The Hobbs Building, 1427 W. Ninth St. 816-841-0166
After running the catering division of The American Restaurant for 10 years, chef Andy Jacot and his wife, Kathleen, left in 2001 to run their own business. Although the Jacots had built a following for their sophisticated food and polished service, they opted to purchase an existing catering company, chef Diane Dougherty's Feasts of Fancy. Last year, the Jacots moved out of Dougherty's leased offices in Lenexa and into the 19th-century Hobbs Building in the West Bottoms, renovating the first floor into a spacious catering hall that seats 240 for sit-down affairs and 300 for buffets. The historic space lends itself to over-the-top theatrics such as last summer's tropical-paradise wedding reception. The back of the building, once littered with weeds, rusty metal and trash, was transformed into a pretty patio and a small garden for the fresh herbs that Andy uses in his cooking. Fans of the couple -- who include high-profile clients such as attorneys Gary and Anita Robb and Sprint's Gary Forsee and wife Sherry -- rave not only about Andy's imaginative cuisine but also about Kathleen's attention to every possible detail. "Service is just as important as the food," Kathleen says. "You have to have the passion for making every event as perfect as possible. That's not too much to ask."