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THE KANSAS CITY STAR

MARCH 17, 2013

THE FOOD ISSUE

THE AGE OF THE

ARTISAN With fresh ingredients and hand-crafted fare, local food professionals are redefining Midwestern cuisine.


INSIDE: A sampler of people, places and things that make us drool RUM SWAP

BAR FOOD REINVENTED

÷ Boozy rum cakes get their kick from New Orleans. Page 9

ü The Good You food truck takes it indoors. Page 20

ABOUT THE FOOD COVER ARTIST BIO essica Bloom owns Jessica Bloom Body Art (on Facebook), a company specializing in face painting, body painting and henna temporary tattoos. From age 16 to 23, Bloom worked for the Ohio-based Kaman’s Art Shoppes, a concessionaire that leases booth space from amusement parks. At 18, she was named Kaman’s body art supervisor. For The Star’s Food Issue cover, Bloom spent 4 1⁄2 hours painting the hands and forearms of models Cari Lee, Sarah Bellem Uhler and Maggie McLaughlin to resemble corn, eggplant, red peppers, Swiss chard and cabbage. Bloom uses a quick-drying, water-activated face paint by Mehron that “feels similar to eye shadow when it’s on” and washes off with soap and water.

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CONTRIBUTORS HEALTH NUT ÿ A T-shirt that tells it like it is. Page 12

SPIRITED EXCHANGE ÷ Craft cocktails with an Asian twist. Page 28

RESOURCES Get in touch with the people, places and things featured in this issue. Page 31

Jill Silva is The Star’s James Beard award-winning food editor, lead restaurant critic and fancies herself a flan expert.

Cindy Hoedel is Star Magazine’s lead writer and a $5 lunch expert.

Tammy Ljungblad is an award-winning staff photographer with a keen eye for beautiful food shots.

Freelancer Mary G. Pepitone writes the popular Come Into My Kitchen column and tested the recipes for this section.

Barbara Hill-Meyer is lead designer and art director for Star Magazine and a food foister.

Paula Southerland copy edited the section and can’t wait to try the cocktails .

Graphic artist Hector Casanova conceptualized the cover photo illustration. He eats just about any vegetable. Except borscht.

Laurie Mansfield is assistant managing editor for features and makes her own baby food.

To reach Jill Silva, The Star’s food editor: 816-234-4395, jsilva@kstar.com, Facebook and Twitter @kcstarfood. THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 3


NAME YOUR CUISINE — IT’S ALL

MIDWESTERN Moving beyond ‘farm-to-table’ as a restaurant ideal By JILL WENDHOLT SILVA The Kansas City Star

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ane Zieha has always proudly referred to the Blue Bird Bistro as a “farm-to-table” restaurant. And it seemed a natural fit. The bohemian bistro at 1700 Summit St. on the West Side distinguished itself as one of the first Kansas City restaurants to base an entire menu on fresh, local and organic ingredients from small family farms in Kansas and Missouri. But Zieha, a tax accountant-turnedrestaurateur, began to rethink the familiar label after bumping into celebrity chef Rick Bayless at a cocktail party. Zieha’s brief encounter with Bayless, owner of Chicago’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, occurred while she was attending a James Beard-sponsored sustainability conference. As they chatted, Bayless asked her to describe Blue Bird’s cuisine. “I said, ‘Well, we’re a farm-to-table

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restaurant. We buy from 40 local farmers …’ ” Bayless interrupted: “No, no. What’s your cuisine?” “I said, ‘We’re dedicated to the local food movement’ and he said, ‘No, Jane. Name your cuisine.’ ” At that moment, Zieha got it. “We, the local food movement, are succeeding. We are becoming mainstream. We are becoming a choice,” she said. “So now, for the Blue Bird to flourish, we really do need to home in and define who we are beyond who we buy from.” Over a cup of coffee, Zieha pulls out a single sheet of 8- by 11-inch paper. She has formally labeled her food “Mid-American Artisan Cuisine.” Her bullet points: local, organic food, made in small batches and presented with a contemporary sensibility. Call it the Age of the Artisan. In the restaurant kitchen and, more recently, behind the bar, the best Kansas City chefs, restaurateurs, bartenders and artisan food producers are feverishly redefining Midwestern cuisine, ingredient by ingredient. Whether it’s the slurry of flour and seasonings used to make the fried chicken at the newly opened Rye in Leawood (see recipe on Pages 18-19); the house-made smoked bitters in Ryan Maybee’s Kansas City Sling, a cocktail served at the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange and its basement

speakeasy-style bar, Manifesto (Page 11); or the Old New Orleans Amber 3-Year-old Rum now flavoring Jude’s Rum Cake (Page 9), ingredients do matter. But just as important as where those ingredients come from is what you do with them. The new buzzwords “house-made,” “artisanal” and “craft” hint at something charming and old world, suggesting techniques handed down through the generations. But is it reaching for effect, just a little bit, when a doughnut is described on an artisan’s menu as “hand-forged”? Like farm-to-table, artisanal runs the risk of becoming a marketing cliche. Or a juicy nugget for a “Portlandia” parody. A popular “Portlandia” sketch, “Is the chicken local?” features star Fred

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


“In order to do local food, you have to cook in small batches,” Jane Zieha says. “It forces you to have that artisanal mindset.” Armisen in a diner. When he asks about the origin of the chicken, the server returns with pedigree papers to prove “Collin” was raised on a “woodland diet” of sheep’s milk, soy and, yes, local hazelnuts. Four decades into the local food movement, the satiric sketch is funny because the main message (if not all the social, political and environmental nuances) has trickled down into popular culture. Most high-end restaurants and a growing number of fast-casual concepts, from the locally owned Sheridan’s Unforked to Chipotle, have come to rely to some degree on a network of local farmers. In 1984 — a full decade before the Food Network was on the air — Steve Cole created Cafe Allegro (Page 6), a 39th Street pioneer that was ranked Kansas City’s No. 1 restaurant by the Zagat Survey. An ex-Marine with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Cole remains legendary for his unyielding attention to detail.

To get his hands on the freshest seasonal produce, Cole became a regular at the City Market. His go-to produce vendors: Mark Marino, who went on to become vice president at national organic superpower Earthbound Farms, and Thane Palmberg of Thane Palmberg Farms in De Soto in Johnson County, whose products remain a fixture on menus across the city. Cole also helped kick off the careers of local food artisans, hiring a baker named Mark Friend to provide what would become one of the restaurant’s signature items, a soft dinner roll studded with caraway seeds. Friend went on to create Farm to Market Bread Co. And much of Danny O’Neill’s early success with the Roasterie came when Cole agreed to serve his coffee at the restaurant. Add Boulevard Brewing Co. and today Kansas City’s “Big 3” artisanal producers are nothing less than household names. Between forkfuls of Room 39’s deconstructed chicken pot pie, Cole admits trying to hammer out a definition of Midwestern cuisine is tricky. “I can tell you what it’s not,” says Cole, who recently became the chief operating officer of the Missouri Restaurant Association. “It’s not foam. I think many chefs are trying to be creative more than they’re trying to be solid in the fundamentals. Midwestern cuisine to me is familiar, re-imagined in the present and maybe changing in technique. But whether it’s French technique or a Chinese stir-fry, the ingredients are local.”

For instance, chicken pot pie can be served in an elegant Limoges bowl. It can take on an Italian accent with the addition of zucchini and porcini mushrooms. Or it can look like Room 39’s version, which features a palm-sized biscuit, split open and ladled with a gravy studded with fresh bits of roasted chicken and a brunoise of carrots and peas. Ultimately, Midwestern cuisine draws on a melting pot of influences. Port Fonda — one of Kansas City’s most important new restaurants — is no less Midwestern simply because it is cooking up its own brand of Mexican. Chef Patrick Ryan (who shares his recipe for chilaquiles on Pages 26-27) relies on local farmers and artisan producers. The fact that the jalapenos used in Blue Bird Bistro’s green curry vary in flavor and intensity based on the season and prevailing weather conditions means the cooking process has to be hands-on. “In order to do local food, you have to cook in small batches,” Jane Zieha says. “It forces you to have that artisanal mindset.”

