New lineup of chefs at Bonnie’s Place

Chef Kevin Gillenwater of Crown Uptown will be Cooking at Bonnie’s Place.

Bonnie Aeschliman, who owns Cooking At Bonnie’s Place at 9747 E. 21st St N., has signed up a new batch of chefs to offer classes at her cooking school.

Among them is well-known local chef Kevin Derks, who heads the kitchen at Newport Grill, 1900 N. Rock Road. His class, scheduled for Tuesday, is called “A Taste of Provence Ala Newport Grill” and will include a demonstration of French cooking skills. The menu will include Provencal scallops, and Derks also will make banana pecan bread pudding.  Admission is $55, and the class starts at 6:30 p.m.

Aeschliman also has added Kevin Gillenwater, who leads the kitchen at the Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre, to her roster. His class is called “Four Season Dinner” and will include a four course dinner with one course representing each season. His class is $50 a person and starts at 6:3o p.m. on Nov. 12.

O.J. Moore also will return to Bonnie’s on Nov. 10 for a class focusing on tips and techniques he uses in his roll as executive chef at YaYa’s Euribistro at 8115 E. 21st St.. His class is at 6:30 p.m. and is $50.

The school also is offering a long list of classes that Aeschliman will cook herself focusing on topics such as appetizers, making hot rolls, Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving dinner.

To make reservations for any of the classes, call 316-425-5223.

Buffet out, themed plates in at Crown Uptown

The newly reopened Crown Uptown Dinner Theater now has a new way of serving dinner to its patrons. The buffet concept is kaput, and theater-goers are being served meals that correspond with the show’s theme at their tables.

So far, the change is working well, said Shannon Parsons, the theater’s bar manager. “People are getting their food a lot faster,” she said. “It seems to be much better.”

The buffet concept wasn’t working, she said, because the line to get through it was always so long. Often, lines would stretch all the way around the building, and by the time people made it through and back to their seats, their food was cold. The change was instituted along with the theater’s current production of “Steel Magnolias.”

New chef Brian Mangers, whose resume includes The Candle Club and Uptown Bistro, is serving a “Steel Magnolias”-esque meal that includes blackened catfish, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, red beans and rice, collard greens, gumbo and salad. Servers still plate the food at the buffet then deliver it hot to the tables.

The theater’s next show is “The Wizard of Oz,” and Mangers is busy dreaming up a No Place Like Home menu right now.