The room in the back of the Uptown Theater featuring the silent-auction items - which ranged from original artwork to an elaborate barbecue grill - was elbow-to-elbow last night as more than 1,200 people gathered to raise funds for the staff of JJ's Restaurant. The Plaza fixture was destroyed after a gas line blew up February 19.
"The auction was a phenomenal success," says co-organizer Jim Ligon, who was a popular bartender at JJ's until the February 19 explosion. A portion of the fundraising profits will be donated to the recently established Megan Cramer Foundation for the Arts, in honor of the JJ's server killed in the blast.
Angel Barelli opened her kitchen last week to the restaurant's two chefs, Michael Clough and Joseph Jackson, and showed them how to make her recipe for sour-cream-topped, New York-style cheesecake. Jackson added a Concord-grape reduction and a peanut-butter cream sauce (and put honey in the sour cream) for his new version of the dessert.
The fifth annual sojourn through KC's growers has swelled to 60 farms and gardens. Cultivate Kansas City will organize the tour, which is slated for Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"The event has grown far beyond a tour. It's now a full weeklong celebration of the good food, great farms and gardens, and wonderful community Kansas City has created through urban agriculture," said event coordinator Ami Freeberg in a release. "Our theme this year is 'Cultivate the Change,' and we hope all Urban Grown participants will go home inspired to dig in to urban agriculture in their own way."
The Bristol has a two-course lunch of lobster bisque and a flatiron steak salad; 801 Chophouse will serve you Caesar salad, Iowa Duroc pork chop and New York cheesecake for dinner. Lunch comes with a $5 gift card to use on your next visit to a restaurant, and dinner includes a $10 gift card.
"We'll be tapping some of our brewers' reserves," Magerl says of the anniversary party. "And anybody that shares our birthday gets a discount based on their age. So far, the oldest we've had is an 86-year-old. I keep telling people I want a 101-year-old person to come in, so I can pay them."
There's a VIP preview party with cocktails Saturday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
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