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.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve With Us

Join us on New Year's Eve!What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?  We know the perfect idea for a romantic and unique celebration of the old and the ringing in of the new in the heart of Downtown Overland Park!

It’s New Year’s Eve, and there will be plenty of clinking and smooching at the midnight hour… but first, we must dine on an amazing feast.   Reserve spots for yourself and your spouse, partner or friend at our Chef’s Table and in our kitchen at The Culinary Center of Kansas City for an exclusive New Year’s Eve culinary party!

Your table – and apron – await you in our kitchens, an intimate setting where you will learn to cook some outstanding dishes as we say goodbye to the old year, and welcome in the new. 

It’s the best dinner and cooking class experience we have to offer – outstanding service, a unique venue and a 4-course dinner where, course by course, each dish is demonstrated by experience culinary instructor and award-winning Executive Chef Richard McPeake. His intention is to teach and inspire you to have the kind of relationship with food that he has come to know.

We know it’s all about the food, but it doesn’t hurt when your kitchen is located in a beautifully restored buggy barn from the turn of the century – an enchanting ambiance that beckons guests in and cozies them up for an intimate evening of conversation, marvelous aromas and flavors, and the ultimate dining experience. You’ll enjoy the atmosphere as you tie on and apron and work alongside chef while he teaches you how to create some of his favorite recipes. 

You’ll begin with Coquille St. Jacque, followed by the Chef’s famous Grilled Caesar Salad with Parmesan Tuiles.  Our elegant entrée this evening, Beef Wellington with Mushroom Duexelle and Bordelaise Sauce, will simply take your breath away. We’ll savor Roasted Baby Carrots with Dill Butter, seasoned and cooked to perfection. Plus, Pommes Parisienne with Brown Garlic Butter.  Dessert will be a treasure of extremely decadent chocolate – Chef McPeakes’ Award Winning Chocolate Mocha Roll, to end of this perfect meal.

We’ll sit around the table to enjoy the beautiful meal that you’ve helped to prepare as you raise a glass of champagne and toast this outstanding New Year’s Eve meal. Then, we’ll send you on your way to make the most of your very own “midnight hour!”  The Chef awaits you.

Register today to reserve your spots at this 4-course dinner on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, 6:30-9:00 p.m., with hands-on cooking class, including paired wines & a Champagne toast, romantic ambiance, excellent service and all in our unique venue in Downtown Overland Park.


Holiday Appetizers To Wow Your Guests

We’re feeling jolly at this month’s Local Life. The holidays are practically here, the temperatures are crisp, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree was lit tonight in Downtown Overland Park, and we’re starting to plan menus for entertaining.  In that spirit, Chef prepared some of our favorite appetizers. Try these at your next gathering – your guests will love them!

Chocolate HummusChocolate Hummus

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips, high quality such as 60%

Combine the chickpeas, maple syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla and blend in a food processor to desired consistency.  Add the chocolate chips toward the end of the processing.  Serve with sliced apples or cinnamon-sugar pita crisps.  Makes 2½ cups

Blue Cheese, Bacon & Onion Savory Cheesecake

savory cheesecakeCrust

  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted


  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup cream
  • ½ cup bacon, cooked, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ pound blue cheese, crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 to 4 drops hot pepper sauce
  • ¼ cup scallions, finely chopped, for garnish

Preheat oven to 260 degrees. 

For the crust, line a 10-inch springform pan with aluminum foil.  In a mixing bowl add bread crumbs, cheese, and butter and stir to combine.  Transfer to pan.  Using hands (or back of spoon) press crust into the bottom of pan.  Set aside.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl add cream cheese, eggs, and cream and mix thoroughly.  Add bacon, butter, onion, blue cheese, salt, pepper, and hot sauce and stir to incorporate all ingredients well.  Using a spatula, transfer cheese mixture to prepared springform pan, scraping sides to remove all of the mixture and smooth to cover entire pan.  Place in oven and bake for 90 minutes or until puffed and golden.  Turn oven off and allow cheesecake to sit in oven an additional 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and place in refrigerator overnight or until thoroughly chilled and set.  (Cheesecake can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.)