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 5


FARM-TO-TABLE TAKES ROOT

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f there is a father of the local farm-totable movement, the title belongs to Steve Cole. From 1984 to 2002, Cole owned and operated the high-style American restaurant Cafe Allegro on 39th Street. As one of the first to preach the “local, seasonal and organic” gospel, he forged

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a network of local farmers and artisan producers to supply fresh, unique and exotic ingredients when most restaurants were still waiting for prepacked foods delivered from a wholesale supplier. Cole built a relationship with Thane Palmberg of Thane Palmberg Farm in

De Soto in Johnson County, supplying him with seeds to grow such hard-tofind ingredients as baby squash and Japanese eggplants. Mark Friend made the restaurant’s signature caraway rolls before going on to create Farm to Market Bread Co. Cole put Danny O’Neill’s Roasterie coffee blends on the

map. And one of his proteges, chef Ted Habiger, went on to open Room 39. “We made everything in house. Only the shrimp was frozen,” says Cole, who assumed the position of chief operating officer for the Missouri Restaurant Association in November.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


LIFTING OFF FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS

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ew ideas keep percolating inside the Roasterie, as the basement-to-big-time Kansas City coffee purveyor celebrates its 20-year anniversary. The newest Roasterie café inside the company’s factory is another coup for Kansas City foodies. The café takes coffee service to new levels, offering a large selection of coffee beans, which are ground and brewed however you want it, including in a French press. Just in case free Wi-Fi, a glass peeka-boo-wall into the factory, Le Monde croissants and pain au chocolat and the coffee were not enough of a draw, owner Danny O’Neill decided to mount a vintage, aluminum-clad DC-3 airplane on the roof. But not just any which way. “I said, ‘We will not desecrate the plane,’ ” O’Neill remembers. “There are two ways people display a plane: put it on a stick — yuck — or have it crashing through a building — yuck, yuck, yuck.” Instead, O’Neill hired International Architects Atelier of Kansas City to design the café and plane mounting. The resulting space, with its glass roof framing a view of the plane and the blue “runway” lights that arc up the steel rails of the support structure, is so appealing that it touched off an unplanned event business for the company. Event planning isn’t the only project brewing at the Roasterie. O’Neill is exploring the idea of building a bakery to ensure that he can get pastries into the Roasterie’s three cafés 364 days a year (they are closed on Christmas). “I know having a bakery is going to be complicated, but we buy coffee from 34 countries; there’s nothing flipping easy about that. We put a plane on a roof cantilevered over property that we don’t own, over utilities, over a railroad, over a street, and I can tell you some brain damage went into that, so maybe because it’s hard I’m inspired for just that reason,” O’Neill says. In another development, after years of saying “no” to licensing the Roasterie Café concept, O’Neill gave the go-ahead for two such projects, one at the Sprint campus in Overland Park and one inside a Hen House in Prairie Village.

RUB IT IN

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ward-winning competition barbecue cooker Rod Gray of the Pellet Envy team has launched a line of rubs and sauces that are sold at select area Price Chopper stores. The brand name, Eat Barbecue is straightforward enough. But the product names will kindle inspiration in backyard pitmasters everywhere: The Next Big Thing barbecue sauce, IPO barbecue sauce, The Most Powerful Stuff rub and Zero to Hero rub (all $4.99). The sauces have a nice heat-sweet balance, and the rubs add complex layers of flavor to meat without being too salty or too garlicky.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 7


PORTABLE PAELLA OFFERS A TASTE OF SPAIN

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f you ever see chef Carmen Cabia at “the fork” in the road, make sure you stop to savor her Catalan cuisine, especially her paella. El Tenedor (Spanish for “the fork”) is the name of Cabia’s 1961 food trailer, which routinely takes authentic Spanish food to the streets on First Friday weekends in the Crossroads

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Arts District. Her followers find her on Facebook. Paella is considered the national dish of Spain, but there are as many varieties of the rice, vegetable and seafood/meat specialty as there are Spanish states. Spanish food has Mediterranean influences such as garlic, parsley, olive oil and vegeta-

bles but not spicy chilies, which are found on most Mexican menus. Portions of Cabia’s paella can range from $7 for a chorizo combination to $14 and up for the seafood variety, which Cabia considers her specialty. Born and raised in the Catalonia region, Cabia received formal food

training at a culinary arts school in Barcelona. “I love food and try to share my passion for it with others,” says Cabia, who has lived in Kansas City, Kan., for a decade. “My food is a language that speaks for itself, which goes beyond the Spanish, Catalan and little English I speak.”

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


Catalan Seafood Paella (Paella Catalana de Pescado) Makes 6 to 8 servings For the sauce (Picada): 1 ⁄2 teaspoon saffron threads 6 garlic cloves, peeled 1 cup fresh parsley leaves 1 ⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil For the Paella: 4 cups or 1 (32-ounce) container seafood stock 5 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound calamari, cleaned with bodies cut into rings 1 ⁄2 pound monkfish or white fish 2 green peppers, seeded and finely diced 2 red peppers, seeded and finely diced 3 garlic cloves, finely minced 5 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced 2 cups or 1 (16-ounce) package Arborio rice 1 teaspoon salt 12 large shrimp, cleaned and deveined 24 mussels, cleaned and beards removed 1 ⁄4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves To make the Picada: Create a small bowl of aluminum foil and place in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat on stovetop. When heated, drop saffron threads into aluminum foil and toast lightly for a few seconds. Remove aluminum foil bowl with saffron from sauté pan and allow to cool. Place garlic and parsley leaves into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add toasted saffron threads and with

processor running, drizzle in olive oil to make a smooth sauce. Set aside. To make the Paella: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour stock into a saucepot over low heat to warm. On the stovetop over medium heat, warm olive oil in a 14-inch paella pan (paellera) or cast-iron skillet. Add calamari and monkfish (or white fish) and sauté until all water is absorbed. Add peppers, garlic and tomatoes to pan and sauté about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and start to caramelize. Stir in rice, coating all grains. Pour in warm stock and stir, until ingredients are well mixed. Season with salt. Cook on stovetop over medium-low heat until 1 ⁄2-inch of liquid remains, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the reserved Picada and decorate top with mussels and shrimp. Place paellera or cast-iron skillet into oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until all stock has been absorbed, shrimp is pink and mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that do not open and bring pan directly from oven to table. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley leaves and serve immediately. Per serving, based on 6: 788 calories (37 percent from fat), 31 grams total fat (6 grams saturated), 272 milligrams cholesterol, 78 grams carbohydrates, 41 grams protein, 824 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.

ALL-AMERICAN RUM CAKES Craig Adcock, owner of the phenomenally popular Jude’s Rum Cakes, broke a widely held business tenet: Don’t mess with success. Even though his sales were growing fast online and at his retail location in old-town Lenexa, Adcock decided to change the most important ingredient in his cakes: the spirits. When Adcock learned of a rum maker in the 9th Ward of New Orleans that was

struggling to regain its footing after the post-Katrina flooding, he toured the factory, tasted the rum and decided to make the switch from imported. Now Jude’s Rum Cakes, which come in four sizes ranging from five minis for $12 to $50 for a 3-pounder, get their boozy kick from Old New Orleans rum.

@Go to KansasCity.com for video of Craig Adcock making rum cakes.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 9


BUILDING A CULINARY MECCA

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he first bricks of Johnson County Community College’s new Hospitality & Culinary Academy were already in place before the late winter snows blew in. From the corner of College Boulevard and Quivira Road, passers-by can get a glimpse of the 36,000-square-foot, one-story building going up just south of the Regnier Center parking garage. The $13 million academy will house five culinary labs, a glass-walled innovation kitchen where the award-winning culinary

team will practice for competitions (currently they practice in kitchens tucked away from public view) and a 75-seat demonstration kitchen in a culinary theater. Designed by the DLR Group in Overland Park, the academy is scheduled to open in August. In addition to serving the 700-plus students currently enrolled in JCCC’s popular hospitality management program, the added capacity will allow the college to offer more continuing education classes to home cooks.

