Category Archives: Chefs

Chef Febres back on national television

Febres

UPDATE: Here’s a clip from this morning’s “Good Morning America” in which Fieri discusses the show and Febres makes a brief appearance.

Charismatic Latin chef — Taste & See’s Jason Febres — is about to make his second national television appearance.

Febres, who back in March appeared on an episode of Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue,” is about to appear on Guy Fieri’s new show on Food Network.

It’s called “Guy’s Grocery Games,” and it premieres at 7 p.m. Sunday on Food Network.

It’s a game show set in a grocery store, and each episode pits four chefs against each other, competing in cooking challenges with levels of difficulty thrown in.

Wichita’s Chef Jason Febres will appear on an episode of the new Food Network show “Guy’s Grocery Games.”

Food Network’s publicist said they don’t yet know when Febres’ episode will air but said he would let me know when it was scheduled.

Meanwhile, Febres said he’s in the casting process for yet another cooking show. He’s also about to open his new restaurant in Old Town — Taste & See Global Cuisine.

Taste & See Global opens Oct. 21; old spot will have lunch, events only

Chef Jason Febres gave me a tour of his under-construction Taste & See Global Cuisine at 255 N. Washington (inside the former Doc Howard’s space) this afternoon, but he wouldn’t let me take any pictures that showed much of the restaurant. He wants customers to be surprised by the custom-designed interior on opening day, which is scheduled for Oct. 21. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week as well as brunch on Sundays.

The space is big — 4,536 square feet — and it will feature lots of seating, a big bar, a large outdoor patio, a tapas area and a set of wine lockers, where regular customers can store their stash.

It’ll also have an open kitchen prep area and a giant projection screen so that diners always can watch what’s going on in the kitchen. “I call it interactive reality cooking,” Febres said.

Oct. 20 will be the last day that Febres’ original space, the Taste & See inside Office This at 3825 E. Harry will be open for dinner. Once the new restaurant opens, the original will serve lunch only and also will be used for private events.

Febres has hired two sous chefs, and the three will split their time between both restaurants, he said.

The new restaurant will feature several of Febres’ classic dishes, including ceviche, paella and gaucho steak. But he also plans to add several dishes and plans to utilize his “molecular gastronomy” skills.

The dishes he has planned will use touches like truffle foam. One dish he described fro the new menu is a flash-seared ahi tuna with plantain hash browns with hydroponic watercress, tamarind reduction, fried tofu and wasabi texture.

Nathan Toubia teaching Italian cooking series

Nathan Toubia

He closed his Bocconcini Italian Eatery at 4811 E. Central, but chef Nathan Toubia is still cooking.

In addition to his Bocco Deliwhich is still operating at 3010 E. Central, Toubia is putting on a series of Italian cooking classes this month at Cooking at Bonnie’s Place, 9747 E. 21st St.

The first one is on Oct. 17 and is a hands-on class during which Toubia will teach participants to make fresh pasta and ravioli. The second class is on Oct. 24 also is hands-on. It will cover pasta and cannelloni making.

And on Oct. 30, Toubia will put on a demonstration class in which he prepares an Italian dinner featuring spinach and shrimp scampi flan, braised beef risotto and red wine poached pears with pistachio Mascarpone.

All three classes start at 6:30 p.m. and are $60 a person. To make reservations and get more information, call 316-425-5224 or visit Bonnie’s website.

It’s Iron Chef time at the Old Town Farmers’ Market

Chef Paul Freimuth

This weekend is Labor Day weekend, meaning that it’s time for the annual Iron Chef Competition at the Old Town Farmers’ Market. The event, now in its 11th year, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the market at First and Mosley.

The competition pits local chefs against each other, cooking live with a secret ingredient they learn about just as the competition begins.

This year’s contest has an interesting twist. Instead of chefs from several different restaurants competing, Harvest Kitchen/Bar’s executive chef Paul Freimuth will compete against his executive sous chef and two assistant sous chefs. The restaurant inside the Hyatt is known for its use of local ingredients. Freimuth was a competitor last year and worked his way deftly around the secret ingredient: long beans.

Celebrity judges Guy Bower and Joe Stumpe will choose a winner around 10 a.m. It’s free for spectators to watch the showdown.

The Old Town Farmers Market is open from 7 a.m. to noon.

Siena’s patio will open this weekend

Siena Tuscan Steakhouse, the fine dining restaurant that opened in January inside the Ambassador Hotel at 104 S. Broadway, is adding a patio.

The gated off area, which has room for about 24 seats, is right on Douglas and looks at over the bustling intersection of Douglas and Broadway. It should be ready to go by Friday, said executive chef Marshall Roth.

The patio is pretty close to Douglas, and during daytime hours, it’s pretty traffic-noisy. The Ambassador staff will be adding tall plants that should help cut down a bit on the noise. The patio also is on the north side of the hotel, meaning that it’s shaded during lunch and dinner hours.

I made him do this.

Another recent addition is a “Chef tasting menu,” which Roth introduced last week. The option allows diners to sample a multi-course menu, which changes every day on Roth’s whim. Five courses are $75, or $110 with wine pairings. Eight courses are $95, or $145 with wine pairings.

