Chow Town

GastroClub co-hosts an American Royal barbecue benefit with a 10-chef twist

Krokstrom Klubb & Market’s chef Katee McLean doesn’t consider herself a pitmaster, but she’s fired up and ready to put a Scandinavian spin on Kansas City barbecue in time for the American Royal Barbecue Contest.

Her smoked mackerel flaked over a dip of green onion, cream cheese, dill pickles, cucumber vinegar served with knockbrod crackers will be one of the creative dishes featured at The Kansas City Star GastroClub Pork ‘N Boots Smoke Out, an American Royal barbecue gala on Friday, Sept. 1, featuring 10 of the city’s top chefs.

“It’s kind of like a cross between brandade and green onion dip,” says McLean, who first tried it out as a special at her restaurant at 3601 Broadway. “It’s not done in a conventional (barbecue) way, but in the same breath, it’s the same.”

There’s another parallel: Scandinavians like to gather outside when the weather is warm, says McLean, who grew up in the Kansas City area enjoying barbecue and grilled foods.

GastroClub is The Star’s private supper club designed to showcase the culinary expertise of local chefs. The benefit dinner is $150 and includes admission to the American Royal Barbecue Contest, food, drink pairings and a deejay. (Corporate table VIP sponsorships are also available.) The benefit is in its seventh year. Proceeds go to Be Head Strong, a volunteer nonprofit that helps patients with brain tumors and their families.

This year’s American Royal will be held over Labor Day weekend at the Kansas Speedway. I will be co-hosting the benefit with Misty and Joe Fridkin, supporters of Be Head Strong. A core group of the chefs will stay on that weekend to compete in the open category of the largest barbecue competition in the world.

The 10 chefs:

Charles d”Ablaing, executive chef, 901 West in the Hotel Fontaine

Michael Foust, chef/owner of the Farmhouse

Shaun Brady, executive chef of the Ambassador and Brady’s Public House

Jason Wiggin, executive chef for Cerner World Headquarters

Joe West, executive chef of Stock Hill

Bryant Wigger, executive chef of Tavernonna in the Hotel Phillips

Vaughn Good, chef/owner of Hank Charcuterie in Lawrence

Katee McLean, chef/owner of Krokstrom Klubb & Market

Amanda Schroeder, formerly a pastry chef at the American Restaurant

Tristan Wagner, pastry chef at 901 West in the Hotel Fontaine