RADE G P U N A P U H TC E K R U O Y E GIV

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ruce Steinberg is determined to fill what he sees as a gaping hole in the ketchup market with his Fine Vines Artisanal Ketchup. Like Grey Poupon’s siege on French’s yellow mustard, Steinberg is convinced Heinz lovers are ready for a better quality, less sweet sauce with “a real density” that makes it versatile enough to be used as a condiment, dipping sauce or cooking ingredient. “The mustard market is very mature. The average household has several flavors,” Steinberg says. “But no shopper is interested in ketchup. Most think of it as a low-end commodity to use on burgers and French fries.” Fine Vines, which launched last month, comes in 12 flavors, including Thai ginger, smoked serrano, grill smoke, applewood, alderwood and even black truffle. “We’re getting quite a bit of attention because truffles are considered upscale,” the Leawood-based entrepreneur says. Chef Jasper Mirable recently took the sauces for a test drive in his kitchen, and the Roasterie teamed up with Fine Vines to create coffee ketchup sold at all three Roasterie Café locations. Other flavors are $5.99 to $6.99 per 9-ounce jar at Better Cheddar, Hy-Vee, Costentino’s Markets and select Price Choppers.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


HE’S THE CERTIFIED MASTER OF MIXOLOGY

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t’s a heady title, for sure: 2013 Bartender of the Year. “It doesn’t change a thing. You just have to keep focusing on what you do every day,” says Ryan Maybee, who recently received the honor from Imbibe, a leader in covering the artisanal beverage beat. Maybee learned the basics at Pierpont’s in Union Station and opened the now closed JP Winebar, but he really

came into his own with his speakeasystyle basement bar Manifesto in 2009, featuring craft cocktails made from fresh and house-made ingredients, including infused liquors, tonics, shrubs and his signature smoked bitters. “I was really nervous about people not getting it,” he recalls. He needn’t have worried. His skills are certifiable. He is the only person with the BAR masters certification,

similar to a master sommelier, through the mixology industry’s Beverage Alcohol Resource, and his awards are numerous (one of his recipes appears in the 75th anniversary edition of “Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide”). Maybee is readying his smoked bitters recipe for commercial distribution under the name J. Rieger & Co. Cocktail enthusiasts who can’t wait can get a taste by ordering the Kansas City Sling,

a combination of Dark Horse Distillery Reunion Rye, Averna and smoked bitters, at Manifesto and the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange. The $10 cocktail was created for this special issue. Maybee understands not every bartender can go to the same lengths he does, but that doesn’t mean they can’t join the craft cocktail movement. “Every place can squeeze their own lemon and lime juices,” he says.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 11


MERS

SHOW ME, THE FAR

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VEGAN GOES MAINSTREAM

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o you think moving to a plantbased diet means trading in makeup for a tree house in the woods? Callie England, 28, cringes at such “granola” and “hippie” stereotypes. After all, the former creative director is partial to hot pink lipstick and matching nail polish. Three years ago, England began to write a blog (callieengland.com) about her healthy lifestyle changes. As her blog caught on, she decided to merge her interests in package design, branding, food and health. Rawxies — a cross between “raw” and “foxy” — are oat-based, heartshaped treats aimed at the mainstream consumer looking for a healthy snacking indulgence rather than a Clif-style energy bar power lift. But Rawxies are gluten-free, soy-free and made with palm sugar, which gives them a low glycemic index. England’s nutritional goal — which is emblazoned on a Rawxies T-shirt — is to get

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more people to “Stop eating crap!” England moved to California to rub elbows with other natural food entrepreneurs. She signed more than 60 accounts in just 16 months, but when the Bay Area Whole Foods came knocking, she decided it was time for her to hightail it back home, where a spacious and affordable East Bottoms facility will allow her to crank up production from 300 handmade hearts to 4,200 machine-extruded hearts per hour. “What I thought was the land of opportunity was saturated and expensive. The land of opportunity is here in the Midwest,” says England, who grew up in Jefferson City and graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute. Rawxies will relaunch this month with three flavors: banana nut bread, mint chocolate chip and lemon poppy seed. Suggested retail price is $2.50 for a 1.65 ounce package. Available at Cosentino’s and select Hy-Vee stores.

addie Earnest coowns two grocery stores and three cafes in the St. Louis area that she operates under the name Local Harvest. For all five businesses, Earnest tries to source 50 percent or more of the inventory from local farmers and producers, which means she spends a lot of time with growers. Last year she decided to compile the information she had gathered about small farms into a book called “Missouri Harvest: A Guide to Growers and Producers in the Show-Me State” ($18 at Green Acres Market). One of the first things she learned was that Missouri is second only to Texas in number of small farms, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Earnest’s book, which she co-wrote with Liz Fathman, is divided by region. Readers will recognize some of the Kansas City area entries — Bad Seed Urban Farm, for example, and Local Pig. But the guide also highlights lesser known nearby growers such as Prairie Birthday Farm in Kearney, Mo., which supplies heirloom and native fruits and vegetables to local restaurants. Recipes from farmers for classic and heirloom Missouri vegetables complement the grower listings.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


MERS

SHOW ME, THE FAR

M

VEGAN GOES MAINSTREAM

S

o you think moving to a plantbased diet means trading in makeup for a tree house in the woods? Callie England, 28, cringes at such “granola” and “hippie” stereotypes. After all, the former creative director is partial to hot pink lipstick and matching nail polish. Three years ago, England began to write a blog (callieengland.com) about her healthy lifestyle changes. As her blog caught on, she decided to merge her interests in package design, branding, food and health. Rawxies — a cross between “raw” and “foxy” — are oat-based, heartshaped treats aimed at the mainstream consumer looking for a healthy snacking indulgence rather than a Clif-style energy bar power lift. But Rawxies are gluten-free, soy-free and made with palm sugar, which gives them a low glycemic index. England’s nutritional goal — which is emblazoned on a Rawxies T-shirt — is to get

12

more people to “Stop eating crap!” England moved to California to rub elbows with other natural food entrepreneurs. She signed more than 60 accounts in just 16 months, but when the Bay Area Whole Foods came knocking, she decided it was time for her to hightail it back home, where a spacious and affordable East Bottoms facility will allow her to crank up production from 300 handmade hearts to 4,200 machine-extruded hearts per hour. “What I thought was the land of opportunity was saturated and expensive. The land of opportunity is here in the Midwest,” says England, who grew up in Jefferson City and graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute. Rawxies will relaunch this month with three flavors: banana nut bread, mint chocolate chip and lemon poppy seed. Suggested retail price is $2.50 for a 1.65 ounce package. Available at Cosentino’s and select Hy-Vee stores.

addie Earnest coowns two grocery stores and three cafes in the St. Louis area that she operates under the name Local Harvest. For all five businesses, Earnest tries to source 50 percent or more of the inventory from local farmers and producers, which means she spends a lot of time with growers. Last year she decided to compile the information she had gathered about small farms into a book called “Missouri Harvest: A Guide to Growers and Producers in the Show-Me State” ($18 at Green Acres Market). One of the first things she learned was that Missouri is second only to Texas in number of small farms, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Earnest’s book, which she co-wrote with Liz Fathman, is divided by region. Readers will recognize some of the Kansas City area entries — Bad Seed Urban Farm, for example, and Local Pig. But the guide also highlights lesser known nearby growers such as Prairie Birthday Farm in Kearney, Mo., which supplies heirloom and native fruits and vegetables to local restaurants. Recipes from farmers for classic and heirloom Missouri vegetables complement the grower listings.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


PIZZA LAB: A LESSON IN FOOD SAFETY FIRST

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hef Bryan Severns grabs a fistful of pizza dough and gently stretches it until he can almost see his fingertips on the other side. “You can check the dough by ‘pulling a window pane,’ ” Severns tells 17 Forest View Elementary third-graders who are on a field trip to the gleaming, state-of-the-art K-State kitchens in Olathe. The window trick helps bakers determine when the gluten development is complete. The surface of the dough should be smooth, like a Latex glove.

If it tears easily, the dough requires more mixing. Students, teachers and chaperones wearing aprons and hairnets are assigned to various stations around the kitchen to weigh flour, mix it into dough, portion it, roll it, top it and, finally, eat it. A GPS might not know the way to 22201 W. Innovation Drive, home of the $28 million, 108,000-square-foot International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute building, but since Au-

gust 2011 more than 3,300 students from across Johnson County have found the campus kitchens, which include cooking spaces for consumer sensory testing, as well as a theater kitchen and classrooms. There are plans to add a working restaurant, but Severns stresses K-State is not trying to run a culinary school in Johnson County. “We try to use food as a vehicle to teach food safety, science and technology.”