To serve, remove cheesecake from refrigerator.  Top with scallions, for garnish.  Serve with crackers.   Makes 20 to 40 appetizer servings

Serve with salted rice crackers which are usually packaged in tubes and can be found in the deli section of most grocery stores.  The combination of the salted crispiness of the cracker with the smooth and tangy texture of the cheesecake is perfect! 

Sweet Potato Empanadas with Beef Picadillo Filling and Harissa Sauce

Sweet Potato EmpanadasHarissa Sauce

  • 2 large red bell peppers, roasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole, peeled
  • 2 whole jalapeno peppers washed, stem removed (or other hot pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup mayonnaise


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ large onion, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, unsalted, roasted, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green olives, chopped (or capers)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • ¼ cup cilantro, fresh, washed, chopped (or parsley)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound butter, unsalted, cold
  • 2 cups sweet potato puree, chilled
  • 1 large egg white, beaten

For the sauce, in a food processor add red peppers, garlic, hot peppers, cumin coriander, caraway seeds, and salt.  Pulse until mixture is consistency of paste.  While processor is running, slowly add oil and continue to blend until mixture is smooth.   Turn off processor and add mayonnaise.  Pulse mixture until smooth.  Set aside.

For the filling, in a skillet heat oil.  Add beef, onion and garlic. Sauté until beef is no longer pink, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.  Add cranberries, almonds, olives, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and cilantro. Stir to combine well.  Set aside.

For the pastry, in a food processor add flour, cornmeal, salt, and butter.  Pulse until pieces of dough form to the size of a pea.  Add puree and egg white.  Continue to pulse until dough is moistened throughout.  Transfer dough to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in refrigerator to chill for an hour.  Remove from refrigerator and set aside until dough is pliable and able to be rolled out. Transfer dough to a lightly floured countertop (or pastry cloth).  Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, cut dough into 3-inch rounds and transfer to a baking sheet. 

To assemble empanadas, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place 1 tablespoon of the filling into the center of each dough round. Using a pastry brush (or your fingers), paint edges with beaten egg.  Fold dough over filling and pinch (or press with the tines of a fork) to seal edges.  (Make sure that edges are completely sealed so that the filling doesn’t bubble out when baking.)  Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter.  Serve warm with Harissa Sauce for dipping.  Makes 16 to 20 empanadas.

To prepare the sweet potato puree, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash outside of 2 small sweet potatoes. Using a fork (or sharp knife), pierce each potato 2 to 3 times so that steam can escape during cooking.  Place directly on rack in oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are soft and sharp knife can be inserted easily.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool to the touch.  Remove peels and place flesh in a food processor.  Puree just until mixture is smooth.  Transfer to a covered dish and refrigerator until chilled. (Puree may be made up to one day in advance and stored refrigerator.)

Several December Cooking Classes Added!

CCKC Cooking ClassesTWO Big News Flashes from
The Culinary Center of Kansas City today…

#1 – Our January and February cooking classes are now online and ready for registration! Quick… hop on the class calendar at (click on the purple ‘Current Schedule’ button). There are still plenty of spots available in most of the classes at this point, but save your spot soon.

#2 – Lisa, our Class Coordinator, has been busily working at adding classes to our December calendar. Click on the class titles below for full descriptions and online registration.

More Info: Chinese New Year CelebrationHomemade Liqueurs for the Holidays
Sat, Dec 9,  10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Instructor: Jackie Wilson
Limited Hands On  |  Tastings & Take-Home Liqueur  |  $60

Liqueurs, also called cordials, have long been produced and enjoyed as aperitifs, in mixed cocktails, and in cooking.  The process to make them at home is easy and inexpensive, and learning this process will open your imagination to endless possibilities. And they make elegant and memorable gifts!  You will take home a handcrafted liqueur, along with recipes and many ideas for using them.

More Info: Elves Gone BadElves Gone Bad: Holiday Cake Wars
Tue, Dec 12,  11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Hands-On | Lunch  |  $75/person
Move over Ace of Cakes, we’re taking desserts to a whole new level. We’ll greet you with your own unique elf name, and then small teams will battle to win Santa’s good favor as they build and decorate holiday cakes.  Creative juices will be flowing with mystery decorations along with a challenge, a time frame and winner of the best decorated cake of the bunch.  Everyone will celebrate at the end with a delicious lunch!

