Chow Town

Pay attention to what Kansas City’s talented chefs try to relay in their dishes

Until today, any involvement I have had with The Kansas City Star had been leisurely coupled with buttered toast, a medium egg and a cup of coffee.

For the better part of a month, I’ve pondered the content of my first Chow Town blog post. It is tasks like these that make “cheffing” seem effortless.

And only now, moments before my deadline, I have discovered a way to express myself outside the asylum of the perfect burger or some slow roasted pig.

I don’t too often get to enjoy the fruits of my colleagues labor. But when I do, I try and pay attention.

I want to understand where they are coming from, what they are trying to relay in their dishes, how their staff is interpreting their passions and what other guests are taking away from their experiences.

“Can I get that without the aioli?”

“Is there any other type of pasta I can get instead papardelle?”

“I’ll have the Cuban Panini, but can you just make it with ham and cheese only?”

We have come a long way in this town down the path to culinary revival.

We are not just barbeque, or meat and potatoes. There are some gifted and thoughtful pioneers in Kansas City — chefs who design their dishes from the harvest to the palate.

A seemingly simple sandwich from Urban Table or something as elegant as the Pasta Au Poivre from Westport Café should be regarded by the consumer as a piece of someone’s heart.

We pair. We think. For most of us, we feel while we are cooking. Although it may not always be expressed in the price point or the plate ware, we are composers of some of the finest culinary arias this town has ever seen or heard.

Unlike what you may see at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, we only have you as our captive audience for a few bites. We need your trust and willingness to embark on an adventure — a tour of our intentions.

Through the subtle nuances of lemon zest and roasted garlic in an aioli or some perfectly cooked, broad and flat pasta that can stand up to the texture of a fried egg without leaving the sauce behind, we invite you to take a front row seat as we croon the songs of our passion.

From the calloused hands of the farmers who raised it, to the hands which carefully prepare it, to the plate all the way to the palette, we ask you quite simply to enjoy it.

Bon Appetit.

Chef Kelli Daniels is owner and operator of Good You Mobile Vending and Catering. She is also chief dishwasher, a restaurant consultant, sister, daughter, a lover and a fighter, metro cyclist, socialite, epicurean and drinker of strong coffee.