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 13


TART FRUIT MEETS ONE SWEET CAKE

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o matter how you say it — to-MAY-to or to-MAH-to, save room for You Say Tomato’s tasty Grapefruit Cake ($5.95 per slice). Luscious layer cakes by co-owner Mark Wingard sit atop the counter under cake domes. Wingard has made the grapefruit cake recipe — originally from the Brown Derby, a chain of restaurants started in 1920s Los Angeles — his own. He says it gets better if it can sit a day before it’s eaten. “If you can wait that long,” he adds. You Say Tomato, in Kansas City’s Longfellow/Dutch Hill neighborhood, is a warm hang-out/diner/coffee shop/ art gallery/grocery store that feeds workers from Hospital Hill, Hallmark and Crown Center. But word of mouth has spread to Johnson County, pulling in weekend brunch devotees who clamor for one of the small diner’s eclectic seating arrangements, including one featuring Grandma’s yellow Formica table. Wingard and co-owner Randy Parks grew up in western Kansas. “We grew up living farm to table, and it took a village of extended family to feed us,” Wingard says. “We still believe in food that uses local and organic ingredients, and especially after we first opened, it took the support of our village — neighbors and friends — to help feed the people coming in.” You Say Tomato serves only breakfast and lunch and is known for making everything from scratch. Wingard’s soup and quiche warm the fall/winter menu, but as spring gives way to summer, the food reflects fresh ingredients brought in from Goode Acres, a small farm in Wathena, Kan.

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THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


You Say Tomato Grapefruit Cake Makes 12 servings For the cake: 2 large red-ruby grapefruits 6 room-temperature eggs, separated 1 ⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 1⁄2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 2 teaspoons salt 1 ⁄2 cup water 1 ⁄2 cup vegetable oil 1 lemon, zested For the citrus cream cheese frosting: 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 ⁄2 cup butter, softened 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice 1 ⁄2 teaspoon grapefruit zest 4 cups confectioners’ sugar To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of 2 (9-inch) cake pans with parchment paper, each cut into a 9-inch circle. Set pans aside. Working over a bowl, zest 1 grapefruit and set aside for use in frosting. Using a sharp knife, cut skin and pith off both grapefruits. Working over a clean mixing bowl and using a sharp knife, cut out each segment of grapefruit between the membranes. Place all segments from 2 grapefruits on paper towels to absorb extra moisture. Set aside until ready to assemble cake. After all segments have been cut from grapefruits, squeeze the leftover membranes over bowl to extract juice. Yield should be 9 tablespoons of juice, adding additional water as needed, for divided use in cake batter and frosting. Set aside juice and compost grapefruit membranes. In a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed. Set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt

on lowest speed. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk water, vegetable oil, 6 tablespoons fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, lemon zest and egg yolks together by hand. With mixer running on low, slowly add wet ingredients to flour mixture until well incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Batter will be thick. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into batter. Evenly pour batter between two prepared cake pans and bake for 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center. Allow cakes to cool 10 minutes in pans, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely. To make the frosting: While cakes are cooling, in a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese, butter, 3 tablespoons remaining grapefruit juice and zest, using an electric mixer on medium speed. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar until frosting is a spreadable consistency. If frosting becomes too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. To assemble the cake: Slice both cooled cake rounds horizontally, using a serrated knife, yielding 4 cake layers. Place bottom layer on serving cake platter or stand and spread with frosting. Place one-quarter of fresh grapefruit segments on frosting and top with unfrosted cake round. Continue process of frosting and topping with grapefruit segments until all 4 cake rounds have been frosted and final grapefruit segments are decoratively placed on top. Cover with cake dome and cool in refrigerator before serving. Per serving: 635 calories (37 percent from fat), 26 grams total fat (11 grams saturated), 147 milligrams cholesterol, 94 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 648 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

RAISING THE BAR ON VEGAN CHOCOLATE

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rowing up, Zachary Manos, 20, satisfied his sweet tooth with chocolate from André’s Confiserie Suisse. While attending the University of MissouriKansas City’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Innovation, he started Manos Chocolates, a company that makes raw, vegan and stoneground chocolates. The chocolate bar line has six flavors: Original (70 percent cacao), Day Dreams (white chocolate with cacao nibs), Citrus Hibiscus (70 percent), Black Ice (peppermint and Hawaiian black salt), Helio Mylk (55 percent with sprouted sunflower) and Helio Light (white chocolate, coconut sugar, superfoods lucuma and maca, plus vanilla powder). So what makes a chocolate bar raw and vegan? Manos does not heat his cocoa butter above 118 degrees. Instead of sweetening the bars with raw cane sugar, Manos uses coconut

sap, which has a low glycemic index. Instead of cow’s milk byproducts, he uses ground sunflower seeds. Eager to cover all his bases, Manos is finetuning a vegan candy bar line designed to mimic Milky Ways, Snickers, Butterfingers and Crunch Bars and is researching a superfoods line of chocolate with “mood elevating stuff” like mucuna, a tropical bean, and ashwagandha, an exotic Indian herb used to relieve stress. Bars are $6 each at Nature’s Own, Nature’s Pantry, Little Freshie and the Merc in Lawrence. He also sells caramels enrobed in raw vegan chocolate (think Rolos, $3) and nut-free Helio Cups (filled with “peanut butter” made from sprouted sunflower seed butter and mesquite powder that Manos describes as “pretty deceiving” in terms of texture and flavor, 2 for $3).

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 15


TURNING A LENS ON THE BARBECUE CAPITAL

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istory buff Kevin Fossland (center) and filmmaker Martin Diggs (left) of Burnt Ends Media snag a table at the original Arthur Bryant’s during a recent lunch rush. The longtime JJ’s servers look relieved to sit down, breaking for at least a few minutes from the tidal wave of social media and whirlwind of benefits planned in the aftermath of the restaurant’s fiery explosion. But when manager Willis Simpson (right) stops by their table they can’t

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help but perk up, slipping into interview mode for their 90-minute barbecue documentary. “What’s your documentary called?” Simpson asks. Diggs hesitates. “Right now we’re calling it ‘The Kansas City Barbecue Documentary.’ We don’t want to commit until we’ve done more interviews, because someone might say something that gives us the name while we’re filming.” “Someone already said, ‘The white bread is the napkin,’ ” Fossland adds.

“Right now, that’s pretty good, but who knows what we are going to come up with?” Fossland and Diggs, both 40-somethings, grew up in Kansas City and, like most of us, have until recently taken Kansas City’s barbecue culture for granted. “We were shocked at how little information there was out there,” Fossland says. “Take the Food Network or the Travel Channel. Almost all of that is about restaurants. There is not much about the whole barbe-

cue culture. It’s constantly going on at sporting events and in backyards and at churches, but no one has told that story. We keep learning stuff every time we turn around.” Fossland and Diggs are soliciting stories from residents. They also want to dedicate their film to close friend and fellow JJ’s server Megan Cramer, who died in the explosion. “She is part of the project,” says Diggs, who calls her one of the project’s earliest supporters and his “guardian angel.”

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


NO NEED TO HIDE THESE FLASKS

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BIGGER, BUT NOT TOO BIG

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or a lot of small artisanal producers, success can present a quandary: How big is too big? Popular custom cake and pastry purveyor Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott faced that dilemma when it outgrew its previous location in Leawood. Mother and daughter owners Vicki and Natasha Goellner were determined to protect the artisanal nature of their business when they decided to split the production and retail parts of their business, leasing a storefront on the Country Club

Plaza and production space in Waldo. “My husband talked about getting special equipment so we can make thousands of things, but we don’t want to be a factory. We want to be a boutique business,” Vicki Goellner says. The Goellners have added production staff to keep up with increasing cakes and retail sales, but the work environment still feels intimate. “We are all in there baking together,” Natasha Goellner says. “We are still very hands-on.”

t the Jacobson, a newish cocktail temple in the Crossroads Arts District, the flask has been elevated from humble to haute. Mixologists are funneling original craft cocktails into 8.5-ounce or 17-ounce clear glass flasks, which are then set in an ice-filled silver bowl in the middle of the table. A server pours out the first drink into glasses filled with rocks that guests can then refill on their own. “We’re part of the huge craft cocktail movement in Kansas City and the flask service gives us a way to showcase that and also set ourselves apart,” wine program director Ashley Robison says. Five of the 10 specialty cocktails on the menu are offered in flask service, including the Perfect Sailor, made with Sailor Jerry rum, fresh lime, prickly pear puree, fresh mint and spice, and the Long Kiss Goodnight, featuring Long Shot white whiskey, port, cherry liqueur, apple bitters and zest. A large flask contains about six drinks and costs $32. A small flask, which is equivalent to about three drinks, is $18.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 17


FRIED CHICKEN TO CROW ABOUT

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hef Colby Garrelts returns to his food roots at his newly opened restaurant, Rye, in Leawood. Named after a grain grown in fields near Garrelts’ childhood home in western Kansas, the restaurant created by the multiple James Beard Award-nominated chef and his wife, Megan, Rye’s pastry chef, cooks in the comfort zone. “I’m just a kid from Kansas, trying to make the food I know best,” Garrelts says.

