Chef Febres gets TV practice with ‘Bizarre Snacks’

Fans of local chef Jason Febres, owner of Taste and See at 255 N. Washington, know that he is not the least bit uncomfortable in front of the camera.

Nutella-dipped grasshopper, anyone?

Nutella-dipped grasshopper, anyone?

The chef has made several appearances on national television, working as a consultant on Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” and as a contestant on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” and “Cutthroat Kitchen.”

Febres also has been public on social media about his desire to have his own national cooking show and has hinted that some sort of a deal is in the works. His quest to land a show has resulted in a bizarre web series called “Bizarre Snacks.”

Febres started filming the short webisodes back in June, he said, following the advice of a producer who said that networks would be more likely to consider him if they could see more evidence of how he performed on camera.

In “Bizarre Snacks,” which can be found on Febres’ YouTube channel, jasonfebres1, the chef films himself and often his Taste and See guests trying outrageous, strange and rather gross ingredients. So far, he’s tackled fried silk worms, Nutella-dipped grasshoppers, ant and sesame candy bars and snake bites. His favorite has been spicy squid jerky, he said.

“It was so disgusting, but it was so good,” he said. “The flavor was nice but the texture was really bizarre.”

In each episode, Febres gives a little background about the ingredient’s actual use then films the various stages of revulsion as he and his guests choke down the snack.

Febres says he tracks down the delicacies at a variety of sources, including online and in local Asian and Indian markets. In September, Febres said, he will put on a free event in his restaurant where he will invite brave customers to come sample mystery ingredients if they agree to let him film their reactions.

I’ll let you know when he sets a date.

To keep up with the Bizarre Snacks installments, which Febres hopes to produce about once a week, like his Bizarre Snacks Facebook page or subscribe to his YouTube channel.

‘Cutthroat Kitchen’ episode featuring Febres airs on Sunday

jason2DVR alert: The episode of  “Cutthroat Kitchen” featuring Taste & See chef and owner Chef Jason Febres  is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Sunday on the network, which is on Cox Cable Channel 40 and 2040 in Wichita.

The show is hosted by famous food personality Alton Brown, and though Febres can’t share details of the show, Sunday’s description reads: “One chef must prepare French onion soup using serving ladles as cooking vessels; blackened fish challenge, making a banana split with pulverized bananas.”

This will be Febres’ third go-round with televised food shows. Last yearFebres appeared as a kitchen coach on an episode of Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue.” Then, in December, he was on “Guy’s Grocery Games”  hosted by food celeb Guy Fieri.

“Cutthroat Kitchen” premiered on the network in August, and each episode pits four chefs against each other cooking gourmet dishes for a celebrity judge. But there’s always an element of kitchen sabotage to keep things interesting.

Febres will watch the show at a sold-out watch party at Taste & See, 255 N. Washington.

Taste & See 3 opening at McConnell

Chef Jason Febres posted this picture of the keys to Taste & See 3 on his Facebook page on Thursday.

Chef Jason Febres posted this picture of the keys to Taste & See 3 on his Facebook page on Thursday.

Chef Jason Febres, who just opened his second Taste & See at 255 N. Washington in Old Town, has just made a deal to open Taste & See 3.

But not just anyone can go.

The new restaurant will be at McConnell Air Force Base. Febres said base officials approached him about the idea of opening there because people from the base had become a big fans of his original Taste & See, which is nearby at 3825 E. Harry.

The McConnell Taste & See should open on Feb. 3 in the Dole Center on the base, said Stefan Bocchino, a McConnell spokesman.  It will start off serving just breakfast and lunch.

The restaurant will be open only to those authorized to be on the base, Bocchino said.

Febres said he wasn’t looking to expand yet but that when McConnell officials approached him, he saw it as an opportunity he didn’t want to pass up.

Jason Febres’ Food Network moment happens Sunday

1471910_740311169331376_1116565259_nThe episode of Guy Fieri’s new Food Network Show featuring Wichita chef

Jason Febres, who owns the new Taste & See in Old Town, airs on Sunday, a network spokesman said.

“Guy’s Grocery Games” is set in a grocery store, and each episode pits four chefs against each other to compete in cooking challenges with levels of difficulty thrown in. Febres filmed the show last summer.

It airs at 7 p.m. Sunday on Food Network, Cable Channel 40 in Wichita.

The episode is called “Holly Jolly Meals,” and judges include Richard Blais of “Top Chef” fame.

Meanwhile, Febres has traveled back to California to participate in another Food Network show, though he’s not saying which one yet.

He has, however, been hinting about it repeatedly on the Taste & See Facebook page.

Guy Fieri, host of “Guy’s Grocery Games.”

These aren’t his first T.V. gigs, either.

Back in March, Febres appeared as a kitchen coach on an episode of Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue.”

Chef Febres back on national television


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.

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.

Chef Febres schedules Spike TV watch party

The episode of Spike TV’s show “Bar Rescue” that features Chef Jason Febres of Taste & See is tentatively scheduled to air on March 24.

So Febres and his staff at the restaurant are tentatively planning a big watch party.

They plan to open up the restaurant at 3825 E Harry plus the new adjoined banquet room and put the show on big screen TVs. Febres will serve tapas before the 6 p.m. show, and then he hopes to offer a buffet patrons who want to stay can purchase once it’s over.  He also promises a seafood ice bar, live music and “sexy cocktails.”

Febres was selected to fly to Los Angeles in January to be part of the show, in which gruff host Jon Taffer and a team of experts go to a struggling bar and try to turn it around.

The restaurant is asking for RSVPs. Call 316-771-7393 if you want to attend. The watch party date will change if Spike TV changes the show’s air date.

Taste & See expanding, adding dinner

It started as a cooking school and party venue. Then last year, executive chef Jason Febres started serving lunch at his Taste & See at 3825 E. Harry.

Now, he’s about to achieve a long-held goal of adding dinner to his offerings.

Starting on June 1, Taste & See will be open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Febres said he will be serving a long list of tapas plus lighter options such as sandwiches and fish tacos. The heavier entrees on his menu, which he’s perfecting right now, will focus on global cuisine — Italian dishes, Spanish paella, Argentinian steaks, etc. Febres, who has a full bar, also will serve several exotic drinks, such as sangria, Limoncello and Brazilian caipirinhas.

Taste & See’s dining room recently has been remodeled, and there are now more booths, tables and a bar. Febres is moving his cooking classes and private parties to an adjoined room with 1,200 square feet, which is being fitted with a kitchen and should be done this summer. He also hopes to add patio dining this fall.

Taste & See will continue to serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call 316-771-7393.

Chef Jason: Made for television

From the day I met Chef Jason Febres, I felt like he was made for television.

It doesn’t take much to see that he has what it takes to star on a Food Network or Bravo cooking show — charisma, Latin good looks and culinary ability.

His only problem: He lives in Wichita, and contestants on those shows usually come from New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc…

But Febres isn’t going to let that stop him. The chef, who opened Sabor and now owns Taste & See at 3825 E. Harry, is making a bid to get on Food Network’s show “Chopped.”

He’s filled out an application, and now he’s taking the advice of an industry expert who told him to get a video made and get it viewed. Febres’ goal is to have as many people as possible view the above video in hopes that it will boost his chances.

“I have always wanted to do one of those shows,” he said. “I know at some point, I will find a way.”

My favorite part of the video, which was made by a Febres friend, comes in the opening minutes when he announces: “I AM the ultimate Latin fusion experience.”

Warning: Don’t watch the video if you’re hungry. Or lonely.