Congratulations Pro Series graduates!

November 24, 2015

Eighteen passionate foodies recently completed the 9-week Professional Series I culinary course here at The Culinary Center of Kansas City.  Modeled and designed after a typical first semester of culinary school, the Pro Series helps you build upon your existing skills and changes the way you approach your foodie passion in the kitchen.

Whether you want to take your kitchen skills to the next level or jump start your passion for cooking, we promise these courses will change the way you approach your kitchen! After weeks of training with the guidance of seasoned culinary executive chefs, our students participate in a final dinner competition and share their feast with family and friends who join in on the final festivities.

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If you’re serious about learning to cook… and you think you’d look pretty good in a white chef coat, then our Professional Culinary Arts Series courses are perfect for you too! Reserve your spot today in one of our upcoming Series:


Meet Chef Richard McPeake…And Yes, He Has Cooked With Julia!

November 21, 2015

The Culinary Center of Kansas City is fortunate to have some of the best and the brightest culinary and beverage educators in the industry. Our instructors come with a wealth of knowledge and skill in the culinary arts, from all walks of life. We spotlight one of these gems each month,  giving you a peek into their world.

Next up – Chef Richard McPeake, who has been a chef instructor at The Culinary Center of Kansas City for 16 years.

ChChef Richard McPeakeef Richard’s impressive culinary resumé began 40 years ago, and includes studying at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, developing more than 30 restaurant concepts, authoring numerous cookbooks, competing and educating about BBQ, creating a line of BBQ rubs, instructing at Kansas City, Kansas Community College and CCKC, and winning dozens of awards for food excellence.

What is your most indispensable kitchen tool?
VacuVin Instant Marinator, for infusing the depth of flavor. And the Smoking Gun!

What is your ingredient obsession?
Fresh Herbs and Local Products, cooking “indigenous,” and of course anything with a “solid” BBQ Flavor!

What is your all-time most memorable meal?
After working a full day at Spago restaurant in LA with Chef Mark Peel and Wolfgang Puck, sitting down and chatting with Wolfgang and eating a Santa Barbara Shrimp Pizza (The opening days of Fedora Café, 1984)

Who is your favorite chef?
On TV – Cat Kora! I love how she infuses her heritage into everything she does.  I cooked with Julia Child 3 times, and it was an awesome experience to meet the BEST & Greatest Chef to bring TV cooking into your home!

Who’s your favorite person to have cooked for?
My favorite rock group is ZZ TOP, and I did their backstage party after a concert at Verizon/Sandstone – very cool! I have cooked for Ronald Reagan, Tip O’Neil, Bob Dole, Charlton Heston, to name a few. And I cooked for Bette Midler on her 40th birthday.

Who would you love to cook for?
I would love to have cooked for Elvis.

Click here and sign up for one of Chef Richard’s upcoming classes at The Culinary Center of Kansas City!



Prepping for the Gingerbread Jubilee…

November 20, 2015

Our ‘Main Dish’ Laura and ‘Goddess of Good Eats’ LT had so much fun prepping for our Gingerbread Jubilee tonight at Local Life in Downtown Overland Park that they got a bit carried away!  We now have trays full of adorable gingerbread boys and girls for sale in our Kitchen Shop. They are cute as can be, and ready to be eaten. Stop by and pick one up for $1.75, or buy a dozen for $20.

Want to make your own gingerbread boy or girl?! Come one by and visit us tonight at Local Life! We’ll provide the gingerbread cookie, frostings and other fixins’ to decorate your own little cutie. Adorable… and they taste great too (we may have sampled a bit this morning!) We’ll be ready for you tonight 5 – 9 p.m. There’s a lot of fun going on – click here for details!

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Reserve A Seat in Class for Your Junior Chef

November 19, 2015

Junior Chefs AcademyOur new class catalog is out, and it’s time to book a space in them for your 9-14-year-old Junior Chef! Spaces fill up quickly in the classes, so reserve your spots soon. (They make great Christmas gifts!)

You can register online. Just visit our website at kcculinary.com and click on the purple ‘Current Schedule‘ button. That will show you our whole calendar of classes. Use the Filter box at the top to enter the term ‘junior chef’ and then click ‘Search’. It will filter the list to just our JCA classes. Click on any of the class titles for more information. You can sign up right there online. Or feel free to call us and we’ll help you sign up over the phone.