More Info: 'Travel Holiday' Award-Winning AppetizersFlavorful Weekend Nights:
‘Travel Holiday’ Award-Winning Appetizers from Kansas City’s Legendary Plaza Restaurants

Fri, Dec 22,  6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Instructor: Richard McPeake
Hands On  |  Tastings   |  $75
You’ll learn to recreate some of Chef Richard McPeake’s ‘Travel Holiday’ magazine award-winning appetizer recipes you’re sure to recognize from popular Kansas City restaurants like Plaza III, Fedora Café and the Original Bristol Bar & Grill.  Along the way, he’ll cover fundamental cooking skills like searing methods, the 6th Mother Sauce (aka butter sauces), how to properly steam mussels, the unique techniques of an East Coast Pan Roast, and lots more.

More Info: 'Travel Holiday' Award-Winning AppetizersFlavorful Weekend Nights:
Christmas in Mexico… including Homemade Tamales

Fri, Dec 22,  6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Instructor: Susy Lara
Limited Hands On  |  Dinner & Take-Home Tamales   |  $75
Tonight, our tamale expert will share coveted family recipes, secrets and techniques as they teach you how to make Chicken Tamales with Tomatillo Sauce. You’ll also learn several other special dishes that are served at the Lara’s holiday gatherings, as well.  We’ll end our festive feast with Buñuelos – a delectable sweet dessert. We’ll also explore Atole, and even a special Mexican drink!

More Info: 'Travel Holiday' Award-Winning AppetizersJunior Chefs Academy (for ages 9-14):
Chef Shanita Bryant’s Food Truck Favorites

(Adult/Child Option)
Wed, Dec 27,  6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Instructor: Shanita Bryant
Hands On  |  Tastings   |  $60

Shanita will introduce kids to a variety of essential cooking techniques as she teaches you mouthwatering recipes starting with Red Velvet Waffles. (you heard me…..Red. Velvet. Waffles.)  then you’ll move on to a southern classic of Shrimp & Creamy Sweet Potato Risotto. Yummy! Finally, we’ll end on a sweet note as Chef Shanita shows you how to prepare one of her famous southern dessert specialties, Super Quick Strawberry Shortcake. Adults can purchase a seat for themselves to attend this one with their junior chef.

More Info: Elves Gone BadVegan for Everybody
Wed, Dec 27,  6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Instructor: Molly Flynn
Limited Hands On  |  Tastings   |  $60

Chef Molly will teach some basic culinary skills as she walks you through some incredibly delicious plant-based recipes. Because we learn best when we practice what you’ve learned, you’ll tie on an apron and help with some of the prep and cooking, too!  You’ll learn to make a versatile a hearty Shepherd’s Pie, a colorful Superfoods Salad, Eggplant Crunch Burgers (trust me, you’re gonna love this healthy burger alternative), and a comforting Kale and White Bean Soup.

More Info: Elves Gone BadJunior Chefs Academy (for ages 9-14):
Learn to Bake Like A Pro

(Adult/Child Option)
Fri, Dec 29,  2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Instructor: Katie Newell
Hands On  |  Tastings & Take-Home Cookies & Bon Bons   |  $55

It’s non-stop, hands-on action as we learn correct measuring, how to follow a recipe for success, knead dough, mixing, stirring, and more as we whip up some fantabulous Lemon Cherry Olive Oil Cupcakes (they’re soooooo gooood!).  We’ll also make a batch of homemade Sugar Cookies. And, as if that’s not enough sweet goodness, Katie will also teach her recipe for Peppermint Bon Bon’s.  Won’t you be fancy?! You’ll taste AND take home your creations to share (that is, IF they make it home!) Adults can purchase a seat for themselves to attend this one with their junior chef.

