We have some fabulous folks working with us as part of our team here at The Culinary Center of Kansas City, and we love to introduce them to you. So, we profile some of these extraordinary employees in our Kitchen Talk blog. Now, we’d like you to get to know our Executive Chef Sergio Lara, who is the focus of this Employee Spotlight.
Sergio Lara was raised in ‘la cocina’… and has been working in professional kitchens for more than 20 years – from senior living communities and country clubs to hotels and fine dining restaurants.
Chef Sergio started out as Sous Chef Sergio at The Culinary Center of Kansas City™. He eventually became a class instructor and now serves as our Executive Chef. We’re darn glad to have him with us full time now.
Chef Sergio brings a gift for understanding great cooking technique, and a true passion for culinary creativity.
You might have met his twin sister, Vicky Lara, here at The Culinary Center too. She has been our ‘Chicana in Charge’ for 10 years now, and runs our operations as well as facilitating classes and events. The Lara family talents also include sister Susy, who teaches classes here also and Sergio’s daughter Alexis, who is one of our wonderful Wizards (that’s the fancy title for “behind the scenes employee making certain we are clean and organized”).
Check out one of Sergio’s upcoming cooking classes:
Delia, our Dean of Deliciousness, is at it again, adding cooking classes to our schedule! Here are the latest additions:
Learn to make a Kansas City staple properly with ourMidwest BBQ Institute: Finger Lickin’ BBQ Ribs class! Our MBQI classes help you master the grill in a fun and delicious way. Chef Richard McPeake (Educator of ‘Que and former Grand Champ at The American Royal World Series of BBQ) will break it all down for you on Tuesday, August 23.
Our popular Tamalada Party with the Lara Sistersclass is being offered again on Saturday, Aug. 27! Don’t miss the chance to learn authentic tamale-making from sisters Vicky and Susy. These two know their stuff, and they’re ready and willing to share family recipes, secrets and techniques to the class.
We’re putting the finishing touches on the new fall schedule. Look for that online and in your mailbox by late July!
Who is this ‘Victoria’ whose name is on our famous enchilada casserole?! Well, let me introduce you to her…
Vicky Lara’s title at The Culinary Center of Kansas City is ‘Chicana in Charge,’ and that’s an understatement, folks. Vicky ‘wears so many sombreros’ around here that we couldn’t run it without her. Officially she is our Operations Manager but she does so much more. Not only does she cook some of our great dishes at Tuesday Lunch and in our Dinners on Demand freezers, but she’s a teacher of some of our most popular kids’ and adult cooking classes, she makes certain that the events are arranged perfectly, creates beautiful displays and window dressings, facilitates teambuildings, fixes what’s broken and basically, just knows where all the bodies are buried, as they say.
Vicky made our Tuesday Lunch today, featuring Victoria’s Beef Enchilada Casserole (available in our Dinners on Demand freezers, by the way) and ending with her delicious Tres Leches Cake. (I dare you to find a more delicious and moist version!) It’s really no wonder that this is one of our most popular menus for Tuesday Lunch – it’s tasty start to finish.
Let me tell you CCKC folks have a strong sense of duty….and a stronger sense of humor. Unless breathing or blood flowing is a problem you will usually hear the howls of laughter. Interesting things happen within and without…think I will just start with a warming story. As I drove up to work the other day, I saw Victoria’s butt hanging out of the dumpster. Vicky is a little thing…dumpster a big thing….need I say more. The closer I got, the more laughter and cheering filled the air. The facts; one of our truly incredible and organized guest chefs left her favorite pan at the CCKC. She rode her bike back the next day to retrieve it. Vicky KNEW it was there. She had washed it and put it in a bag, knowing the chef would return. High and low they looked…no pan. Vicky, knowing her “clean team” would do a thorough job, headed to the dumpster for a little diving. Fabuloso! Out crawled Vicky and the pan. Cheering crowd, happy chef, stinky Vicky. We are proud of YOU Victoria!!!!!!! stay tuned for more
Lots of requests to meet the name behind the fabulous “Victoria’s Enchilada Casserole”. We served this at today’s Staff Lunch and Vicky has these casseroles in our Dinners on Demand freezers. Here she is!