Author Archives: kcculinary

About kcculinary

A unique culinary arts center offering more than 600 cooking classes annually, interactive culinary events and teambuilding, weekly open-to-the-public Tuesday Lunch, catered events and a retail store called The Kitchen Shop.

Introducing our new King of Culinary Curriculum…

Say hello to our new King of Culinary Curriculum here at The Culinary Center of Kansas City, Stephen VelieStephen will be managing all of our classes offered to the public, as well as developing new class concepts and working directly with our valued instructors. 

Stephen VelieA renaissance man to the core, Stephen brings a fresh breath to everything he undertakes. New England born and raised, his life experiences are varied and amazing, including his life as a monk for 30+ years!  So whether it be crunching numbers in finance or remodeling a villa in Tuscany, selling books for an international publishing company or bringing a character to life on stage, preparing interesting recipes or simply mowing the lawn, he brings his heart to whatever lies in front of him. Genuine interaction with people is what truly inspires him and what better place to find that inspiration than being immersed in the food culture of the Midwest at The Culinary Center!

If you have a question about our classes, want to suggest a new class idea or think you’d make a great CCKC culinary instructor, you can contact Stephen by email at or call 913/341.4455.

Welcome to our kitchens, Stephen!


Say ‘Cheeeeees-y Cornbread’!

Chef Molly served up some to-die-for cornbread for our Pop-Up Lunch at The Culinary Center of Kansas City on Friday, and we also served it Friday night at Local Life. We had lots of requests for the recipe, so here it is.

Our recipe calls for making it in a half sheet pan, but go with how the spirit moves you… try it in an 8.5×11″ pan, or bake it in muffin tins, or make it in a cast iron skillet.  However you make it, this family-friendly favorite is going to have them coming back for seconds. Enjoy!

Cheesy CornbreadCheesy Cornbread

  • 2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cheese, your choice
  • 1 cup scallions, cut on a bias

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a half sheet pan well.

Combine the cornbread mix, creamed corn, eggs, sour cream, sugar, cheese, and scallions in a mixing bowl. (Small lumps are okay.)  Pour batter into prepared sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.  Serve warm.

Our Class Calendar List Is Growing

CCKC Cooking ClassesWe have been adding more cooking classes to our schedule like CRAZY as the current ones continue to fill. Consistent favorites and sell-outs are being repeated due to demand and new concepts are being tested. We’re always open to your comments and ideas. Let us know what classes you’d like to see us add.

(Our current calendar is online through April now, and we’ll be adding kids’ summer classes and camps soon. So keep an eye out for that!)

Here are some upcoming classes we have just added in January and February…

More info: 50 Ways To Feed Your LoverCookWell!
Bone Broth 101 and Its Amazing Health Super Powers

Sun, Jan 28,  5:00 – 7:30  p.m.
Instructor: Jackie Caldwell
Limited Hands-On  |  Tastings
If you received an Instant Pot for Christmas and it’s still sitting in the box, then this class is for you.  Let us walk you through how to use an Instant Pot so you can put it to work!  Have you ever had really delicious soup and wondered how the person who made it can get it to taste so good?  The answer to the mystery question is a really awesome bone broth.

More info: 50 Ways To Feed Your LoverCinnamon Rolls 101
Mon, Feb 5,  6:30 – 9:00  p.m.
Instructor: Mari Ruck
Hands-On  |  Tastings & Take-Home, Ready-to-Bake Cinnamon Rolls
We’ll spend this evening making “warm” memories as you learn to create phenomenal cinnamon rolls from scratch. You’ll be up to your ears in cinnamon, sugar, flour, and butter in this fun and interactive 3-hour class while you mix, knead, shape, and sprinkle – all while learning real baking tricks and techniques alongside Mari Ruck.

More info: 50 Ways To Feed Your LoverFlavorful Weekend Nights!
Taste of India
Sat, Fe
b 10,  6:30 – 9:00  p.m.
Instructor: Ariel Johnston
Hands-On  |  Dinner
Take a delicious journey to India as we explore the diverse flavors and mystical world of Indian cuisine. Instructor Ariel Johnston will teach you fundamental cooking techniques, plus a discussion about Indian spices and how to identify them.

More info: 50 Ways To Feed Your Lover9-Week Professional Culinary Arts Series:
Cooking Fundamentals for the Serious Cook
Sundays, Fe
b 11-Apr 22,  5:00 – 8:00  p.m.
Instructor: Richard McPeake
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 course (the Pro Series) are perfect for you! Whether you want to build upon your existing skills or jumpstart your passion for cooking, this course will change the way you approach your kitchen. Designed after typical formal chef training, this series of classes provides full hands-on participation and a one-on-one experience.

More info: 50 Ways To Feed Your LoverCookWell!
Lose Weight, Feel Great! Whole30 Recipes and Tips for Success
Mon, Fe
b 12,  6:00 – 9:00  p.m.
Instructor: Jackie Caldwell
Limited Hands-On  |  Tastings
Ready for a new start with your health in 2018?   If the answer is a resounding YES, then a new way of eating, such as the Whole30 Plan, could be the spark that you need to bring about the change you’re looking for in your health.

