Tanya Tandoc

Friends and family of the late Tanya Tandoc hosted a memorial celebration for the Wichita chef and frequent KMUW commentator.

The recording of "Tanya Tandoc: A Celebration of Life" which took place Thursday, June 11, at the Wichita Orpheum Theatre can be played here.

More of the news coverage about Tanya's death can be found here. And all of her food commentaries can be heard or read below.

Alex, flickr Creative Commons


This spring is abundantly green and lush. My gardening friends are watching their crops of spinach, lettuce, and chard go crazy.

I love this time of year, when all the beautiful greens I adore are really delicious and tender. I'm delighted, because I get to cook with all of these wonderful ingredients.

My chef Kelly is coming up with some amazing recipes to highlight the bounty of the season.

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

Newport Grill, in Bradley Fair in Wichita, is one of the few restaurants in town that specializes in fresh seafood. By fresh, I mean flown in every single day.

The food is thoughtfully prepared and beautifully presented. They serve several dishes that are totally crave-worthy.

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.

This Pho Is Special

Mar 21, 2014
Hugo Phan / KMUW

Pho is one of the most delicious noodle soups on the planet.

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.

Campobello Island / Flickr / Creative Commons

I am not a gardener. Plants wither and die at my very glance. I don’t even like it when I accidentally touch leaves, because they can itch or harbor bugs or any number of dreadful things. I envy those who can nurture a plant from shoot to fruit, but I am not one of them. I’m happy just to be able to use the produce and flowers that talented gardeners and farmers offer.

nemuneko.jc / Flickr--Creative Commons

My plan for today was to talk about leftovers and what to do with them, but as I sat in my office typing and watching snow fall beautifully onto our patio, I changed my mind.

Hugo Phan

If you haven’t yet been to the Anchor, on the edge of Old Town in Wichita, and you love beer and bar food, you are missing out. The Anchor has been one of my favorite places to meet friends, eat, drink, and hang out for years.

Schane Gross, the powerhouse proprietor, has created a marvelous atmosphere in which to enjoy excellent drinks and interesting food. The bar is dark, with high ceilings, church pews for booths, and keeps the spirit of old Wichita, while adding modern, edgy touches. When you walk in, it feels like you could be in any cool city, anywhere.