Send Your Junior Chef To Our Kitchens Over The Holidays

Junior Chefs AcademyIf you’re starting to think about the holidays – and specifically how you’re going to fill all of those days while the kids are home on school break! – we have an idea!  Send them to The Culinary Center of Kansas City for cooking classes. They also make a great birthday or holiday gift idea, just sayin’…

Reserve spots now. We have several Junior Chefs Academy classes available (for 9-14 year olds), but seats are filling quickly. Don’t miss out. There are even a few classes marked as Adult/Child Option which you can attend with your Junior Chef, if you like. Just purchase another seat in the class, tie on an apron and join them!

~~~  T H A N K S G I V I N G   B R E A K ~~~

~~~  W I N T E R   B R E A K ~~~

6 Classes in November You Don’t Want To Miss

CCKC Cooking ClassesThere’s a cooking class for everyone at The Culinary Center of Kansas City.   Whether you’re a regular in our kitchens, or it’s been awhile since you’ve been to a class or you’ve never been to The Culinary Center at all, check out these SIX classes on our November schedule!

More Info: Classic Steak House DinnerFlavorful Weekend Nights:
Classic Steak House Dinner
Sat, Nov 11,  6:30 – 9  p.m.
Instructor: Jesse Vega
Limited Hands-On  |  Dinner
Save by using promo code lastminutedeal
Was $75   SAVE 10% w/promocode   NOW $67.50
Who can resist a good steak? It’s the perfect meal to serve to family and friends when you want to impress. Just imagine the luscious flavor, aromas, and tantalizing tastes you will experience. Chef Jesse Vega, leads our steak-fest. He’s passionate about teaching you the right way to make a steak dinner as he shares some of his favorite recipes: Salted Potatoes with Steak Butter, Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce, Peppercorn and Herb Grilled Steak with Pinot Noir Steak Sauce. Come in and tie on an apron for the fun and we will even toast to our success at the end of the evening!

More Info: Santa's Favorite Holiday Freezer DishesLadies Who Lunch!
Inspired (& Inexpensive) Holiday Table Designs
Wed, Nov 15,  11 a.m. – 1  p.m.
Instructor: Larry Wheeler
Demonstration Class  |  Light Lunch & Gift
It’s a special 2-hour class that’s all about girlfriends, humor and holiday-inspired decorating ideas! To top things off, we’ll serve you a luscious light lunch prepared by our very own CCKC Chefs. Each guest will take home a little sumpin’ sumpin’ from Larry.  (Sorry fellas, this one’s just for us girls!)

More Info: Vegetarian Comfort FoodCookWell: Vegetarian Comfort Food
Sat, Nov 18,  10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Instructor: Molly Flynn
Limited Hands-On  |  Tastings
Chef Molly Flynn will share some of her favorite tried-and-true vegetarian recipes that have the “umph” to sustain us through these cold wintry months. Chef Molly will teach fundamental culinary techniques as she walks you through the steps to create belly-warming recipes such as Five Bean Chili with a surprise fall harvest ingredient, Mini-Lasagna with fresh made-from-scratch Pasta (that you’ll get to make yourself!), Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Black Beans & Goat Cheese, and a creamy, dreamy dessert – Chocolate Risotto with Port Poached Pears.  This is a menu that everyone in your family will love!

More Info: An Affair to RememberFlavorful Weekend Nights: Cooking for Couples!
An Affair To Remember
Sat, Nov 18,  6:30 – 9:00  p.m.
Instructor: Jason Bowers
Limited Hands-On  |  Dinner
Join us for one of our signature Flavorful Weekend Night® dinners, designed specifically for the two of you. We’ll greet you with a glass of champagne and the table will be set for romance. Chef Jason Bowers, will show off his incredible culinary skills as he creates a memorable evening with a lovely menu of Red, Yellow and Green Tomato Chilled Soup with Toasted Cumin Crème Fraîche and Roasted Anaheim Pepper Chutney.  Avocado Purée Soyu Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Rock Shrimp and Pineapple-Pepper Compote served with a Soy-Sesame Ginger Reduction, Herb Infused Basmati Rice with Pomegranate and Lemon Basil.  Dessert will be Caramel Crème Brûlée.  You’ll get a bit of hands on tonight alongside Chef Jason, as well.

