Celebrate National Dog Day With Us

August 26, 2015

Happy National Dog Day!

In honor of man’s best friend, we’re celebrating with a treat for your favorite furry friends…  Stop by The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s Kitchen Shop between Thursday morning when we open at 9 a.m. and Sunday when we close at 4 p.m., show us a picture of your dog(s) and we’ll give you a FREE package of Doggie Dips from our Dinners on Demand freezers.
(fine print – while supplies last)

Trust us, these will make you your dog’s best friend!

Chef T-Bone A. Petit

This is Chef T-Bone A. Petit, favorite pooch of The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s Main Dish, Laura Laiben.



You Had Me At Bacon…

August 26, 2015

Sometimes I’d just rather stay a kid. It seems easier, doesn’t it?  But if this is ‘Grown-Up Mac & Cheese’, I’m willing to act like an adult for awhile. This stuff is seriously d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.  If you’re not up for making it yourself with the recipe below, come on in and buy some from our Dinners on Demand freezers – this decadent version of the classic macaroni and cheese has become a constant in the Dinners on Demand program, which offers frozen chef-prepared dishes for sale.  For heaven’s sake, it has bacon in it, so how can you go wrong?!

Grown-Up Mac & Cheese

Grown-Up Mac & Cheese


  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup butter, unsalted, melted


  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound cavatappi pasta, dry


  • ½ pound bacon, roughly cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons roasted garlic pepper seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or 2 tablespoons prepared hot sauce)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the topping, in a bowl add bread crumbs and butter. Toss to combine well. Set aside.

For the pasta, in a medium stockpot add the water and salt. Bring to boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until pasta is tender. Remove from heat and drain in colander. Set aside.

For the sauce, in a heavy skillet over medium heat add bacon and brown, leaving the rendered fat in the skillet. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and set aside. Add onions to bacon fat and cook until translucent. With a slotted spoon, remove onions and place in container. Set aside.

In same medium stockpot, add butter and melt over medium-high heat until foaming, stirring constantly. Add flour, mustard, garlic seasoning, and cayenne. Whisk for 1 minute or until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color. Gradually add milk and stock and whisk to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken.) Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat. Add cheeses, salt and pepper. Whisk mixture until cheeses are fully melted and incorporated into the sauce. Add pasta and reserved bacon and onions and mix well.

Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and top evenly with prepared topping. Turn oven settings to broil and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until topping is a deep golden brown, rotating pan for even browning, if necessary. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to cool slightly. Serve warm. Makes 4 to 6 servings

ETC: It is thought that the combination of macaroni and cheese originated in Italy and its popularity then spread across Europe. From there, it traveled across the ocean to America and was served on many colonial dinner tables – even Thomas Jefferson’s. Whether you make it from scratch, or buy it in that famous blue box, it is undeniably one of the world’s favorite comfort foods. Now you know.


Find this and other CCKC favorite recipes in our cookbook

“The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s BEST RECIPES – SECOND EDITION.” ™  Available for purchase online at www.kcculinary.com and in our retail store – “The Kitchen Shop.”™


Delia’s Deal Dash

August 24, 2015

Our Dean of Deliciousness is at it again. She has cooked up a deal that you’re going to LOVE!   This time the 5th person to respond gets it.

Kitchen WarsGet a BOGO (buy one get one) HALF PRICE deal for 2 seats in this Saturday, Aug 29’s ‘Kitchen Wars’ class with Chef Sandy DiGiovanni

Kitchen Wars is a Cookin’-without-Lookin’ type of kitchen competition class where you get to cook from mystery boxes of ingredients in small teams. Chef Sandy will give you the lay of the land, some cooking tips and ideas, point you to the pantry of ‘legal’ add-in ingredients and then let you loose in the kitchen. Chef Sandy and our staff will be there to help and guide, but it will be up to your team to decide what to prepare for dinner from your ingredients.  Dinner, wine and a fabulous dessert are included with the class. (At our Delia’s Deal Dash BOGO price, that’s 2 people who get class, fun, dinner & wine on a Saturday night for just $112.50 +tax.)

