Taste & See Chef announces new T.V. spot

1973338_10153059309244041_1270937673_oChef Jason Febres is going to be on television again.

The chef, who owns three locations of his Wichita restaurant Taste & See, announced on his Facebook page today something he’s been hinting at for months: He’ll appear on an episode of the Food Network show “Cutthroat Kitchen” hosted by famous food personality Alton Brown.

According to Febres, the episode he appeared in will air on the network, channel 40 and 2040 in Wichita, on May 4.

This will be Febres’ third go-round with televised food shows.

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Febres

Last MarchFebres 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.

The show airs Sundays at 9 p.m.

Mark your calendars and loosen your belts: It’s food fundraiser season

maxresdefaultEarly spring is typically the time local churches and organizations start feeding people for a cause. That season unofficially launches Monday in Wichita.

A whole lot of food-based fundraisers will happen over the next couple of weeks. Some are simple chili feeds. Other are elaborate galas with huge spreads and fancy attire.

Following are a few to put on your calendar:

Dining with Friends, Monday, Feb.24: This event is a benefit for Positive Directions and includes a special dinner at Taste & See, 255 N. Washington. It’s a five-course dinner with two wine pairings per course. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the dinner is $65 a person. Reservations are required by calling James Woods at 263-2214 extension 109.

Palette to Palate, Friday, Feb. 28: This annual fundraiser for KETCH mixes art, food and drink. It includes food from local restaurants, wine tasting and silent and live wine auctions. The event starts at 7 p.m. Friday at Beech Activity Center, 9710 E. Central. Tickets are $75 a person. Tickets are available at ketch.org or by calling 316-383-8889.

Prairie Fire Chuckwagon, March 1: This all-you-can-eat chili and stew feed is put on by Grace United Methodist Church, 944 S. Topeka, and happens from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 1. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under and include dessert and a drink. Additional desserts can be purchased for 50 cents. For more information, call 316-262-6195.

Throw Down in Old Town, March 6: Women in Aviation Air Capital City Chapter are putting on a cookie competition from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 6 at Social Manor, 920 E. Douglas. The event will put local cookie chefs against each other, including Bruce Reesman from Twizted Confections and Nancy Bell Ringer, the Dish Diva. Tickets are $15, and chances to vote for a favorite cookie are $1 each. Tickets are available at www.childrenfirstceo.org.

Wichita Airport Lions Club Chili Feed, March 8: This is the 22nd annual chili feed for this club, and it lasts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. It happens at the Sedgwick County Extension Office, 7001 W. 21st St. N. Tickets are $7, and the event  offers all-you-can-eat chili and crackers and unlimited coffee and tea. Soft drinks and desserts are available for purchase. The proceeds will go toward community service activities and projects for the club.

Death by Chocolate, March 8: This eighth annual fundraiser for Exploration Place fills the children’s museums with chocolate creations prepared by local bakers, chocolate makers and restaurants. Visitors also can enjoy wine and chocolate parings, liv emusic. an open bar, and a silent auction. The event is from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. Tickets are $80 a person and are available at exploration.org/deathbychocolate.

Two approaching wine events

1554581_10151958331917675_1336795804_nLike wine? Of course you do. Here are two opportunities coming up to drink it:

1. Capricorn tasting at Oeno, 3oo N. Mead: Oeno’s monthly wine tasting, which costs $35 a person, is at 7 p.m. on Saturday. It’ll feature three courses and three wine pairings plus a dessert. Among the items on the menu — sesame crusted ahi tuna paired with Chime Pinot Noir from California. For reservations, call 316-440-5000.

2. Dining for Friends, 6 p.m. Jan. 27, Taste & See, 255 N. Washington: Positive Directions is putting on a fundraising event that will feature five courses with two wine pairings per course. The doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. It’ll cost $65 a person and reservations are required by calling 316-263-2214, extension 105.

Wichitans can learn to cook in 2014

Adriene Rathbun at work teaching class.

Adriene Rathbun at work teaching class.

If learning to cook was one of your New Year’s resolutions, several talented Wichtans are ready to teach you.