More Info: BBQ Workshop: Sauces, Rubs & MarinadesMidwest BBQ Institute:
BBQ Workshop: Sauces, Rubs & Marinades
Sun, Nov 19,  5:00 – 7:30  p.m.
Instructor:  Richard McPeake
Limited Hands-On  |  Tastings & Take-Home BBQ Sauce & Rub
Chef Richard McPeake, Educator of ‘Que” and expert pit master, will educate you on the ABCs of preparing a great sauce, rub, and marinade. You’ll learn all about choosing the right spices, storing them properly, their expected shelf life, pros and cons of using powders vs. ground spices, and knowing which spices complement each other. Chef will demonstrate how to prepare KC Style BBQ Sauce, Zesty Piquant Pepper BBQ Sauce, “Your Own” BBQ Rub, and Brisket marinade.  Armed with all this valuable information, you’ll tie an apron on and try your hand at making your own signature sauce

Le Crêperie: Sweet & Savory CrêpesLe Crêperie: Sweet & Savory Crêpes
Sat, Nov 25,  10 a.m. – 12:30  p.m.
Instructor:  Lauren Lane
Hands-On  |  Tastings
Join one of our newest culinary instructors, passionate foodie Lauren Lane will teach the techniques and tips to make delicious crêpes variations such as Spinach, Mushroom and Gruyere and Herb Crêpes with smoked ham and cheese. Not to mention a fabulous dessert crêpes made with Nutella and Bananas. Yummy…. and so much fun!  Once you master the fundamentals and tips that Lauren will share, you’ll be able to create tons of your own variations to serve to your family, or when entertaining.

Roasting A Royal Brew

Local MakerThe Culinary Center of Kansas City features local artisans in The Kitchen Shop, and each month we feature a Local Maker of the Month. In November, we’re featuring Royal Brew Coffee Company….

Chris Smith, founder of Royal Brew, says the local company’s goal is to bring the freshest possible product to market while educating about natural flavor profiles of world coffees. He believes this will lead to reduced sugar intake and increase the natural healing properties of coffees.

Royal Brew CoffeeThe Royal Brew roasting process uses the latest technology that ensures an even roast while capturing the essential coffee oils that produce amazing flavors.

Specializing in small batch roasting, Royal Brew produces single-source coffees from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Brazil, Honduras and Colombia.

You can purchase Royal Brew’s Organic Honduran, Ethiopian Yigacheffe and Columbian Supreme in our Kitchen Shop in Downtown Overland Park, KS, or online (click here).

Royal Brew Coffee

From Disney’s Coco Movie to Date Night… We Have It All!

No matter the culinary entertainment you want, we offer it at The Culinary Center of Kansas City. We’re constantly busy adding classes to the schedule… Take a look at a couple of new classes to hit the calendar in November!

Romantic Dinner for TwoFlavorful Weekend Nights: Cooking for Couples!
A Romantic Chateaubriand Dinner for Two
Fri, Nov 10, 6:30 – 9  p.m.
Instructor: Richard McPeake
$75 per person
A consummate date night dinner that will be hands-on all the way as you learn to make Chateaubriand, and more. Enjoy a romantic dinner of Chateaubriand for Two, Plaza III’s Famous Garden Salad with Low-Fat Ranch Dressing, White Cheddar Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Tomatoes and Award-Winning Chocolate Nut Gateau with Chocolate Ganache.

Disney-Pixar's 'Coco' Cooking ClassDisney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Movie Cooking Class:
Cooking with Miguel & Friends
Sat, Nov 18, 10 a.m. – Noon
Instructor: Ariel Johnston
$50 per person (ages 6+)
This class is a special partnership inspired by Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco‘ that opens in theaters nationwide Nov 22. Today, kids (ages 6+) will go on an extraordinary culinary journey inspired by aspiring musician, Miguel, and his charming trickster friend, Hector. Join the fun as kids work with an experienced cooking instructor to learn some awesome culinary skills as they help to make some authentic Mexican dishes. Everyone throws on an apron to prepare some tasty Mexican recipes like Miguel’s Favorite Guacamole, his favorite dog Dante’s delicious Empanadas de Pollo (that’s fancy Mexican talk for seasoned chicken in a pastry pocket!) with Cilantro Lime Rice, and Hector’s Scrumptious Sugar Cookies. Each attendee will be entered for a chance to win passes to attend a special advance screening of ‘Coco’ on Mon, 11/20, plus kid-friendly ‘swag’ like movie posters, pins and more.
(PLEASE NOTE: Kids ages 6-8 must attend with an adult who will also need to purchase an additional seat at $50; kids ages 9 and up may attend unaccompanied if they like)