More info: 50 Ways To Feed Your LoverWeekend of Love:
Couples Cook! 50 Ways To Feed Your Lover

Sun, Feb 19,  6:30 – 9:00  p.m.
Instructor: Jackie Wilson
Hands-On  |  Dinner
If you’re interested in learning to cook with your “significant other”, then tonight is the night to grab your honey and join us in our kitchen for a romantic gourmet meal perfectly suited for all you “Romeo & Juliets.”

More info: Kick-Ass Steak & Seafood DinnerFlavorful Weekend Nights & Midwest BBQ Institute:
Date Night in the Kitchen: A Kick-Ass Steak & Seafood Dinner for 2

Fri, Feb 23,  6:30 – 9:00  p.m.
Instructor: Bruce Campbell
Limited Hands-On  |  Tastings & Wine Pairings
You’re in for a perfect date night as cooking twosomes work alongside one of our most popular instructors, Bruce Campbell, to learn and help prepare some fantastic recipes to create a beautiful dinner for two. You’ll learn a variety of cooking techniques such as sautéing, sous vide (what’s that? You’ll have to sign up to find out!).  We’ll discuss baking times and temperatures as we get a lesson on grilling too.

January’s Local Maker of the Month, Chef Richard McPeake

Chef Richard McPeakeThe Culinary Center of Kansas City features local artisans in The Kitchen Shop, and each month we feature a Local Maker of the Month. In January, we’re featuring one of our very own culinary class instructors, Chef Richard McPeake, aka Educator of ‘Que’.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Richard has been a professional chef, instructor and BBQ pitmaster for decades. He was named 2016 Chef of the Year by The American Culinary Federation Greater Kansas City Chefs’ Association and 2016 Teacher of the Year at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

After competing (and winning as part of the Grand Champion Commercial Division Team/1982) at the American Royal for years in the 1970s and 1980s, Richard took a few years off. But in 1997, his good friend and fellow CCKC culinary instructor Bruce Campbell talked him out of BBQ retirement and back in the American Royal competition. Together they formed RibStars.

Richard built the RibStars BBQ name into a business, selling cookbooks and a line of RibStars Rub Me Tender® Dry Rubs (which, by the way, were award winners 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 for both mild and hot rub, and his Rib Rub won 1st place at the 2004 American Royal Sauce & Rub contest for Best Hot Rub.) 

Stop by The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s Kitchen Shop to pick up some of RibStars’ Rib, Chicken or Brisket Rub. We also carry two of the Richard’s cookbooks – ‘Backyard BBQ: The Art of Smokology’ and ‘Simply BACKYARD BARBECUING: From Grilling to Smoking.’

RibStars’ Rub Me Tender Rubs are 10% off in-store and online at our Kitchen Shop in January 2018 to celebrate Richard as our Local Maker of the Month!  Click here to shop now!


Woo Your Sweetheart with our Weekend of Love!

CCKC Weekend Of LoveHow will you show your love how much he or she means to you at Valentine’s Day this year? Let us help you cook up the perfect romantic outing of Love at The Culinary Center of Kansas City. Whether your honey has a sweet tooth, is woo-ed by wine or wow-ed by Italian food, or considers him- or herself master of the grill, we can be your cupid.

Our Valentine’s Day dinner class filled up lickety-split, of course. So we added another class that day, plus continued our celebration of culinary romance right through the weekend. Take a look at our Weekend of Love class line-up below for a little romantic gift inspiration…

Gourmet Valentine's Day Dinner for TwoSOLD OUT!
Couples Cook! A Gourmet Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two
Wed, Feb 14,  6:30 – 9:00  p.m.
Instructor: Jackie Wilson
Hands-On  |  Dinner
It’ll be all about  “love in the kitchen” as you learn to prepare … and assist with … a beautiful and romantic dinner for two.

Cool Couples Get Hot On The GrillFlavorful Weekend Nights & Midwest BBQ Institute:
Cool Couples Get Hot On The Grill!

Fri, Feb 16,  6:30 – 9:00  p.m.
Instructor: Bruce Campbell
Limited Hands-On  |  Dinner
Learn some great information about grilling and smoking AND to learn to pair wine with BBQ.

Learn To Make Pie with Your Sweetie PieCouples in the Kitchen!
Learn To Make Pie with Your Sweetie Pie

Sat, Feb 17,  10:00 a.m. – 12:30  p.m.
Instructor: CCKC ‘Main Dish’ Laura Laiben
Hands-On  |  Tastings & Take-Home Ready-to-Bake Apple Pie
On this ‘weekend of love’ in the kitchen, grab your sweetie pie and head on over to our kitchen for a morning of baking love.