One is accomplished local cook Adriene Rathbun, who has a cooking school called Social that she runs out of her luxurious home kitchen at 158 N. Roosevelt in College Hill. She’s just released her January/February schedule, which includes lessons on winter soups, Greek food, and Super Bowl snacks. She also has a couple of fun classes on the books for kids, including an adult/child taco class on Jan. 18 and a youth kitchen skills class for ages 10 to 16 on Jan. 25. Classes all start at 6:15 p.m. and range in price from $50 to $65. To make reservations, call Rathbun at 316-990-4493. Participants are asked to RSVP no later than two days before the class.

A few other places offering classes:

Cooking at Bonnie’s Place at 9747 E. 21st St. also has her January classes set, and the calendar includes lessons with local chefs such as Newport Grill chef Kevin Dirks. For a complete schedule of her classes, visit www.cookingatbonnies.com/.

All Things BBQ, the grilling store at 818 W. Douglas, has a couple of February grilling classes set up, including a class on mastering the grill on Feb. 21.

And Chef Jason Febres also is still teaching cooking classes at his Harry location of Taste & See, including a Jan. 16 class on making sushi and Feb. 20 class called Cooking with Couples. See his full schedule here. 

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.”

Events for oenophiles in June

There’s lots of wine to be consumed in June, whether you prefer yours with a four-course dinner or a side of yoga.

Here are some events to put on your calendar.

1. Wine and Yoga: Oeno Wine Bar at 330 N. Mead has started a weekly yoga class that also features a wine tasting in its champagne room. It’s staged every Monday at 7 p.m. and features an hour of yoga led by Olga Khakova followed by light hors’ douevres and three wine samples. Admission is $15 a person, and reservations are recommended by calling 316-440-5000.

2. Bocconcini wine dinner: The next wine dinner at Bocconcini, 4811 E. Central, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. It’ll feature four courses paired with wines from Banfi. For reservations, call 316-613-2523.

3. Dinner for Friends: Taste & See, 3825 E. Harry, will be the home of a 6:30 p.m. June 17 fundraiser dinner for Positive Directions. Chef Jason Febres will prepare a five-course dinner, and two wine pairings will be provided by Standard Beverage. Tickets are $60 or $75 for front-row seats. A cash bar also will be available. Reservations are required by calling 316-263-2214, extension 108.

4. Cocktail Tasting: Auburn Spirits is putting on a cocktail tasting from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 18 Tuesday at Rolling Hills Country Club, 223 S. Westlink. It’ll include mixology lessons on mixing summer spirits plus samples of six cocktails. Tickets are $20 and include the drink recipes. Reservations are required by June 17 by calling 316-440-1111.

First Tuesday talk will feature local food celebs

Schane Gross

Two of Wichita’s most recognizable restaurant celebs will be speaking as part of a panel at Creative Rush’s First Tuesday talk, scheduled for 6:45 p.m. tonight.

Schane Gross, owner of downtown’s popular bar The Anchor, and chef Jason Febres, the chef and owner at Taste and See, will be two of the three panelists talking about “Success in the Unexpected.”

Local musican Ryan Windham also will be on the panel. The talk will be at Bluebird Arthouse at 924 W. Douglas.

The panelists will speak for about 45 minutes, then they’ll answer questions.

Anna Murdoc’s Cafe will be providing Indian tacos, and Febres is bringing dessert. Admission is free.

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.

Chef Jason cooking kangaroo, alpaca & lion

Taste & See’s envelope-pushing chef Jason Febres is planning a very… exotic dinner next month. It’s already sold out, so you can’t go. But I thought you might be interested in the details.

The $160-a-person dinner, scheduled for Aug. 14 at Taste & See, 3825 E. Harry, will feature Febres cooking unusual and exotic meats, “Iron Chef” style. On his eight-course menu are meats most people havn’t considered trying: wild hare from Scotland, Indian farm-raised alpaca, Australian crocodile tenderloin, African water buffalo, Australian kangaroo loin fillets, African antelope osso bucco and… and…. (wait for it)…. African lion.

Febres called this week to see if I wanted to attend the dinner, but alas, I’ll be out of town. I’m not sure I’m adventurous enough to dine on lion, anyway.

I’ll be curious to hear what attendees of the dinner think. I don’t know of anyone who’s sampled meat THIS exotic. It’s legal to sell the meat of lions raised in captivity, but that wasn’t much comfort last year to some Arizona residents whose ire persuaded a restaurant to scrap plans to sell lion tacos. 

What do you think? Would you (or have you) sampled any of the meats on this menu?