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“The whole reason I started cooking in the first place is because it’s fun to eat, too.” Rye’s hearty dishes — steaks, fried catfish, deviled eggs, corn muffins, mashed potatoes and gravy — are made with a thoroughly modern, Midwestern sensibility using seasonal, organic ingredients. But it’s Rye’s fried chicken that has diners clucking. “Our recipe was inspired by the fried

chicken I ate at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee,” Garrelts says. “I literally hounded the cook, who was from Arkansas, for the recipe, and she finally told me how to make the slurry, which is the secret behind the chicken’s flaky crust.” Rye’s fried chicken is a three-step process, starting with 48 hours in the refrigerator. The restaurant fries 1,000 pounds of fresh, organic, free-range Amish hens from Ohio every week. The dish has been

so well-received that Garrelts says they are considering adding another fryer to the kitchen. Think of Rye as a taste of Grandma’s gastronomy. The menu will change to reflect what’s in season, but the fried chicken will remain yearround.

@Go to KansasCity.com for video of Colby Garrelts frying chicken.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


Rye’s Fried Chicken Makes 1 chicken or 8 pieces 1 fresh, organic frying chicken, cut into 8 pieces For the brine: 6 cups water 1 ⁄4 cup salt 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons honey 4 bay leaves 15 whole cloves 2 1⁄4 teaspoons pepper 1 ⁄3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves 1 ⁄3 cup roughly chopped fresh thyme with stems 1 lemon, zested and juiced For the slurry: 2 cups all-purpose flour 4 cups water 4 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons garlic powder 4 tablespoons table salt 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper 4 teaspoons black pepper For the dredging mixture: 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 1⁄2 tablespoons garlic powder 2 1⁄2 tablespoons onion powder 2 teaspoons paprika 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 1 ⁄2 teaspoon black pepper 2 1⁄2 teaspoons table salt For frying: 1 (48-ounce) bottle vegetable oil Place chicken pieces into a jumbo-sized resealable plastic bag. Set aside. To make the brine: Into a large saucepot, whisk water, salt, sugar, honey, bay leaves, cloves, pepper, parsley, thyme and lemon juice and zest together. Stir over medium heat on stovetop until sugar and salt dissolve and mixture starts to simmer. Take off heat and allow to cool. Pour liquid into plastic bag over chicken, seal and place in refrigerator for 24 hours, periodically turning bag, so all pieces remain in brine. Remove chicken from brine and rinse with water. Pat dry with paper towels and put chicken pieces on a wire rack, placed on a baking sheet. Put uncovered rack of chicken back into refrigerator for another 24 hours, to allow skin to dry out.

To make the slurry: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, water, baking powder, garlic powder, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Place brined and refrigerated chicken into mixture for 5 minutes. To make the dredging mixture: In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt. To prepare chicken: Remove chicken from slurry and coat each piece separately in dredging mixture. Place chicken pieces, one by one, on a clean baking sheet, allowing the dredging mixture to set. Pour enough vegetable oil into a 14-inch cast-iron pan so that it comes within 1 inch of the top of the skillet. Warm oil over medium-high heat on stovetop until it reaches 350 degrees when tested with an oil thermometer. (If you don’t have a large enough cast-iron skillet, you can use two pans, or fry chicken in batches. Do not crowd chicken in pans.) Using tongs, carefully add dredged chicken to oil. Keep monitoring oil to maintain a consistent temperature by adjusting heat. Add breasts and thighs to pan first, followed by legs and wings. Using tongs, turn chicken as needed to avoid over-browning. Smaller pieces may take 10 to 15 minutes, while larger pieces may need to fry 20 minutes. Fry until an instant-read meat thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted into thickest parts of chicken without touching the bone. Remove chicken from oil and drain on paper towels. Place chicken in an oven-safe dish and keep warm in an oven set to 170 degrees or bring immediately to table. Per serving, including skin: 562 calories (75 percent from fat), 47 grams total fat (6 grams saturated), 45 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams protein, 620 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

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FRESH FROM THE BASEMEN

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he basement of Anton’s Taproom is a laboratory for local food production. A matrix of pots of fresh herbs are vertically tiered across one wall under grow lights. Six hundred tilapia swim in a 1,000-gallon tank, destined to become fish tacos. Tendrils of Malabar spinach are trellised up the walls above the tank. “I’ve always had a green thumb,” says owner Anton Kotar, a general contractor who grows orchids and other tropical plants for fun. When the spring comes, Kotar plans to plant peach and pear trees as well as

strawberry plants and blueberry bushes along the back fence of the property line, using nutrient-rich fish waste to fertilize them. In a basement cooler, locally raised, grass-fed Black Angus sides dry-age for 28 days. The steaks are hand-cut and sold by the ounce in the dining room or from the restaurant’s retail meat case. Kotar is considering buying his own cattle to supply the restaurant. In the meantime, he is working with ranchers to develop natural feeds designed to alter beef’s flavor and fat content.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 19


TRUCKIN’ INDOORS

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ost people in Kansas City associate the Good You with a shiny metal trailer with a green-leaf logo that serves up the boldly named Kansas City’s Best Burger. But lucky for us in this winter of two major snow events, you don’t have to stand on the sidewalk to eat owner Kelli Daniels’ upscale homage to the Big Mac. That’s because Daniels has partnered with Jennifer Tucker, owner of the Point, to cook inside the longtime West Plaza neighborhood hangout with high ceilings, exposed brick walls and a long cozy wooden bar. “Kelli was a great fit because made-from-scratch is what I’m all about. Freezer to fryer is just not in my blood,” Tucker says. Deviled farm-fresh eggs with smoked salmon, brick oven pizzas, a Caesar salad “classic, unfooled around with” and Perfect Nachos with house-made nacho cheese instead of the out-of-a-can goo are some of Good You at the Point’s better bar food offerings. And, of course, the burger — “voted best burger on Earth by everyone in America” the menu explains. Daniels hand-forms an 8-ounce Angus patty, sears it on a seasoned grill and tops it with cheese, lettuce and special sauce on a sesame seed brioche bun. Note: Kansas City’s Best Burger is served “the best way or no way.” It comes very pink in the middle, so if you don’t like that, order the “Your Burger” instead and specify medium well. Daniels says the truck, which still makes appearances at special events, was never intended to be the final incarnation of the Good You, but a vehicle, literally, for building her brand. Judging from her large followings on Facebook and Twitter, Daniels knows as much about marketing as bodacious burgers.

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Go to KansasCity.com for video of Kelli Daniels jazzing up a BLT.

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THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


IT’S OFFICIAL: HE’S A BEER GEEK

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eil Witte is just the sort of down-to-earth guy you’d be proud to call a beer drinking buddy. Last fall, Witte became one of only six people in the United States who has achieved the title of master cicerone (rhymes with abalone). Although the title may sound a bit hoity-toity, it is beer’s equivalent to the wine world’s master sommelier. To earn the honor, Witte put his encyclopedic craft brew knowledge and keen palate to the test. The grueling two-day affair included 10 hours of written questions, two hours of oral

questions and two hours of beer tasting and evaluation. “Beer styles was probably my weakest area,” says Witte, who works as field quality assurance manager for Boulevard Brewing Co. Those who take the exam use a 19-page syllabus as a study guide. Witte, who has degrees in German and philosophy, is no stranger to the rigors of study, and his years as a brewer certainly helped him with some of the more technical aspects of the brewing process. Still, it took him three attempts to pass the exam.

“The level of detail required is mind-boggling,” he says. “You really have to live it and breathe it.” Cicerone certification became available in 2007. There are three levels: certified beer server (18,500 people), certified cicerone (650 people) and master cicerone (36 attempts, but only six have passed). “Elevating beer knowledge is necessary for the craft beer industry to grow,” Witte says of his efforts. “My certification will help me help people find what they like. I think there is a beer out there for everyone.”

