More chef shuffling

David Wirebaugh, Ben George, Terry Johnson and Jeremy Wade at this summer's Iron Chef competition at the Old Town Farmer's Market. Photo by Old Town Farmer's Market.

If you follow restaurants in Wichita, you know that our pool of local chefs is constantly shifting in and out of restaurant jobs. They work here for a while. They work there for a while. They open up their own restaurants. They go back there. They try here again. Rinse. Repeat.

Over the weekend, I found out about a few more moves in the never-ending revolving door of Wichita chefdom. Ben George, who was really turning things around at The Anchor — both in terms of food and service — left there in December after Tallgrass Country Club made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, recruiting him as their food and beverage director. Now, The Anchor is using some of Ben’s former assistants to keep the kitchen going. (I also hear that Anchor owner Schane Gross is now looking at April as a start date for her long-awaited remodel.)

I also heard over the weekend that Gaslamp Grille & Lounge has a new chef: Terry Johnson, who’s worked at restaurants such as Cibola and Yia Yia’s and regularly wins chef cookoffs around town, is heading the Gaslamp kitchen now.

Autumn & Art: A culinary report

autumnandart.jpg 002Sorry for my absence on Monday. I was off because I worked on Saturday covering the new Autumn & Art event — a juried show and sale that stretched all along the road behind Bradley Fair.

While there, I did my food writer duty and sampled dishes from the dining tent, and I was pretty impressed. All the good Bradley Fair restaurants participated, including On the Border, Redrock Canyon, Outback and Yia Yia’s. Cocoa Dolce was there, too, selling gelato and trying to keep their delicate chocolates from melting in the not-very-autumny atmosphere.

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The yummy flat bread taco I ingested can be seen at left. Stacked nachos are at right.

After perusing the selections, I chose a flat bread taco from On the Border, which was made with caramelized roast beef, cheese, tomato, lettuce and a nice roasted red-tomatillo salsa. It was delish and not too expensive –$5 for a generous serving that came with a side of tortilla chips and salsa.

I can’t speak for the art, which I admired by couldn’t afford. But in culinary terms, Autumn & Art was a success in my book.

Taste of Wichita

IMG_5520As you can see at left, Carrabba’s was among the many restaurants at Saturday’s Taste of Wichita event serving sample-sized portions of some of their best dishes.

Well, after about, hmmmm, 7 samples of the bread-crumb coated shrimp (which I’ve also sampled a million times in the restaurant), I was reminded that yes, of course, I do love it. Glad I was able to clear that up.

I enjoyed the event, a fundraiser that local radio personality Brett Harris decided to revive this year. (He put on something similar back in 2005.)

It was hot as blazes not only outside in the Spaghetti Works parking lot but also inside the Eaton Place restaurant space, and by the time I got there at 5 p.m., the 11 to 7 event was winding down. But I tried a lot of tasty treats, including lobster shooters and beef carpaccio from Yia Yia’s and sugar coated chocolate champagne balls from Cocoa Dolce.

I also had another chance to sample cake balls (you heard me) courtesy of the Cake Ball Divas, a company that’s becoming a mainstay at these foodie fundraiser events. Cake Balls are sort of like cupcakes, only they’re in the shape of a ball and coated in frosting. I had one that was spiked with all sorts of toffee chunks.

And I do so love the motto of the Cake Ball Divas: