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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

GKCRA presented 15 scholarships

Kansas City culinary students awarded nearly $34,000 in scholarships in preparation for next generation industry leaders
The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association continues its commitment to education and leadership with scholarship presentations

The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association (GKCRA) presented 15 scholarships to area culinary and hospitality students at the 2015 Gilbert Robinson (GR) Leadership and Awards Dinner presented by Sysco on Sept. 30. The scholarships will help prepare Kansas City’s next generation of hospitality and restaurant leaders as they continue restaurant-industry education.

The GKCRA presented scholarships ranged from $250 to $2,000, in addition to matched funds through the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation and the Missouri Restaurant Association. Because of these matched fund contributions, the GKCRA was able to award a total of $33,900 to Kansas City students seeking a degree or certificate in a hospitality or restaurant-related field.

Scholarship Recipients

James H. Block Scholarship: Named after a Kansas City icon in commercial real estate and restaurant development, Jimmy Block was a pioneer responsible for building, opening and operating franchised restaurants in and around the Kansas City area. Block owned and operated more than 50 restaurants in the Kansas City region and Nevada, including Kansas City’s original franchises for Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
·         Rateb Aburas

Jerry Vincent Scholarship: Jerry Vincent has served the industry for four decades. He started the Hospitality Management Program at Johnson County Community College in 1965 and previously worked as the Membership Director for the Missouri Restaurant Association.
·         George Spotswood

Joe Adelman Scholarship: The Joe Adelman Scholarship is dedicated to encouraging the growth of minorities in the hospitality industry.
·         Kayla Jones

John Joyce Scholarship: As a mentor to many students, John Joyce truly believed that students are the future, therefore creating the scholarship to fund future students’ education in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Joyce is an internationally known chef and is a judge for the American Culinary Institute.
·         Hannah Morales

ProStart High School Scholarship: The ProStart High School scholarship is awarded to multiple Kansas City-area ProStart students attending a post-secondary hospitality or culinary program upon graduation.
·         Holly Bennet
·         Brianna Lambert

Kevin Timmons Scholarship: From a young age, Kevin has worked in the restaurant industry, from washing dishes in the kitchen to opening restaurants. Locally, Kevin opened Nick and Jake’s in July 2001, and has since opened two additional Nick and Jake’s restaurants in the greater Kansas City area that give back to the community. 
·         Shelby Fahrni

Excel Linen Scholarship: Founded in 1931, Excel Linen has been owned and operated by the Joseph F. Brancato Family since 1974. With the help of his boys and many great employees, Excel Linen has become a leader in the Kansas City hospitality linen rental industry. Today, Excel Linen serves a 100-mile radius of Kansas City businesses, including 16 routes with more than 1,200 customers.
·         Rebecca Shields

Maxine Elizabeth Accurso Scholarship:
·         Alexis Hazen

Patricia Hill Scholarship:
·         Kathryn Ratzleff

GKCRA Scholarship: 
·         Isaac Dominguez
·         Sarah Wright
·         Billie Chamberlin

GKCRA Text Book Grants:
·         Albertina Savage
·         Presley Wehrle

About Gilbert-Robinson
The Gilbert Robinson Dinner celebrates a standard of excellence set by former Kansas City restaurant firm, Gilbert-Robinson. Founded in 1961, the Kansas City-based restaurant company became a national leader in the industry with distinguished innovations in menu, decor and service. The group created several legendary concepts in the Kansas City market including Houlihan's, Bristol Seafood Grill, Fedora Café and Bar, Plaza III and Fred P. Ott's.

About Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association
The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association (GKCRA) is a trade association with more than 600 members consisting of restaurants, caterers, hospitals, schools, institutions, clubs and in-plant cafeterias as well as vendors serving the local restaurant industry. Members work together to represent, educate and promote the restaurant and hospitality industries in the Missouri counties of Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte and Kansas counties of Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte.

Brew at the Zoo & Wine Too

Just a few tickets remain for the third annual Brewat the Zoo & Wine Too on Saturday, October 17. From 6 to 9 p.m. enjoy an evening of live music, delicious bites, and a variety of beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards. 

This event is for ages 21 and over. Appetizers,  music, beer and wine samples as well as two drink tickets are included with your ticket.

Last year's event sold out, so don't delay! Tickets are $35 for FOTZ Members and $45 for Non-FOTZ Members. Sign in with your FOTZ Member number to receive your discount.

Brew at the Zoo and Wine Too proceeds benefit Kansas City Zoo's conservation programs at home and abroad.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Plopping on a Patio

Kansas City Patio

Last night I was on McCormick and Schmick’s very comfortable and very large patio overlooking the Plaza, enjoying enough of a breeze, wine, and their delish fish tacos, with two friends.  We commented that now is really the best time to enjoy Kansas City and for at least the next month, being outside is usually just a joy.
McCormick & Schmick's 

We talked about where we like to go best before we’re forced back indoors for our too long, too gray, and too cold winter. Kansas City does have many good places to eat outside.  Since sidewalk dining seems so much more glamorous when I’m away than when I’m home, patios that are some way or the other surrounded by cars, moving or not, are not among my favorites.  I like a lot of greenery, a little not-too-loud music, a lot of conversation and laughter, and the vista to be, well, somewhat serene.  Yeah, I know I’m picky.