FRENCH CONNECTION

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t sounds like a joke: So there’s this guy in Overland Park making French wine with grapes from his own vineyard. Only it’s true. Karl Calini is originally from Nimes in southern France. He met his future wife when he was an exchange student at Grandview High School in 1993-1994 and decided to stay in the area. Three years ago, Calini decided to start a company with a friend from church, Jerry Kenefake, to bottle wine made from French grapes and sell it in the U.S. A year later, he bought a vineyard in his hometown, which is in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. While Calini tinkered with the wines — he travels to France three or four times a year — Kenefake tapped into his background running a marketing firm to create a memorable name and logo. The Bourgeois Pig wines feature a cartoon pig in top hat and tails sporting a monocle and walking stick. Eye-catching labels and real French wine for $9.99 a bottle is as charming a combination as Brie and baguette, and orders are rolling in from a dozen states. Calini makes six wines: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, a red blend (Syrah and Grenache), Chardonnay and Viognier. The wines are sold at several area liquor stores, including Gomer’s in Lenexa and Lee’s Summit, Lukas Liquors and Lionsgate Liquor. THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 21


A DEVILISHLY GOOD ANGEL FOOD CAKE

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ne dreamy forkful of this angel food cake might leave you wondering: “Is this what heaven is like?” “It’s just a little slice of heaven on earth,” says Guerric Letter, a monk, priest and the assistant kitchen manager at Conception Abbey in Nodaway County. The abbey is home to 60 Benedictine monks. Their self-sufficient kitchen is key to the rich monastic tradition of feeding its community. Letter helps prep three squares a day for at least 150 people on weekdays or up to 600 people on weekends, but he’s also enrolled in the culinary program at Johnson County Community

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College. At school, Letter sheds his priestly cleric vestments for a chef’s coat, but his dream is to become a certified pastry chef and sell sweet treats nationally to help the abbey remain self-sustaining. Cookies and granola are likely candidates for shipping, but for a taste of Letter’s devilishly good cake, you would have to venture to the abbey. Until now: This recipe was handed down to Letter by Marianne Schnabl, a childhood neighbor from Black Creek, Wis., where he grew up the youngest of 11 children. The original recipe most likely required whisking egg whites by hand.

Heavenly Angel Food Cake With Fluffy Frosting Makes 10 servings For the cake: 10 large egg whites, at room temperature 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 ⁄2 teaspoon almond extract 1 3⁄4 cups sugar 1 cup sifted cake flour For the frosting: 1 1⁄2 cups sugar 1 ⁄2 cup water 1 ⁄2 cup light corn syrup 2 egg whites, at room temperature 1 ⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites until frothy, using a stand electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Add salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla and almond extracts to egg whites. Continue to whip egg whites until they form stiff peaks, but do not overbeat. With mixer set on medium speed, slowly add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until entire amount is whipped into egg whites. Slowly incorporate flour, ¼ cup at a time, by hand using a balloon whisk, taking care not to deflate egg white/sugar mixture. Carefully transfer batter to a round, angel food tube pan. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and immediately invert pan until cake has

completely cooled. Turn out cake onto cake plate. To make the frosting: In a large sauce pan, whisk sugar, water and corn syrup together over medium heat. Stop whisking when sugar is dissolved and syrup mixture comes up to a simmer. While syrup mixture continues to heat on stovetop, in a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites until frothy, using a stand electric mixer with a cleaned whisk attachment. Add cream of tartar and whip until stiff peaks form. Check syrup mixture on stovetop. Using a candy thermometer, mixture should reach the thread stage, between 230 and 235 degrees. Also, mixture can be taken off heat when syrup drips off spoon in threads, as opposed to round droplets. With mixer set on medium speed, slowly add hot syrup to whipped egg whites. Continue whipping mixture for 7 minutes. Frosting should be glossy and thick. Add vanilla extract and whip until incorporated. Spread frosting on cooled angel food cake. Allow frosting to set before cutting into it using a serrated knife. Per serving: 363 calories (none from fat), trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 87 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 140 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


RE A F R E IK B O -T R E K BAN

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hef Scott Welsch trained at the Culinary Institute of America and cut his chops working for fine hotels in Hawaii and Kansas City before starting his own catering business 10 years ago. But he found he craved the instant gratification of serving good, fromscratch meals to strangers walking in off the street. So last April, Welsch opened Orange Box across the street from the Roasterie. The neighborhood that’s home to warehouses, businesses and a few modest homes is hardly a foodie destination. But last year’s opening of the Roasterie factory café drew in droves of downtown office workers and artists. As a result, bank presidents and bikers now sit side by side at tables inside the funky dining room, whose focal point is a floor-to-ceiling chalkboard listing the daily specials.

Welsch likes the mix. Part of his mission is to push fresh, from-scratch food out of foodie circles and into the blue-collar world. One success story is a group of “scary-looking” biker regulars who always ordered the Frisbee-sized tenderloin sandwich. Over time, Welsch persuaded them to try his other dishes, and now their favorite selection is poached salmon in puff pastry. Except for the tenderloin sandwich, which is offered daily, the menu changes weekly. Another sandwich frequently in rotation is the Cuban, a savory pile of slow-roasted pork belly, shredded pork shoulder, serrano ham, crunchy dill pickles and thin slices of cheese on crusty Italian bread smashed flat on a hot griddle. Orange Box also frequently offers an eight-course chef’s table menu for $45 per person on Friday and Saturday evenings.

CATCHING UP WITH KETCHUP

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rnesto Peralta is taking a page out of Danny O’Neill’s playbook. Peralta’s Blanc Burgers + Bottles has set the standard for local gourmet burgers, but a burger can never match the buzz of O’Neill’s Roasterie coffee. “I can’t put my burger in every grocery store,” Peralta says, “but I can place a ketchup that is at the same level and quality as my burgers. So, to grow the brand, my ultimate goal is to have a bottle of Blanc ketchup in every refrigerator.” To scale up the recipe yet retain the restaurant’s signature flavor, chef Jayson Eggers has been tinkering with amounts of cane sugar, brown sugar and honey to ensure he satisfies Blanc’s fans who crave a ketchup “on the sweeter side.” The ketchup was a popular holiday stocking stuffer, and a chipotle aioli is set to debut this month at the Country Club Plaza and Leawood restaurants. The Blanc condiment line will eventually include lemonlime aioli and horseradish mustard, and Peralta has signed on with a local distributor to get the products into supermarkets in the coming months. Suggested retail price: $4.95.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 23


WHERE BUTCHERING IS A HANDS-ON AFFAIR

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n a lazy Sunday afternoon, a steady stream of folks travel off the beaten path to the Local Pig, a year-old charcuterie and meat shop in the industrial East Bottoms. As customers order eggs, sausages and roasts, a popular hands-on, whole-hog butchering class gets under way. The class members (lots of burly guys and Sara Honan, the petite owner of the national awardwinning Broadway Café) gather around the butcher-block table where the carcass of a Berkshire/Duroc cross from J.J. Green’s Bell Farms in Higginsville, Mo., has been laid to rest. “Chose your weapon and let’s get going,” Local Pig owner Alex Pope (second from right) jokes. Pope runs his hand over the generous fat cap on the 100-pound sides, proudly adding that the heritage hog was raised on an all-natural, hormone-free diet of corn and silage. “It’s like hogs used to be 50 years ago, before confinement operations,” he says. Like a sculpture chiseled from stone, the first pieces to emerge from the hog are the primal cuts, hunks of meat that follow the natural lines of the animal’s appendages. Toward the end of the two-hour class, members begin to recognize more familiar consumer cuts such as pork chops, ribs or bacon. New York chefs quoted in a recent New York Times story about Local Pig questioned the wisdom (and cringed at the potential liability) of handing a knife over to a consumer. Pope shrugs: “How else are people going to get a real feel for the art of butchering?” Whole-hog butchering classes cost $100 and include 10 pounds of fresh pork to take home. The introduction to sausage-making class is $65, with sausages to go.

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KC’S FOOD COMMUNITY MIXES IT UP

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he month of January is typically a time for Slow Food Kansas City to sponsor a new membership drive. But after Mike Hursey of Casa Somerset Bed & Breakfast and Jamie Milks of Everyday Organic Cookery served as delegates to the organization’s Terra Madre initiative, it was time to try a new tactic. If Terra Madre (literally translated Mother Earth) was able to bring together 5,000 delegates from 130 countries to Turin, Italy, why not use the same spirit of networking to bring leaders of Kansas City’s food nonprofits together?

