Tanya Tandoc

Food commentator

Tanya Tandoc is a chef, writer, artist and owner of Tanya's Soup Kitchen in Wichita.

When she is not piloting her soup ship, she teaches cooking classes, writes recipes, consults and is a food stylist for the restaurant industry. She is also a ceramicist, cellist and bellydancer.

She lives in Wichita with her pug dogs and giant cats.

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El Patio restaurant is a venerable Tex-Mex shop, very tiny, very good. I have been going there for delicious Mexican/American food for twenty-five years, and have rarely been disappointed. The food is so savory and made with family recipes. Nothing is fancy, but a`lmost everything is good.

    

I recently went to Sumo, by the Warren East Theatre. It happened to be during prom night, so the restaurant was extremely crowded. Sumo is a teppan-yaki style grill and sushi bar, serving really neat sushi combinations and delicious grilled meat and seafood.

Spring has Sprouted!

Apr 3, 2015
liz west, flavor Creative Commons

Oh, Kansas! Spring produce season is here and I could not be happier. Asparagus, tiny lettuces, radishes, and all the other gorgeous garden bounty is making everyone excited. I’m talking today about asparagus, my favorite spring vegetable. The arrival of asparagus always makes me feel hopeful. It is, to chefs, like daffodils and tulips to flower gardeners. Asparagus is relief and joy!

Glorious Tomato Soup!

Mar 20, 2015
Sandor Weisz, flickr Creative Commons

When I was a child, my favorite sick day treat was Campbell’s tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, with Kraft cheese, on Wonder bread. It was warm and comforting and I would dip the sandwich into the soup and feel much better. I tried that exact combination a few weeks ago, when I was feeling terrible and also nostalgic. Sadly, the memories did not live up to the reality.

Ross Pollack, flickr Creative Commons

This morning, I read a post from a longtime friend and chef who wrote of his choice to leave the culinary profession. He is an excellent chef and has been for a long time. His decision to try something new was based entirely on exhaustion and the life-suck that the restaurant business creates. I could completely relate.

We work long hours, weekends are non-existent, and we don’t see our families and friends very often. Our marriages dissolve, our health suffers, and the constant stress eats your soul. We eat more meals standing over garbage cans than we do sitting at a table.

Mike Poresky, flickr Creative Commons

    

On running a restaurant: I can save you a lot of money.

I have been a restaurant consultant for eighteen years. If you feel like you want to open a restaurant, I have a few helpful tips.

Usuluteco

Feb 6, 2015

Okay, friends, get your GPS navigators set for 1714 East Northern Street in Wichita. At the end of your trip you will be at Usuluteco, a fantastic Salvadoran restaurant located just off Hydraulic, south of Pawnee. Salvadoran food is delicious, a recognizable cousin to Mexican cuisine, but with its own distinct character—a bit more subtle, without the same chili-garlic-tomato-cilantro bang of Mexican food, but perfect in simplicity.

Tanya Tandoc

    

Happy 2015, darling listeners! I rang in the New Year with a craving for a great hamburger. I discussed this issue with a few friends, and after a heated discussion, decided to go to Tj’s Burger House, in the Delano district. It was a good choice, and everyone had consensus that it was one of the better burgers in Wichita.

Fork & Fennel

I’m breaking one of my cardinal rules for reviewing.

I don’t usually talk about restaurants that are newly opened, because it takes a bit of time for a new place to work out kinks and service and other random things. But I can’t help it this time, because the Fork & Fennel, in College Hill, is so exciting that I can barely contain myself.

sriram bala,flickr Creative Commons

This is a beautiful time of the year, made for celebrating and love and giving and desserts. I don’t normally like sweets, but I have a fondness for bread pudding. I have probably made fifty thousand industrial-sized pans of this treat over the years, in many variations. I still love it.

Some bread puddings are custardy, with chunks of bread that are distinct. Some are layered, with spices and fruit. Some are fluffy, some are crusty, and some have hidden treasures like chocolate chips or nuts. All are great.

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