Chef Scott Welsch trained at the Culinary Institute of America and cut his chops working for fine hotels in Hawaii and Kansas City before starting his own catering business 10 years ago.
By CINDY HOEDEL
The Kansas City Star
But he found he craved the instant gratification of serving good, from-scratch meals to strangers walking in off the street. So last April, Welsch opened Orange Box across the street from the Roasterie.
The neighborhood that’s home to warehouses, businesses and a few modest homes is hardly a foodie destination. But last year’s opening of the Roasterie factory café drew in droves of downtown office workers and artists.
As a result, bank presidents and bikers now sit side by side at tables inside the funky dining room, whose focal point is a floor-to-ceiling chalkboard listing the daily specials.
Welsch likes the mix. Part of his mission is to push fresh, from-scratch food out of foodie circles and into the blue-collar world.
One success story is a group of “scary-looking” biker regulars who always ordered the Frisbee-sized tenderloin sandwich. Over time, Welsch persuaded them to try his other dishes, and now their favorite selection is poached salmon in puff pastry.
Except for the tenderloin sandwich, which is offered daily, the menu changes weekly. Another sandwich frequently in rotation is the Cuban, a savory pile of slow-roasted pork belly, shredded pork shoulder, serrano ham, crunchy dill pickles and thin slices of cheese on crusty Italian bread smashed flat on a hot griddle.
Orange Box also frequently offers an eight-course chef’s table menu for $45 per person on Friday and Saturday evenings.