The potluck format does not require a joining fee, and there is no formal agenda. The mixer attracted an eclectic array of foodies — farmers, ranchers, food purveyors, chefs, restaurateurs, winery owners, food policy experts, nutritionists and consumers — to rub elbows and discuss pet projects. “We want to be a resource,” Milks says. “We want to help make a food system that is healthy, just and tastes good.” More get-togethers are planned for this year. Check slowfoodkc.org for dates.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


RARE BEER, $5 A GLASS

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conventional notion in the restaurant industry is to not create demand unless you are sure you can satisfy it. Haus, a German restaurant and Old World beer emporium that favors German spellings, has turned that idea on its head with monthly Rare Bier Tappings. The tappings were the brainchild of Desmond Carr, one of Haus’ four own-

ers. In building the restaurant’s impressive list of imported beers, Carr learned that many brews he was interested in had extremely limited availability. Some are shipped just once a year on a container ship, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Instead of turning down interesting beers that could not be purchased in large enough quantities to put on the

permanent menu, Carr brings in one scarce beer a month and sells it for $5 a glass until it runs out. “It lets customers taste beers they won’t find anywhere else in town at a price that takes the risk out of it. If you don’t like it, you’re only out $5,” Carr says. Call the restaurant to check availability of the rare pours.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 25


FIND COMFORT IN MEXICAN SOUL FOOD

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hef Patrick Ryan started serving up chilaquiles — strips of tortilla sauteed with salsa verde and chorizo then topped with an egg — from a 36-foot Airstream trailer he named Port Fonda (portfondakc.com) in the summer of 2011. Last June he opened a brick-andmortar restaurant of the same name in Westport. Even though he elevated and expanded his menu, he still serves chilaquiles.

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“When you have your own restaurant, you can only hope for a signature dish that successfully connects with people,” Ryan says. “Chilaquiles aren’t usually found on local restaurant menus, but are Mexican soul food that can be eaten anytime of the day or night.” Ryan prepares his version of Mexican cuisine using tricks of the trade he learned from Hispanic cooks when he worked the line at his first food job at Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant in Stan-

ley, in Johnson County, when he was 15. After attending the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Ryan channeled his love for Mexican cuisine into is work with chef Rick Bayless at Chicago’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. From the beginning, Port Fonda’s food seemed destined for success. “Before I even moved back to Kansas City, I wanted to have a place named Port Fonda because that was one of the names rejected for our city when it was

being incorporated in the 1800s,” he says. “The funny thing is that John McCoy — the father of Kansas City — wanted the settlement around his Westport Landing to be named Port Fonda, which is where the restaurant is located.”

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Go to KansasCity.com for video of Port Fonda chef Patrick Ryan making chilaquiles.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


Chilaquiles

YOUR GRANDPA’S BUTCHER SHOP

Makes 2 servings 1 ⁄4 pound chorizo sausage 30 corn tortilla chips 2 cups salsa verde 2 tablespoons butter 2 eggs For garnish: Sour cream Cilantro leaves Diced onion Powdered chile de arbol In a large sauté pan, fry sausage over medium-high heat until cooked through. Add tortilla chips and salsa to pan and stir until all ingredients are hot. Tortilla chips should be soft, but not mushy. Turn heat down to low to keep warm. In a separate skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan and fry sunny-side up, spooning butter over top of each egg as it fries. Assemble dish by evenly dividing sausage/tortilla mixture onto two plates. Place each egg atop the mixture. Garnish each plate with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of cilantro leaves and diced onion. Sprinkle powdered chile de arbol over all. Note: Recipe can be easily doubled to serve 4. Cooked, shredded chicken can also be substituted for chorizo. Per serving: 622 calories (67 percent from fat), 45 grams total fat (18 grams saturated), 293 milligrams cholesterol, 29 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams protein, 1,773 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

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reg Madouras’ grandfather was a butcher, so it seemed a natural progression that he moved from sacker to checker to meat cutter at the Jegens United Super in Stanley in Johnson County. “We broke sides of meat and did custom cuts for customers, so I got a good background in where the cuts come from,” Madouras says. His career path led him to the Price Chopper group, where he worked as a meat manager for 18 years. But over the years, the business changed. “The sides went away and in came the box meat.” Now Madouras is owner/operator of Broadway Butcher Shop, a full-service meat store next door to Gomer’s, whose owners are partners in the business. The building itself feels old-timey with its tin ceiling and elaborate woodwork, but the throwback draw for customers is the service. “Some customers come in with a picture or a drawing of a piece of meat, and I try to mimic that,” Madouras says. He also makes his own sausage in a giant mechanical grinder behind the front counter. In other aspects, Broadway Butcher Shop is very much in tune with the zeitgeist. All the beef is antibiotic-free, and some of the steaks are USDA prime, which has become more difficult to find in recent years as consumers have expressed a preference for lean. The store has no website but has a Facebook page where Madouras posts photos of the wild linecaught fish he flies in overnight from Hawaii. “People look at their Facebook five or six times a day. Those posts really bring customers into the store.”

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Go to KansasCity.com for video of Greg Madouras making sausage.

BEER BYPRODUCTS MAKE BETTER STEAK

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attle across the nation are fattening up on a diet that includes spent grains — the fibrous leftovers from the brewing process. Every couple of days an 18-ton truck drives up to the Boulevard Brewing Co. plant on Southwest Boulevard and hooks up hoses to empty a silo of spent grain. The grain is hauled to Nunemak-

er-Ross Farms in Lawrence, where it is fed to a herd of about 900 head of cattle. Nunemaker-Ross Farms sells its finished cattle to Bichelmeyer Meats in Kansas City, Kan. “If you sit down and have a beer and a steak, you have closed the loop on spent grain,” says Boulevard’s lead brewer, Craig Pijanowski.

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YEAR OF THE CHINESE COCKTAIL, KANSAS CITY-STYLE

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ost “Asian” cocktails such as the Singapore sling or the mai tai were created for vacationing American and European tourists, since the cocktail is a Western tradition. But given the burgeoning craft cocktail movement in Kansas City, Richard Ng, the Hong-Kong-born co-owner of Bo Ling’s, wasn’t content to serve only touristy concoctions at his new Plaza restaurant, which has one of the most alluring bars in the city with its red leather seats, hypnotic blue-backlit liquor shelves and piped-in Chinese music. Ng worked with bar manager Danielle Bales to develop signature cocktails based on traditional

Chinese ingredients. The first step in their collaboration was creating infusions of vodka and Chinese herbs such as ginseng, chrysanthemum blossoms, hawthorn berries and goji berries. Ng drank sweetened chrysanthemum iced tea as a child in China, so the first cocktail he and Bales created was a refreshing combination of chrysanthemum-infused vodka, simple syrup, soda water and fresh mint, shaken with ice. “This is a very fragrant drink and not too heavy. You can drink this all night,” Ng says. Bales expects to have four or five of the craft cocktails on the menu this month.

BARTENDERS IN THE MIX

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lice Waters’ farm-to-table revolution put a laser focus on the freshness and quality of ingredients chefs used in the kitchen. These days a similar shake-up is going on behind the bar. Take chef Renee Kelly’s Harvest, one of the newest farm-to-table restaurants to open in Johnson County. Kelly has tasked bartender Loren Murrell with creating a locavore bar. In some ways the task is both easier and harder than Murrell imagined. Finding local brews was easy: Boulevard (Kansas City), Tall Grass (Manhattan, Kan.), Free State (Lawrence), Mother’s Lil Helper (Springfield, Mo.) and even Schlafly (St. Louis) fill the glass nicely. Local wines, including Somerset Ridge (Louisburg, Kan.), and Holy Field (Basehor, Kan.) also are coming on. But when it comes to artisanal spirits, there are fewer options. Murrell (and plenty of other bartenders across the metro) are eagerly awaiting the first releases from Dark Horse Distillery in Lenexa later this year. In the meantime, Murrell is busy mixing up fresh juices, shrubs, infusions made from locally grown lavender, basil and lemon verbena and house-made bitters, tonic and ginger beer, the new basics that will give his list of specialty and classic cocktails a sense of place.

