage vendors, including Accurso's Italian Restaurant, Blue Bird Bistro, Jerusalem Cafe, Colors Macarons, the Dubliner, and Westside Local will be sharing samples of their products this Thursday, May 22, beginning at 6:30 p.m. when The Pitch presents "Taste of Kansas City"  in the KC Live Block of the Power & Light District. The event raises funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City.

Six local chefs will compete for the 2014 Golden Fork trophy, including last year's winner, Jason Wiggins of the InterContinental Hotel Kansas City. All six chefs will be challenged to create a creative meal prepared with the ingredients of a "mystery box" of ingredients unknown to the competing chefs until shortly before they begin cooking.

This year's competing chefs will be, in addition to Jason Wiggins, Charles d'Ablaing from Chaz on the Plaza, Cruz Vasquez from Accurso's Italian Restaurant, Shawn Brady from the Ambassador Hotel, Bobby Stearns from Ophelia's Restaurant, and Justin Voldan from the Hotel Phillips.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Uberdine to serve its first brunch on May 25

Posted By on Tue, May 6, 2014 at 3:13 PM

One of the eight courses served at the May 25 Uberdine brunch is a pan-seared scallop on Farm to Market brioche with a fried quail egg, dusted with bacon powder. - JEFF AKIN
  • Jeff Akin
  • One of the eight courses served at the May 25 Uberdine brunch is a pan-seared scallop on Farm to Market brioche with a fried quail egg, dusted with bacon powder.


Chef Joe Shirley isn't ready for his real restaurant yet - he and his wife, Carolina, want to wait until their only child, a sixth-grader, goes to high school - but his nine-month-old pop-up dining concept, Uberdine (which The Pitch named "Best Restaurant Experiment" in last year's Best of Kansas City issue), is giving the young chef the opportunity to keep his day job as the executive chef for a major financial institution and express his culinary creativity on his own terms.

Since launching Uberdine last July, Shirley has mounted four very different dinners in unique locations, including a coffee-inspired meal at the Roasterie and a Japanese-style meal at the Filling Station coffeehouse in midtown. Uberdine's first brunch is to be held Sunday, May 25, at the Farm to Market Bread Co.'s headquarters at 20th Street and Walnut. Tickets are still left for the brunch, which has two seatings (at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; for prices and reservations, visit the Uberdine website here).

The eight-course brunch will, like the previous four Uberdine events, be a showcase for Shirley's creativity: one of the courses is described on Shirley's menu for the event as "Mac and Cheese": truffle, cheddar, explosion.

Explosion

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