The one that came to my mind first is relatively new and rather a surprise.  It’s JJ’s just beside the Plaza in the Polsinelli building.  There’s much to like about it: It’s enclosed but the air circulates; it feels quite private, your own green oasis; the chairs are the right height and you can “set a spell”; you have the full delicious Italian array of excellently prepared foods to choose among.  There’s a Happy Hour here now, too.  And of course the famed wine list still exists – but the bar is full service.   

All in all, a perfect fall setting in Kansas City for gourmet eating, drinking, and befriending in the great patio- civilized outdoors.

900 West 48th Place, Suite 110 
Kansas City, MO 64112 
Ph. 816- 561-7136 

JJ's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, September 25, 2015





September 25th-27th
(Friday, Saturday, & Sunday)

Take $10 off per person
(up to 4 People per table)




Monday, September 21, 2015

5-Bucket Beers & Hometeam Appetizer Trio!

12 Baltimore

Kansas City Restaurant

12 Baltimore is the place to see and be seen in downtown Kansas City. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days per week with great happy hour specials. You won't find a better place for a power lunch, pre-theater snacks or to relax over a specially crafted cocktail.

Daily specials include hearty sandwiches, refreshing salads and house made soups. Taking advantage of the partnership 12 Baltimore has with Boulevard Brewery, our Executive Chef uses many of their locally crafted beers in his recipes, creating unique, flavorful offerings sure to satisfy anyone's appetite.

Call for reservations at (816) 346-4410 or reserve a table online 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Herf Burger for One Great Dish

One Great Dish:  As Told by Erik Hyre at Hereford House

Corporate chef Erik Hyre of the Hereford House admitted to me recently that his go-to, standard favorite is a burger.  Yep, the lowly burger.  But not just any burger of course, it’s the Herf Burger which you can get for lunch or dinner at any of the four Hereford Houses. 

He shared the recipe recently and the only thing I would add is if you want the true HH flavor, you’re going to have to grill this burger, expertly, over a hot charcoal fire.  So give it your best shot and see if yours looks as pretty (and tastes as good) as the picture.

The Herf Burger
Hereford House Restaurant Group
Serves 4:

4-8oz. Ground Sirloin per burger
1 Tbls. Salt, Kosher
½ Tbls. Pepper, White
4 Slices Cheddar Cheese
4 Hamburger Buns
8 Slices Bacon, Cooked
4 Eggs, fried
4 Lettuce leaves, cleaned
4 Slices Tomato
4 Slices Red Onion
12 Pickle Slices

Season the patties with the salt and pepper and place on grill and cook to desired temperature.

Place the hamburger buns on the grill to toast. Remove and put on plates.

Once the hamburgers are cooked to desired temperature, top with the cheddar cheese to melt over the hamburgers. Top with hot, cooked bacon slices.

In a sauté pan, fry the eggs to over easy. This way the egg yolk will break over the burger when you bite into it.

Garnish with the lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.

Enjoy with your favorite side dish!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Places to Fall in Love - Story Restaurant

Story Restaurant

 is an elegant, upscale neighborhood restaurant serving fresh, local, seasonal creative American cuisine with Spanish, French and Italian influences. 

In August, Story’s wine list won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, an honor that’s been bestowed upon just 10 Kansas eateries. Story was one of just a handful of the 3,800 restaurants to make this year’s Award of Excellence list to get a feature in the magazine. 

Some meals are just so special you can hardly write about them. Or take pictures. That’s apparently what happened at Story last night. This time we brought good friends, good eaters. The sun was out, and the breeze was light which made for a pleasant evening so we decided to seat outside on their nice patio and our service was delightful. 

Jeff Thrall, manager and sommelier at Story, came to our table and talked about wine. In September 29, they are having a wine dinner that sounds amazing. For more information, go to our calendar events. 

Braised beef short ribs with gnocchi, green beans, bacon and onion rings.

The food is always exceptional: meticulously prepared, flavorful, and pretty – that night even a relatively simple dish like “Ceviche” was executed with flair. Next course consisted of short pork ribs were simply delicious. Finally, a wonderful chocolate torte felt pretty good to our voracious appetites. 

Great wine, great food, great friends. What do we have to ask for more?

3931 West 69th Terrace 
Prairie Village, KS 66208 
Ph. 913-236-9955 

Story Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Spotlight: Corporate Chef Erik Hyre

Being responsible for four Hereford Houses and Pierpont’s is all part of the day’s work for Corporate Chef Erik Hyre.  What does being a corporate chef mean?  Well, perhaps fewer late night hours (except during holidays) and more decision making to ensure all five restaurants move smoothly, create delicious meals, and train responsive staff, all necessary for happy customers. 