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THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


HE KNOWS CHEESE THAT WILL PLEASE

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incoln Broadbooks is the first to admit you don’t see the job description “cheesemonger” on a lot of resumes these days. Last August, the soft-spoken cheese whiz who grew up eating Kraft cheddar passed an inaugural exam administered by the American Cheese Society. That makes the manager of the Better Cheddar gourmet/specialty store in Prairie Village the only certified cheese professional in a six state area. The three-hour, 150-question multiple-choice exam covered topics rang-

ing from the raw ingredients and science of cheesemaking to storing, handling, selecting, marketing and communicating about cheese. “I guess I’m a geek, but I don’t want to be intimidating,” he says. “There are 200 to 250 cheeses in the shop at any one time, and that makes a lot of people’s eyes glaze over.” To sell cheese, Broadbooks asks leading questions: Do you prefer hard or soft? What type of milk do you prefer? Are you looking for something with a full or mild flavor? He’s also an

advocate for American-made cheese. “There are some really good American cheeses, usually copies of something in Europe, but we’re starting to get some cheeses that can stand up to their Old World counterparts,” he says. The Kansas/Missouri area is not necessarily a mecca for aspiring artisanal cheesemakers, but Broadbooks has some favorites, such as Green Dirt Farm’s award-winning sheep’s milk cheeses. He also likes Alpine Prairie (raw cow and goat milk) and asiago (raw cow milk) from Skyview Farm in

Pleasanton, Kan.; Flory’s Truckle (raw Jersey cow milk, aged one year) from Milton Creamery in Jamesport, Mo., and Cottonwood River raw cow’s milk cheddar from Jason Wiebe Dairy in Durham, Kan. These cheeses sell for $20 to $30 a pound, which might explain why farmers eager to find a value-added revenue source have started to drop by the store to ask if Broadbooks would consider carrying their products. “There are people out there ready to take the plunge,” he says.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013 29


GRAPES OF DRAFT

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o how would you like your Pinot Noir — out of a bottle or on tap? Brad Harsha of Overland Park left a corporate job a few years ago to start a Missouri wine distributorship. In May 2012 he started Primo Tap, a wine-on-tap system that could revolutionize the way wine by the glass is served. Harsha’s system works much like beer lines. Wine is pushed out of a cask through tubes and dispensed through a tap. As the wine level drops in the cask, nitrogen gas fills the space to prevent the wine from coming into contact with oxygen, so the last glass tastes the same as the first. There are environmental as well as economic benefits to the wine-on-tap system — less glass to recycle, less spoiled wine and no corks. You can knock back a glass of wine on draft at Amigoni Urban Winery’s tasting room, Anton’s Taproom and Affäre.

COOKBOOKS STILL FEED THE NATION’S SOUL

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f you know the name Andrews McMeel Publishing, your first thought is probably humor, as in Calvin & Hobbes, Garfield or Ziggy. But the Kansas City-based company is well on its way to becoming one of the nation’s cookbook publishing powerhouses. Australian-born Kirsty Melville arrived in Kansas City in 2005 after more than a decade at publishing firm Ten Speed Press, based in Berkeley, Calif. As president and publisher of the AM book division, she started the catalog of cookbook titles from scratch. To build credibility, Melville partnered with gourmet experts Sur la Table for a series, then snagged up-andcoming chef John Besh’s “My New Orleans,” edited by Dorothy Kalins, founding editor of Saveur. Melville also has tapped into the local talent pool, publishing several barbecue titles by Ardie Davis and Paul Kirk, including “America’s Best BBQ Homestyle” (out May 7), “Jasper’s Kitchen Cookbook,”

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Judith Fertig’s “Heartland” and the coffee table-worthy “Bluestem: The Cookbook” by chefs Colby and Megan Garrelts. From her current stacks, Melville pulls a farm-to-table favorite: “Japanese Farm Food” by first-time author Nancy Singleton Hachisu. Chockful of recipes and 100 color photos, the volume won a Gourmand World award last year and has been nominated for a prestigious Julia Child award by the Association of International Culinary Professionals (winners will be announced April 9). Such lavish cookbooks are expensive to produce in a world that has become increasingly digital — and drowning in free recipes. Yet Melville refuses to panic: “Cookbooks that are recipe books only are in danger, because you can get those online. But themed, curated books with beautiful photographs? People still want those. They’re a different thing than recipes. They’re keepsakes.”

THE KANSAS CITY STAR. | WWW.KANSASCITY.COM | SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013


RESOURCES Andrews McMeel Publishing: 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106-2109, 800-943-9839, andrewsmcmeel.com Anton’s Taproom: 1610 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64108, 816-888-8800, antonskc.com, Facebook Better Cheddar: Prairie Village Shopping Center, #5 on the mall at 71st and Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS, 913-362-7575, thebettercheddar.com. Also a Country Club Plaza location. Blanc Burgers + Bottles: On the Country Club Plaza, 4710 Jefferson St., Kansas City, MO 64112, 816-931-6200 and 10583 Mission Road, Leawood, KS 66206, 913-381-4500, blancburgers.com, Facebook, Twitter: @blancburgers Blue Bird Bistro: 1700 Summit St., Kansas City, MO 64108, 816-221-7559, bluebirdbistro.com, Facebook Bo Ling’s Plaza: On the Country Club Plaza, 4701 Jefferson St., Kansas City, MO 64112, 816-753-1718, bolings.com, Facebook, Twitter: @bolingsplease Bourgeois Pig wines: Sold at Gomer’s of Kansas, Lionsgate Wine & Spirit, Lukas Liquors and other liquor stores. Boulevard Brewing Co.: 2501 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108, 816-474-7095, boulevard.com, Facebook, Twitter: @boulevard_beer Broadway Butcher Shop: 3828 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111, 816-931-2333, Facebook, Twitter: @butchershopkc Burnt Ends Media filmmakers: burntendsmedia.com, Facebook Conception Abbey: PO Box 501, 37174 State Highway VV, Conception, MO 64433-0501, 660-944-3100, conceptionabbey.org, Facebook, Twitter: @conceptionabbey Eat Barbecue sauces and rubs: Facebook, Twitter: @eatbarbecue. Sold at select Price Choppers. El Tenedor: 913-219-1079, Facebook, Twitter: @eltenedorkc Fine Vines Artisanal Ketchup: 913-451-2525, finevinesketchup.com. Sold at Better Cheddar, Hy-Vee, Cosentino’s markets and select Price Choppers. Good You: Serving food at the Point, 917 W. 44th St., Kansas City, MO 64111, 816-931-7660, Facebook, Twitter: @thegoodyou Haus: 3044 Gillham Road, Kansas City, MO

KC’S STAR COCKTAIL FOR 2013 Bartender extraordinaire Ryan Maybee (see page 11) created a signature cocktail especially for The Star’s Food Issue. The Kansas City Sling features Darkhorse Distillery Reunion Rye made in Lenexa, Averna and a few dashes of Maybee’s smoked bitters. $10 at Manifesto or the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange.

64108, 816-931-8500, hauskc.com, Facebook, Twitter: @dashauskc The Jacobson: 2050 Central St., Kansas City, MO 64108, 816-423-2888, thejacobsonkc.com, Facebook, Twitter: @thejacobsonkc Johnson County Community College: 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66210-1299, 913-469-8500, jccc.edu Jude’s Rum Cake: judesrumcake.com Kansas State University Olathe: 22201 W. Innovation Drive, Olathe, KS 66061, 913-541-1220, olathe.k-state.edu Manifesto: 1924 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64108, 816-536-1325 theriegerkc.com/manifesto, Facebook, Twitter: @manifestokc Manos Chocolates: 816-813-6468, Facebook. Sold at Nature’s Pantry, Nature’s Own and the Merc in Lawrence. “Missouri Harvest” growers guide: missouri-harvest.com, Facebook, Twitter: @missouriharvest. Sold at Green Acres Market. Missouri Restaurant Association: 4049 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 204, Kansas City, MO, 816-753-5222, morestaurants.org, Facebook Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott: 4745 Central St., Kansas City, MO 64112, 816-960-7096, natashasmulberryandmott.com Local Pig: 2618 Guinotte Ave., Kansas City, MO 64120, 816-200-1639, thelocalpig.com, Facebook, Twitter: @thelocalpigkc Orange Box: 2700 Jarboe, Kansas City, MO 64108, 816-756-5200, Facebook Port Fonda: 4141 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO, 64111, 816-216-6462, portfondakc.com, Facebook, Twitter: @portfondakc Primo Tap: primotap.com, Facebook. Tap wines sold at Anton’s Taproom, Affäre and Amigoni Tasting Room. Rawxies: 913-620-2930, rawxies.com Renee Kelly’s Harvest: 12401 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, KS 66216, 913-631-4100, chefreneekelly.com, Facebook Roasterie Factory Café: 1204 W. 27th St., Kansas City, MO 64108, 816-931-4000, theroasterie.com, Facebook, Twitter: @theroasterie Rye: 10551 Mission Road, Leawood, KS, 913-642-5800, ryekc.com, Facebook Slow Food: slowfoodkc.org, Facebook You Say Tomato: 2801 Holmes St., Kansas City, MO 64109, 816-756-5097, ystkc.com, Facebook

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