For a reservation at Siena, call 316-440-5300.

NBA legend cooking at Taste and See

Febres, far left, standing next to NBA legend Charles Oakley

Chef Jason Febres likes to offer the unexpected at his Taste and See restaurant, and tonight, he’s cooking with an unlikely partner.

NBA legend Charles Oakley, who played with teams such as the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks and who also is a restaurant owner. Febres was put in touch with him through a local contact and invited him to Wichita to help him cook as part of one of his famous demonstration dinners.

Oakley will be at Taste and See tonight (Friday, July 28) and will help Febres prepare a six-course tasting menu. Spots are left and cost $45 a person. Wine pairings are available for an extra $20 a person.

For a reservation, call 316-771-7393.

Celeb chef Josh Marks at Ciao tonight, Thursday

First Fabio. Now this?

Another celebrity chef is making a stop in Wichita this week. Josh Marks, who finished second on the third season of Fox’s show “MasterChef, is in town right now and cooking at Ciao Italian Kitchen, 1720 N. Webb Road.

Marks, a 7-footer who played basketball in college, will be at a meet-and-greet from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight at the restaurant. Then, on Thursday, he’ll cook a four-course fundraising dinner that costs $70 a person. Spots are still available for that dinner and can be claimed by calling 316-613-2426 .

The restaurant will only be serving the four-course meal from 7 to 9 p.m. It will raise money for the Make a Sound project, a suicide-prevention program that Marks supports.

Celeb chef will visit Kansas Star Casino

Fabio Viviani

Fabio Viviani, the Italian chef and restaurant owner who gained notoriety a few years ago when he competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” is coming to the Kansas Star Casino.

Viviani will put on a cooking demonstration from 4 to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, when he will show how to prepare gnocchi. Then, from 4:45 to 6 p.m., he’ll be at a meet and greet, where he’ll sign copies of his new cookbook, “Fabio’s Italian Kitchen,” or copies of head shots.

To celebrate his visit,  two casino restaurants – The Kitchen Buffet and Woodfire Grille — also are featuring some of Viviani’s  recipes, including a four cheese penne pasta with sausage, his grandmother’s meatballs, an apple tart, ricotta cheese and chocolate chip cookies and minestrone soup. At Woodfire Grille, they are featuring his blue cheese fillet and lamb chops.

Admission is free.

Many courses of Metro Grill news

I finally was able to reach Chef Michael Gonzalez, the owner of Metro Grill III at the Waterfront, who recently closed his popular Towne East Mall location.

He’s putting all his focus now on his Waterfront restaurant, which opened last June at 10096 E. 13th St., suite 122. He’s also planning a VIP Night for March 30, featuring a five-course meal he’s preparing himself. Attendees will be allowed to bring their own alcoholic beverages with no corkage fee. There will be live music, and Gonzalez’s plans for the menu include Chilean sea bass, beef carpaccio, strawberry flambe and more.

Gonzalez used to put his VIP nights on regularly when he briefly owned the Metro Grill in Andover.  He plans to start offering them at the Waterfront on the last Saturday of every month. He has two seatings available for March 30 — one from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and one from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. The price is $50 a person.

Gonzalez also talked a little more about the reason he decided to close his sandwich cart at Towne East, a popular spot he had operated in the food court since 2005.

He got an offer, he said, from a former customer who was interested in moving the cart to a mall in Arkansas. He hadn’t been looking to sell, Gonzalez said, but the man offered him a good price, and Gonzalez decided he could use the extra time to focus on some new ventures — namely a consulting gig in New York City and the possibility of a downtown Metro Grill.

The spot he’s pondering now, Gonzalez said, is in the Union Station building at 725 E. Douglas that used to house Cox Communications. Occidental Management recently acquired that property and plans to fill it with shopping and dining.

For more information or to make a VIP night reservation, call 316-631-1454.

Team Hyatt brings the best loaf

Chef Paul Freimuth, left, and his Hyatt staff were the winners at Saturday’s Loaf Off.

I have the results of Saturday’s fifth annual Loaf Off, a meatloaf cooking competition that doubles as a fundraiser.

The event drew 175 people to The Anchor and raised $1,725 for Children’s Miracle Network. It also drew 12 teams who cooked a variety of loaves.

The panel of judges, which included local foodies Joe Stumpe and Barbara Baan, chef Chris Collier and two-time Loaf Off champ Don Lucero, chose the loaf created by Hyatt chef Paul Freimuth. Their “Top Loaf” was a sort of  meatloaf  Wellington, wrapped in pastry. I’m glad Chef Freimuth won, not only because he is a great cook but also because he almost never fails to donate his time to charity cookoff and food events.

The People’s Choice winner was Team Rico, made up of mother and son Eric and Diana Wittman. The team, which has won People’s Choice once before, made a rich, blue cheesy loaf.

Best of show went to the ICT Roller Girls, who arrived to compete in funky derby garb and brightly colored hair.

Organizers are already planning next year’s Loaf Off, so start formulating your recipe.