Lots of foodie fun at this weekend’s Women’s Fair

He's not a woman, but Chef Paul Freimuth knows how to cook food women like.

I like the Women’s Fair.

I’ve been going to it for years and I’m always amazed by the sheer amount of STUFF the organizers pack into Century II. There’s good shopping, live haircuts, as-seen-on-TV demos, tons of freebies (my favorite are the shampoo samples) and tons of food-related exhibitors. In past years, my friends Carrie and Joe have always done a live cooking demonstration, and the audience members nearly riot for a chance to sample the results.

Carrie and Joe can’t make it this year, but four other foodies are scheduled for demonstrations.

Chef Tanya Tandoc, owner of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, will demonstrate how to make chicken curry and other famous soups at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Chef Joe Parten of Carrabba’s will be making chicken Marsala at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Local cookbook author Andrea Cassell will show how to make roasted red pepper and Tex-Mex hummus from her cookbook “Nahima’s Hands” Unique Mediterranean Cuisine” at 5 p.m. Saturday.

And at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Hyatt Chef Paul Freimuth, the man behind the fabulous Harvest Kitchen/Bar, will teach fair-goers how to make tortelloni with tomato basil sauce.

Also, cookbook author “Kitchen Kimberly” will demonstrate Southwest potato corn chowder and savor cheddar and chive bread at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. She’ll also do a 4 p.m. Saturday demonstration of enchilada casserole with Southwest sour cream

I won’t be demonstrating any cooking, but I’ll be at the Wichita Eagle’s booth from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday and will be happy to discuss anything restaurant- or food- related with you.

See the full Women’s Fair schedule here.

Did someone say limoncello bread pudding?

Limoncello bread pudding

Carrabba’s proprieter Joe Parten has been telling me for a while that his restaurant was about to add some new seasonal specials to the menu.

But he didn’t happen to mention that one of them would be LIMONCELLO BREAD PUDDING. Does this sound beyond fabulous to anyone but me?

Among the other specials Carrabba’s will be offering through late June:

A Parmesan-crusted chicken topped with fresh arugula and grape tomatoes tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and served with choice of side for $16.90.

Prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin medallions that are grilled and topped with an apple and fig infused port wine sauce and served with the vegetable of the day for $16.10.

And then there’s that beautiful limoncello bread pudding, which is made with brioche, Madagascar vanilla beans and rich custard then topped with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of Caravella limoncello liqueur sauce. It takes 20 minutes to make it, so diners are advised to order early in their meal. It’s $8.

Joe also sent some pictures of the other dishes over, and there’s nothing I love more than pretty food pictures.

Parmesan-crusted chicken arugula

Prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin

A report from the meatloaf front lines

Meatloaf was served in tiny tasting cups. If you eat 25 tiny bites, it's healthy, right?

I had more fun than I thought possible at this Saturday’s Loaf Off, a meatloaf competition that fundraiser for Make-A-Wish that made The Anchor smell sooooooo goooooood.

I had the pleasure of serving as a judge at the event, along with chef Tanya Tandoc and local Food God Joe Stumpe. We sampled and sampled and sampled meatloaf, and amazingly, they were all so different that we were actually able to decide which ones were best.

We gave the Top Loaf prize to Don Lucero, who was recently promoted to head chef at Via Christi Hospital on East Harry. He created his loaf in an angel food cake pan, stuffing it in the center with all sorts of cheesy goodness. You can find his recipe at the bottom of this post, and I suggest you make it a.s.a.p.

The crowd gathered to sample the loaves voted on People’s Choice and Best of Show. Eric and Diana Wittman won People’s Choice with a fabulous white-gravy topped loaf, and a team called The Smoked Loafers, lead by Philip Warren, won Best of Show. If my memory serves correct, their loaf was topped with latticed bacon, and it was purty.

Several other loaves were amazing, too, including a pheasant/duck/ostrich creation by Chef Paul Freimuth at the Hyatt and a very tasty Carrabba’s loaf entered by Joe Parten.

Please enjoy my photos from the event and keep reading to find Lucero’s winning recipe.

