food

Elke Wetzig / Wikimedia Commons

Among other things, I am a professional food stylist. I have been doing this weird job for over 25 years.

What a food stylist does is make food look fantastic on camera or video. Yes, it is fakery. Yes, it is somewhat dishonest. Yes, it is great work if you can get it. It pays well and a stylist gets to use her knowledge of food preparation, her skills as an artist, and an understanding of photography. It is very challenging.

Lu Anne Stephens / KMUW

Sushi, the wonderful Japanese preparation of rice and fish, used to be impossible to find anywhere in Wichita. It took a while to catch on here, possibly because of a Midwestern aversion to raw fish.

Now, sushi is everywhere, even in the grocery store. Once a rarity, sushi and Japanese food in general are firmly part of Wichita’s diverse culinary scene.

Hugo Phan

Meat and cheese lovers, rejoice! Schane Gross, owner of The Anchor, has opened her new venture, the Douglas Avenue Chop Shop, and it is marvelous.

The Chop Shop is an artisanal butcher shop that carries delicious meats, cheeses, house-made sausages, eggs, bread and specialty condiments, all sourced locally. Ms. Gross really cares about the quality of her products and it shows in everything The Chop Shop carries.

Mole, Oaxacan Style!

Jun 27, 2014
Tanya Tandoc / KMUW

Mexican restaurants abound in Wichita, and each is unique in quality, authenticity, menu and style.

Tanya Tandoc

Tacos are pretty much the perfect food. They are salty, meaty, drippy, savory bites that satisfy. Even mediocre tacos are better than no tacos at all.

My friend Michael Carmody, a taco aficionado, has gushed over the food at El Tenampa for months, so I grabbed a friend and went to the slightly dilapidated building on west Central.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

I am obsessed with kimchi. I think about the earthy, fermented, spicy pickle all the time. I know that some people find kimchi’s deep funkiness repellent, but I love it.

Kimchi is one of the most common Korean condiments and is made with vegetables, chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger and salt. It is lightly fermented, sort of like sauerkraut, and then eaten as a side dish or used as an ingredient in Korean cooking. The kimchi most of us are familiar with is made with Napa cabbage.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

I met a friend on a cold, rainy day for lunch at Birds on The Roof, on Rock Road and Central, and my day immediately improved.

The restaurant is lovely, beautifully pink and green and bright. The pastry case was filled with pretty treats and cakes, and we were greeted by smiles and seated right away.

We sat and were given three little biscuits, light pink and green and cream, flavored gently and only slightly sweet. The sweet butter that was served with them was delicious.

Fletcher Powell / KMUW

To me, there is nothing as sensually delightful as Asian grocery stores. They have their own character and are as organic and wild as Western groceries are sterile and packaged.

Asian groceries can smell funky, spicy, and a little fermented. Fruits of all sorts in varying stages of ripeness are jumbled all together, some softer and sweeter than others, some bruised, chosen for flavor instead of shelf life. Jars of salted pickles and preserves sometimes crystallize over their seals and add their perfume to the mix. It’s heady, for sure. Embrace the funk, and inhale deeply.

Eight Kansas schools have been selected to receive state grants to promote using local foods in school cafeterias.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture says that it had awarded each of the schools $12,500 from the Farm to School program.

The winning districts include: Lost Springs, Doniphan West, Ell-Saline, Eudora, Maize, Pike Valley, Rawlins County and St. Francis.

The program educates students about how food is produced, and how it gets from the fields to the dinner table.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Thai Tradition is one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Wichita.

It is dark and pretty inside, with a romantic ambience that sets it apart from many other Thai establishments in town. The food is delicious and beautifully presented on nice china. I like to take out-of-town guests there to relax and chill out after a long day of travel or business work.

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