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.

Valentine’s meal: a week, three days away

This week, I’m busy gathering up information on all the special Valentine’s Day meals being offered around Wichita, and it seems like there are more than usual this year.

The options range from fancy prix fixe meals at places such as The Ambassador’s Siena Tuscan Steakhouse and the Kansas Star Casino’s Woodfire Grille to a funky cheese and beer pairing/ movie screening by Tallgrass Film Festival at the Anchor. A couple of places are putting on wine dinners, including Oeno Wine Bar, which is calling its “Crush.”

Look for the completed list on this blog by Wednesday and in the paper on Friday, then make your reservations.

E-mail me if you are aware of an event that should be included.

Christmas opening for casino’s steakhouse

The dining room at the Kansas Star Casino’s soon-to-open Woodfire Grille

The Kansas Star Casino’s fancy new steakhouse, Woodfire Grille, will open on Christmas Day.

The restaurant will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner, and those interested in visiting should make a reservation.

The steakhouse will be the last of the casino’s several permanent restaurants to open. Already open are The Kitchen Buffet, a 250-seat buffet restaurant that features chefs carving meat live; An Pho, a small Asian noodle bar; and Shark Bar, a sports bar that serves food and has bar seating only. The new Panini Jo’s, which is a deli, opens on Friday.

Woodfire Grille will be a fine-dining restaurant that will feature items such as steak, cedar plank salmon, Chilean sea bass, crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque and more. When possible, chefs are using local products to prepare their dishes.

Executive chef Adam Correa at Kansas Star Casino’s new Woodfire Grille

The dining room is decorated with warm earth tones, deep red chairs, fireplaces and a wall of wine. Entrees, which are served with vegetables, will cost $19 and up. The seasonal menu will be updated four times a year.

Hours for Woodfire Grille are 5 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information and for reservations, call  316-719-5000.

The casino sent me a lot of pretty pictures of the restaurants for you viewing pleasure. They’re so pretty, I must share them all.

The Kitchen Buffet at the Kansas Star Casino

The lobby at the new Woodfire Grille

A beautiful shot of the desserts available at Woodfire Grille

Kansas Star Casino restaurants have names, chefs

A rendering of what the new Woodfire Grill will look like

We’ve always known that the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane would be full of restaurants once the permanent building was complete.

But now, those restaurants have names, concepts and chefs.

All five of them are scheduled to open early next year.

The casino’s fancier, sit-down restaurant will be called Woodfire Grille. It’s a contemporary steakhouse that will be lead by executive chef Adam Correa, whose resume includes stints at Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, the Marriott’s Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the Phoenician, a five-star resort in Scottsdale.

A rendering of the 250-seat Kitchen Buffet

Meanwhile,  chef Gary Scherer will lead the casino’s other four restaurants. Kitchen Buffet will be a 250-seat buffet restaurant that features chefs carving meat live. Panini Jo’s, which already is operating at the casino, is a deli that will be bigger that what’s there now. An Pho will be a small Asian noodle bar. And Shark Bar will be a sports bar that has bar seating only and also serves food.

Chef Scherer comes from Phoenix, where he was the executive chef for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts. He also has a long resume of hotel and resort kitchen jobs.

Now, the casino is looking for 175 people to work in the new restaurants, including cooks, servers, bussers, cashiers and hosts. Those interested should apply online at www.KansasStarCasino.com.