Delia, our Dean of Deliciousness, really enjoyed that contest last week, and wants to offer another for our Kitchen Talk subscribers.  Don’t miss your chance at a great deal on this – you must email marti@kcculinary.com to let me know you’re interested – include your name and a phone number where I can reach you. The fifth email I get from a subscriber is the lucky one who will get the BOGO deal on the class. YOU CAN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS DEAL ONLINE – only the winner will get it.  

Click here to find out details about the class.

What are you waiting for?!
Email me if you want the deal!!



Cookin’ with Daniela Abel

August 23, 2015

The Culinary Center of Kansas City is fortunate to have some of the best and the brightest culinary educators in the industry. Our instructors come with a wealth of knowledge and skill in the culinary arts, from all walks of life. Some are CIA-trained Chefs, some are passionate home cooks who were practically born with a whisk in their hand, and others are former restaurant or bakery owners all passionately sharing their skills with our students. We will be shining the spotlight on our instructors monthly, giving you a peek into their culinary world.

First up – One of our newest instructors is Daniela Abel, who will be specializing in all things Italian. Ciao, Bella!Daniela Abel

Growing up in a big Italian family, Daniela knows and loves Italian cooking, and her background in training and cooking lessons makes her a natural as a culinary instructor here at CCKC. Italian food is her forte but she also dedicates a lot of energy to cooking with organic, seasonal and non-GMO produce. Sh can’t wait to show the beginner cook how easy, fun and affordable it is to make delicious and sustainable meals.

  • Who or what inspired you to become a chef/instructor?
    My amazing, dynamic, incredibly loud Italian family (who all cook) but especially my mom. My mom is dance teacher and a darn good one at that, she always saw in me a natural born teacher and always encouraged me to combine my passion with food with my love of teaching.
  • What is your ingredient obsession?
    SEA SALT, which is relatively new for me. I’ve always used Kosher salt which is easier to control and tastes better than regular table salt… but sea salt… it’s a gift from the gods. You need less of it, it has almost a floral bouquet to it, and it is never harsh. I LOVE IT.
  • What is your top restaurant recommendation in Kansas City?
    We’re new to the KC area, but so far I’m NUTS about Extra Virgin downtown. We went there for my 30th birthday, and I’ve never had such inventive and incredible small dishes. My family and I love small plates because it’s a fantastic way to try EVERYTHING.
  • Daniela AbelWhat is your most indispensable cooking tool?
    My Shun chef’s knife. When I’m teaching (especially beginners), I tell them that they cannot even begin to love to cook without a good knife. It starts and often ends the cooking process and a bad knife is absolute hell to work with.
  • Favorite cheap eat?
    Not to have a shameless plug… but it’s honestly my Pasta Faggioli that my grandmother taught me and I teach in “1 Sauce, 12 Meals.” It costs just dollars to make and it’s the most satisfying, hearty and heartwarming soup EVER.
  • Who is your favorite chef?
    Hands down, Giada DeLaurentis. She’s my hero, one of my inspirations, and I turn to her all the time for recipe ideas! A close second is Ina Garten, she makes everything – from her home to food – lovely.

Join Daniela for some of her great upcoming classes.
Don’t delay, seats are limited.


Get This Gadget

August 22, 2015

As seen this month in the ‘Get This Gadget’ feature in FEAST Magazine, Culinary Center of Kansas City ‘Main Dish’ Laura Laiben reviews some gadgets from our Kitchen Shop that we think are pretty darn nifty. See if you agree…

How many salt and pepper grinders do you have to go through to finally decide that you need to just go ahead and bite the bullet and purchase a “good” set?!  Well, when you do make that decision, we would like to suggest that you take a look at Cole & Mason’s Salt and Pepper grinder set.

An elegant and sleek design mix of stainless steel and acrylic, the mechanisms in each (carbon steel in the pepper mill and ceramic in the salt mill) are guaranteed for life.  (That’s a long time folks!) You can even choose your grind preference.