Chocolate PassionCouples in the Kitchen! Chocolate Passion
Sat, Feb 17,  10:00 a.m. – 12:30  p.m.
Instructor: Kris Koehler
Hands-On  |  Tastings & Take-Home Ganache Truffles
Grab your “luvva” and get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into the decadent and addictive world of all things chocolate.

Un Assagio D’AmoThe Steamy Asian Kitchenre (A Taste of Love)
A Romantic Italian Dinner for Two

Sat, Feb 17,  6:30 – 9:00  p.m.
Instructor: Sandy DiGiovanni
Limited Hands-On  |  Dinner & Take-Home Truffles
In Italy, food is more than just food…it is a matter of passion and pleasure.  What could be more appropriate for a special culinary experience tan  in Italian dining with vostra amato (‘your loved one”).

Midwest BBQ Institute
Cool Couples Get Hot on the Grill
50 Ways To Feed Your Lover

Sun, Feb 19,  1:00 – 3:30  p.m.
Instructor: Bruce Campbell
Limited Hands-On  |  Lunch
Learn some great information about grilling and smoking AND to learn to pair wine with BBQ.

Flavorful Weekend Nights
Couples Cook!  50 Ways To Feed Your Lover
50 Ways To Feed Your Lover

Sun, Feb 19,  6:30 – 9:00  p.m.
Instructor: Jackie Wilson
Hands-On  |  Dinner
If you’re interested in learning to cook with your “significant other”, then tonight is the night to grab your honey and join us in our kitchen for a romantic gourmet meal perfectly suited for all you “Romeo & Juliets.”


How Are Your Resolutions Going?

CCKC Dinners on DemandSo, you resolved to eat healthy in 2018.  How’s that going for you?

Let us help. Our Dinners on Demand™ program can assist you in keeping that new year’s resolution. Seriously! 

FULL DISCLOSURE: We love butter. And salt. And sometimes cream…
But there is definitely truth in the words, “everything in moderation.”   Strive for balance and moderation in your resolve to eat healthy, and you’ll find it far easier to make the new lifestyle ‘stick’.  You don’t have to scrimp on flavor, for Pete’s sake!

Vegetable Lasagne labelTake a look at the labels on our Dinners on Demand frozen food. They include a description of the dish, instructions to prepare and serve it, plus ingredients used. Our chefs rarely open cans in our kitchens. And there aren’t big, long, hard-to-pronounce preservative names listed on our labels.  Just good, fresh, wholesome food that you and your family will love.

The menu of items in our Dinners on Demand freezers changes constantly as we sell out of dishes and add others. You can always find a list of what is in our freezers today by viewing and/or downloading the current menu on our website. Visit and click on Dinners on Demand, then the ‘What’s in our freezers today?’ button.

Take a look at today’s menu, for example. Here are some items we recommend that will respect and support your effort to eat healthy food.

  • Eat more vegetables!
    Vegetable Lasagna and Citrus Herb Roasted Chicken with Aromatic Vegetables
  • Avoiding gluten?
    Elegant Crustless Quiche and Cranberry Dijon Post Roast with Rice Crockpot Creation
  • Looking for Vegan or Vegetarian options?
    Awesome Winter Vegetable Soup
  • Jazz up your salad
    Miso-Sesame Vinaigrette

These are just a few examples of items that might help out with your healthy eating. And did I mention that stocking up your freezer with Dinners on Demand food just makes dinner SO easy?!

And while we support your resolution to eat healthy, we’ll also back you completely when you feel it’s time for a cheat, ‘cuz it happens. Let’s be real. Or maybe it’s a reward for hitting a milestone in your goals.  Whatever the reason, when you’re feeling the need for a few bites of a delicious treat, try out our Mocha Cheesecake, Strawberry Margaritaville Pie or Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes. They are worth the calories!

What's In Our Freezers Today?

Wicked Good Winter BBQ

Pop-Up Lunch @ The Culinary Center of Kansas CityJoin us for our first Pop-Up Lunch of 2018 – and our first Pop-Up Lunch with new CCKC Lead Chef Molly Flynn – on Friday, January 19, 2018!  Come meet Molly and enjoy the tasty lunch menu she and our own BBQ Dude Larry Hadley put together for you.

Grab some lunch buddies, jot it in your calendar and plan on heading to Downtown Overland Park between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for our open to the public Pop-Up Lunch for just $12.95 +tax.

You can register (and pay) in advance online (click here) if you like and avoid the line that day OR you can just walk in on Fri, Jan 19.

Wicked Good Winter BBQ
(aka The ‘We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Warm Weather To Break Out The Smoker’ Menu)

“BBQ Dude” Larry’s Famous BBQ Beef Brisket
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Savory Green Beans with Bacon
Cheesy Cornbread with Savory Butter
CCKC’s Take On Texas Sheet Cake


* We can serve lunch “to go” if you like.

* See you on Friday, January 19 – Come hungry.

* Stop by and take some home for dinner if you like also!