Don Lucero, the head chef at Via Christi Hospital on East Harry, was the big winner. Here he is with Lori Stone of Make-A-Wish getting his loaf award.

My co-judge Joe, preparing to dig in.

Tanya Tandoc announcing the winner.

Pretty sure this is the latticed beauty that won Best of Show.

The Hyatt's chef Paul Freimuth prepared a loaf made out of ostrich, duck and pheasant.

Could not resist a shot of this meatloaf fan sitting next to us.

Read More »

Ready to loaf

Meatloaf can be sort of a polarizing food. I love it, but many people in my life just can’t deal with it. I’m not sure why. It’s sort of like a giant meatball, and what’s not to like about that?

Good thing I’m pro-meatloaf because on Saturday, I’ll be one of three judges at the Loaf Off, a meatloaf cooking competition now in its third year.

We’ll gather at The Anchor, 1109 E. Douglas, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and sample loafs assembled by both home cooks and local chefs. Among the chefs entering this year: Paul Freimuth, the new head chef at Harvest Kitchen/Bar in the Hyatt, Carrabba’s Joe Parten and local caterer Chris Collier.

The public is invited to sample the loafs and help choose a People’s Choice category. The Anchor will be providing meatloaf friendly side-items liked mashed potatoes and gravy. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 12.

My co-judges are Tanya Tandoc of the soon-to-open Tanya’s Soup Kitchen and local Food God Joe Stumpe. The event raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Kansas.

Come loaf off with us?

Lots of food fun at the Women’s Fair

Guy Bower: Willing to teach women about wine.

I sort of love the Women’s Fair, which runs Friday through Sunday at Century II.

There’s tons of good shopping, for one, and I love watching the live haircuts that Eric Fisher and his stylists do in the middle of all the hubub.

I also love the foodie fun at the Women’s Fair, mostly because the food demonstrations always conclude with samples, and there are some good cooks on the menu this year.


At 5:30 p.m., my buddy Guy Bower (who changed my life when he taught me that I preferred Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand) will put on a wine tasting. Right after at 6:30 p.m., the Hyatt’s new chef Paul Freimuth will make his Wichita debut with a cooking show.

You will not want to miss the annual cooking show put on by Sue Chef & the Food God, also known as the Wichita Eagle’s Carrie Rengers and her food God and husband Joe Stumpe. Their always-entertaining show is at 2 p.m. Then, at 4 p.m., local chef Tanya Tandoc, who’s hard at work getting her Tanya’s Soup Kitchen reopened, will put on a cooking show of her own.

Skip lunch and go to a noon cooking show by Joe Parten, the very generous and talented chef and proprietor of Carrabba’s.

The Women’s Fair runs from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7.75 for adults, $6.75 for seniors and $4.75 for children.

Cook like a chef


Chef Peter Moretti will be demonstrating his cooking prowess at Cooking At Bonnie's next week.

Local food expert Bonnie Aeschliman does so many tasty things for Wichita.

For one, she writes a weekly column in the Wichita Eagle, which is always full of informative morsels. For two, she runs a nifty cooking school, called Cooking at Bonnie’s Place, at 9747 E. 21st St., suite 139.

And now, Bonnie is offering mere mortals who attend her school the opportunity to cook like real chefs. Aeschliman regularly offers cooking classes led by local restaurant chefs, and she has two coming up next week.

The first is a week from Tuesday, on July 27, and it will feature Carrabba’s general manager Joe Parten’s instructions on “Grilling Southewest Style.” His menu includes roasted stuffed poblanos with spicy sauce and roasted garlic guacamole and pico.

The next day, on Wednesday, July 28, the Marriott’s executive chef Peter Moretti, will demonstrate “4-Star Dining Made Easy” with a menu that includes a roulade of chicken stuffed with tri-color peppers, feta, spinach, eggplant and Kalamata olives.

Both classes are $45, and both start at 6:30 p.m. I’m planning to attend Parten’s class so I can write a story about Aeschliman’s chef series.

Call 316-425-5224 for information and reservations.