This set might just be your new “go to” wedding gift.

Cole & Mason's Derwent Salt & Pepper Mill Gift SetCole & Mason’s
Derwent Salt & Pepper Mill Gift Set 


Burger flipping just became a sport with this perfectly crafted heavy duty spatula. The World’s Greatest Slotted Burger Turner/Flipper/Spatula is made of manly 18/8 stainless steel with a non-slip heat resistant handle and is completely dishwasher safe.  (Note to burger flipper…your hand is NOT heat resistant, so you still have to be careful.) 

I would suggest throwing out all other gadgets in your kitchen drawers posing as burger flippers.  This one is the real deal.  Makes for a good spanking tool too, if you are into that sort of thing.

World's Greatest Slotted Burger Turner/Flipper/SpatulaHarold Import Co.’s
World’s Greatest Flippin’ Good Burger Turner



Meet Mimsy Winston

August 21, 2015

Mimsy Winston

Help us welcome one of our newest CCKC team members, Mimsy Winston! Having worked in event planning for more than 13 years, Mimsy is what we call a party perfectionist. As the Events Manager Specializing in Exceptional Culinary Experiences, Mimsy coordinates special events at the Culinary Center, combining two of her favorite things: food and festivities!

As a young child, Mimsy recalls helping her mother prepare meals by peeling carrots as she stood on a stool. As she grew, so did her interest in food, and by the age of 11 she was using the stove to prepare meals on her own. Mimsy explains “I’ve always loved to experiment with new recipes; tweaking this or that and making improvements. The best part of cooking – in my opinion – is taking classic recipes and making them my own.”

After attaining an undergrad degree in advertising in 2002, Mimsy has put her skills to use in many roles, including Advertising Graphic Designer at the Kansas City Star, Marketing Manager and Event Planner at First National Bank, and most recently a Tradeshow and Events Manager at NCM Associates. Throughout her career she has planned both company-wide events and events for the public, and through this, she realized she’d found her calling.

“My favorite part of event planning is the relationship I am able to build with clients. I love the happiness people experience after a successful event. When you know you had a part in that, it can be really rewarding,” says Mimsy.

For many years, Mimsy has also planned parties and events such as baby showers, wedding showers, and the occasional birthday party for her friends and family, and says the best part of any event is the food, duh! One particular crowd favorite is her “Bacon Lollipops” which many refer to as “Crack Bacon.”

At The Culinary Center, Mimsy is able to plan a large variety of different events, and that’s the way she likes it!  To contact Mimsy or to plan your next event at The Culinary Center of Kansas City, email her at mimsy@kcculinary.com, or call her at 913-341-4455.


Explore “The Art of Seasoning” with FEAST Magazine & “Wood + Salt”

August 20, 2015
Wood + Salt

“MIDWEST FLAVORS” Cooking Series at CCKC

We have partnered with FEAST Magazine and Kansas City’s own culinary treasure, “Wood & Salt” (Ben & Jess Anthony) to bring you The Art of Seasoning. a power packed class where you will learn the art of flavoring foods. These culinary experts along with our own CCKC Exec. Chef Sandy DiGiovanni and FEAST Magazine Editor Catherine Neville will be sharing their deep knowledge so we can all be better cooks, on  Friday, September 4, 2015, 6:30-9:00 p.m.  Cooking demonstrations and tastings that will blow your mind!   

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to be enlightened on the subject of seasoning foods, including “salting to taste,” spice blends, brines and how to use them, infused sugars and specialty and smoked finishing salts and how to make them at home.  We’ll even take a look at an interesting cooking technique called a “salt bake”!

Expect tastings of dishes such as Caramelized Onion, Fresh Chevre and Bison Sausage Crostini, Gentleman Farmer Salad, White Pine Fish Bake, Mint, Oregano and Aji Amarillo Chili Seasoned Pork, Duck Fat Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes and a surprise “well-seasoned” dessert!

Don’t miss out – great information, recipes, fantastic tastings, wine (of course) and a gift!  Click here to reserve your seat in the class!




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