Local celebrity -- and reality TV cake-design champion -- Mike Elder brought in four of his friends, all national culinary reality-show heavyweights, to compete for handmade sculptural trophies yesterday at the "Icing on the Cake" sugar exposition and competition, a benefit for the local domestic-violence shelter Newhouse, at the Overland Park Sheraton Hotel; the fundraiser netted $15,000 for the organization.
It was a particularly terrific night for California-based Debbie Goard of Debbie Does Cakes: The Oakland designer won both the "People Choice" prize -- voted by the 450 participants at the event who used cash instead of ballots -- and the judges' prize for her towering construction that had, like all four competing cakes, a Kansas City theme.
That's right, the former host of Reading Rainbow, the star of Sister Act and the man behind Top Gun's theme song are indeed scheduled to make appearances in Kansas City soon. And at least as far as the first two are concerned, if you're willing to spend the money, you could enjoy a meal in their vicinity.
First on our menu of star experiences is Levar Burton. On February 18, he'll nosh and mingle with patrons of the Storling Dance Theater production Underground at Johnson County Community College's Carlsen Center.
Dinner with Burton + orchestra seats at the performance costs $100. Add an extra $100 for access to a VIP reception. (Read: more face time with Star Trek: The Next Generation's Geordi La Forge -- will he wear the glasses?)
|Saints and sinners both are welcome at Anthony's|
|Webster House chef Charles d'Ablaing|
And yes, cars were part of the deal, too.
Jane Zieha-Bell, the owner of the eclectic Blue Bird Bistro, is thrilled that the weather is nice and warm -- last winter's arctic temperatures really hurt business -- and that the new restaurants, including Westside Local, Chez Elle and Fud, in her neighborhood, at 17th and Summit, have increased traffic for all the dining operations in the area.
But Zieha-Bell isn't sitting on her laurels: she's offering another opportunity for diners to hang out and dine with regional farmers this Saturday, when the Blue Bird Bistro hosts a Farmers Table Dinner from 6 to 9 p.m.
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