A singing waitress heads to the kitchen.

Stove Songs 

A singing waitress heads to the kitchen.

Over the years, I've worked with a rogue's gallery of chefs: temperamental bullies, creative geniuses, skirt chasers and chicken hawks, a part-time porn novelist, a surprisingly high number of alcoholics and drug addicts, at least one convicted felon, and a one-eyed sous-chef who insisted that we all call him "Patch."

But until I stopped into Bar Natasha (1911 Main) last week, I'd never met a singing chef. Like all of Bar Natasha's waitstaff, Heather Price (named "Best Waitress" in last year's Best of Kansas City issue) didn't just carry out cocktails and plates of artichoke hummus — she also belted out several tunes every night. Now, though, she's moved from the front of the nightclub back to the kitchen and taken her microphone headset with her.

"I even sing while I'm cooking," Price says, showing off her newest culinary creation: a quiche made with chorizo sausage, peppers and cheese. The quiche, a chicken tortilla soup and a delicious Tijuana pizza were part of last week's Mexican-inspired dinner specials. Price is creating specials with different themes that change weekly, including this week's all-beef "Cowtown" concept.

Bar Natasha has seen a number of chefs in its kitchen since Lou Jane Temple created the first menu in 2004. Several of Temple's recipes are still around (the sliced beef tenderloin with blue-cheese butter remains the best-selling appetizer), but Price is putting her own stamp on the rest of the menu. That includes a superb hot peach cobbler that looks like a fancy fruit tart. "But it's not a pie," Price clarifies. "I boil down the fresh peaches until they're almost like jam," she says, watching as I nearly burn my tongue on a big, greedy bite of the dessert.

Price makes homemade ice creams, too. Diners can order a sampler platter with small scoops of the flavors du jour, such as the double-chocolate fudge, the pumpkin and mint-chocolate chip (made with fresh mint). Her real innovation is a fruity number that tastes exactly like an Orange Julius drink, made with fresh-squeezed oranges, vanilla and sugar. "They're all natural, with no added colors or artificial flavors," Price boasts.

I ate it anyway — with a song in my heart.

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