Chef Hyre began working in restaurants in high school and soon decided he liked it and wanted to move up.  That meant school and he graduated from Johnson County Community College’s extensive culinary training in 2000.  From there, he began climbing, working his way up from the line, to sous chef, to chef, to executive chef and now being the guy who’s in charge of entire group.  To that task load, he’s also currently the general manager for the Zona Rosa location where he’s adding extensive front of the house experience.  The major difference from the whirlwind in the kitchen is “always listening to the customers and determining what they are really saying,” he remarks.  It’s a different field of vision and really enlightening, especially when changing the dinner rolls can apparently rock a person’s world, he says wryly. 

The newest thing at the Hereford Houses is a new menu, debuting September 3rd, which, while it will retain some of the must-have favorites like chicken fried steak or beef stroganoff, is more geared to “foodies” and the next generation of eaters.  Creativity and presentation are important and even the favs will be tweaked.  He’s hoping this doesn’t cause an uproar with the many traditionalists who have relied on Hereford House for years for their filets and KC steaks (almost equal in their top popularity) but of course, the restaurant IS a long-time Kansas City steak house and the charcoal grilling won’t ever change.  The unique flavor of all the meats done this way is too important he points out.

So what does the top chef at a mainstay steak restaurant eat?  For lunch, nearly always a burger.  His absolute favorite, which you, too, can order is their slow cooked prime rib, rare, then tossed on the grill for a minute to caramelize it – the sweetness and full charcoal flavor make it taste like the best ribeye in the world, but different.  It’s just great, he fervently claims.  At Pierpont’s, since he’s eaten everything so often, he extols the variety of the menu which changes quarterly to take advantage of what’s fresh and local.  And he loves the “wow” factor of the Union Station location, and its beautiful bar – but he’s well aware it takes more than a pretty place: service and food must be exemplary as well.

With four daughters, from 16 years to 8 months, Chef Hyre doesn’t have much free time.  He doesn’t cook at home – his wife likes to – but he will grill.  Or call for a pizza.  He and his wife eat out as much as they can – it’s research, too, of course.  Maybe twice a week he puts on his head phones, gets out his bicycle, and zooms away for stress relief. 

He notes that the stress is mitigated by the enjoyment of running restaurants and making people happy. He trusts his team of chefs and staff and knows that everyone plays a role. “The happiest hours are when we’ve pleased someone from the front door to the back,” he says.  And that happens enough to keep him happy, too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lunch at Pierpont's

Lunch at Pierpont's 

If you haven't been to the Gridiron Glory Exhibition and you call yourself a football fan, get your fanny down NOW to Union Station. The Pro Football Hall of Fame, as part of its 50 year anniversary, is touring the largest traveling exhibition in its history and it's billed as "The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame." There are hundreds of artifacts, many exhibited for the first time, from the Hall of Fame's collection and for a few moments, you could maybe feel like Will Shields. To celebrate, Pierpont's is offering a $10 Gridiron Lunch Special which is a 12 hour short rib sandwich and side of fries, poblano coleslaw, and fried pickles on a potato bun. The exhibit leaves September 7th and so does this special. Don't drop the ball - go now!

30 West Pershing 
Kansas City, MO 64108 
Ph. (816) 221-5111 

Check out their menu here

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Get your tickets now for The Bourbon Trail!

Walk The Bourbon Trail
To Smooth Flavor and Legendary Football

Thursday Aug. 27 | 5:00pm - 7:30pm | $40 per person

Come walk the Bourbon Trail and experience Hall of Fame Football on August 27th at Union Station. This one-of-a-kind event hosted by Union Station, Pierpont’s at Union Station and Sports Radio 810 WHB is one night only and will not be repeated.

The Gridiron Glory Bourbon Trail will feature six bourbon stations and food pairings, entry into Gridiron Glory the exhibition, one drink ticket (cash bar available), a customized tasting glass and autograph signings by Chiefs Football Ambassadors.

Learn about each featured bourbon from the experts. Taste the custom creations from Pierpont’s Executive Chef, Matt Barnes. Bourbons include:
  • Buffalo Trace
  • Eagle Rare 10-year
  • Blanton's
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Rye
  • W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-year
  • Bernheim Kentucky Wheated Whiskey

Walk among the most prized treasures of professional football – directly from the Canton, OH Pro Football Hall of Fame. Grab a friend and walk the Gridiron Glory Bourbon Trail on August 27th at Union Station.
  • Live Sports Radio 810 WHB Broadcast from event
  • Guest appearances by Chiefs Ambassadors, KC Wolf and Chiefs Cheerleaders
  • A Full Evening of Flavor, Football and Fun!