Here’s a look at our
Upcoming Junior Chefs Academy Classes:






 Register for ClassesYou know what else makes a great gift?  A membership to The Junior Chefs Academy!  Give us a call and ask about it – 913-341-4455.


Your New Favorite Cheesecake Recipe

November 18, 2015

Yesterday’s Tuesday Lunch included a fantastic cheesecake!  Everyone raved about it so we thought it only fair to share the recipe.  Put your own personal touch on this scrumptious cheesecake. Maybe a drizzle of chocolate? Maybe some cherries or strawberries? Get creative…

New York Style Cheesecake

If you eat your veggies, you can justify the cheesecake, right?!

Chef Sandy’s New York Style Cheesecake


  • 1 ½ cups graham crackers, pulverized
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted, melted


  • 1 ½ pounds cream cheese, room temperature (3 large packages)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker meal, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Stir to combine well. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and place in the freezer for 5 minutes or until firm.

For the filling, in a mixture (or food processor) add cream cheese, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla. Mix to combine well. Pour into the chilled crust and place in the oven to bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the cake begins to turn gold. Cool the cake slightly in a pan on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the topping, in a bowl add sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Stir to combine well. When the cake is cool, spread the topping over it and place back in the oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool complete. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Couples Class Added: Tuscan Christmas for Two

November 17, 2015

You asked for it!  You got it!  We have added a second couples’ cooking class in our Flavorful Weekend Nights category on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 – Couples Cook: Tuscan Christmas for Two.

Tuscan Couples Cooking ClassRegister today for you and your special someone (or get a group of lovey-dovey couples together) to join us as we transport you for a romantic Christmas dinner in Tuscany, through the power of beautiful Italian food.   But hurry…these gems sell out quickly.

The menu for the evening will begin with one of Chef’s favorite Tuscan appetizers.  Then you’ll learn to make a  Tuscan Caprese Salad the right way,  followed by a course of Lemon Tagliatelle with olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan reggiano (one of our favorite dishes!). Next iyou’ll learn Tuscan-Style Steak, grilled, sliced and served with a shower of balsamic, olive oil and fresh herbs. We’ll finish with a classic Italian dessert of Tiramisu.

You’ll don an apron and get hands-on as you learn to make the Tuscan delicacies. Then enjoy dinner and wine with your honey and dream of rolling hillsides, long wooden tables under the cypress trees ….and love Italian style!  

The class, taught by instructor Daniela Abel, is on Saturday, Dec. 5, 6:30-9:00 p.m.  – To reserve your seats today, click here.



Friday Night Gingerbread Jubilee

November 16, 2015

You Are Invited To 3rd Friday LOCAL LIFE
“Gingerbread Jubilee”
at The Culinary Center of Kansas City
in connection with
the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Party
& Other Great Holiday Kickoff Events at Local Shops

Friday November 20, 2015
5:00 – 9:00 p.m.


  • FREE Gingerbread Man Cookie Decorating
    and hot chocolate
  • FREE Wine Tastings (as always)
  • FREE Cooking Demo & Tastings
    with Zach Hofen, finalist on Rachel Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, with his mentor, Chef Richard McPeake
  • FREE LIVE Musical Entertainment
    by John Murphy (a/k/a John Murphini when he’s on stage)
  • FREE VAIN Vanilla Demo & Samples
    Experience artisan infused vanillas made by this local company…
  • $20 Gift Certificate For YOU!
    With in-store purchase of $100 or more in Holiday Gift Certificates.


Save 10% Off Selected Classes
On Friday night only, you will receive 10% off the cost of registering for any of Chef Richard McPeake’s remaining 2015 classes at The Culinary Center of Kansas City!  Just stop by our Kitchen Shop, and we’ll help get you signed up to take advantage of the discount.


Eat, Drink & Shop LOCAL
in Downtown Overland Park

LOCAL LIFE is a lively & fun way to explore the unique and locally owned shops in Downtown Overland Park. Participating businesses host special events – from free wine tastings, food samples and cooking demos to live music, art exhibits and giveaways. You’ll always discover something fun and entertaining at LOCAL LIFE, held the Third Friday of every month in Downtown Overland Park.


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