Restaurant Guide of KC™ - Kansas City Food + Travel Blog

Chef Spotlight: Brian Aaron

Chef Spotlight:  Brian Aaron

For the last four nearly five years, ever since it reincarnated as Tannin Wine Bar and Kitchen from JP’s at 15th and Walnut, executive chef Brian Aaron has tried to maintain balance – in his life and at the bar/restaurant.  “We still aren’t sure if this is a food obsessed wine bar or a wine obsessed restaurant,” he laughs.  No matter which, it certainly does both extremely well.

Aaron began early, hanging out in the kitchen while his mom and relatives cooked great meals – the smells of some dishes still evoking those days which he parlays into new and unique dishes every few weeks in the restaurant.  (Try the chicken confit, his favorite right now.) Growing up in Overland Park, he enjoyed cooking breakfast for himself, which often evolved into whole family meals.  He worked at the Sahara CafĂ© during high school and went on to Colorado State where his degree is in restaurant/resort management.  Johnson and Wales Culinary School in Denver was next and stints at the Brown Palace, Zin, and Starker’s among others honed his skills.

Aaron has turned Tannin’s into much more than small plates, though those are still available and especially popular early evenings and late nights, along with complete meals.  He especially likes creating and preparing with his team the special wine dinners they hold pretty frequently.  There, as elsewhere, he incorporates his family’s heritage, his trips to Israel and Europe, and his imagination.  A little research shows that Tannin’s has won recognition in USA Today (“10 Great Places Where Wine Bars Serve Flights of Fancy”) and Open Table (“Top 100 Notable Wine Lists 2012”) as well as with Kansas City’s appreciative diners and oenophiles.  

In his few spare hours (Tannin’s is open until midnight serving full meals every night but Sunday [when they close at 11 p.m. ] which is just  one of the reasons the place is so popular for the service industry), he golfs with his dad.  His game improved, he said, when he stopped trying to get good and just began enjoying being outdoors.  It’s all part of that balance thing.

Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen

1526 Walnut Street 
Kansas City, MO 64108 
Ph. 816-842-2660 
Located 2 blocks east of the Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts


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