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.

Passage to India

Jan 27, 2012

If you want spicy, complex, and savory cuisine, Indian food will fit the bill perfectly. It can be chili-hot or creamy and mild, meaty or completely vegan, and diverse enough for even the most jaded palate to enjoy. I love the diversity of Indian cuisine, from spice-coated tandoori oven chicken to crispy fried samosas. One can spend a lifetime discovering its nuances.

The Donut Whole

Jan 13, 2012

About four years ago, my friend Michael Carmody sent me a text: “Hot homemade doughnuts and coffee, my house, right now.” Of course, I dropped everything and rushed over. He had made a lovely batch of buttermilk doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, hot and delicious, and fresh coffee to wash them down. Several other friends had gathered to try them and they were gone in minutes. Over the course of the next year, Michael made thousands of test doughnuts to share with his friends, perfecting his recipes and creating an underground doughnut sensation.

I have been very sad this week. Two of my first and best mentors have died. Rich Vliet and Norma Sowell have been friends, teachers and touchstones for me from the very beginning of my professional culinary career. Both were incredibly supportive, delightful, determined people with vision. Both impressed me deeply and I’m going to miss them so much.

Bella Luna Cafe

Dec 2, 2011

I’m sure you all have heard the phrase, “The Cobbler’s children have no shoes.” Sadly for my family, the chef’s children have no food. In the house, that is. I haven’t been to the grocery store in weeks. Something has died in my refrigerator, which is an entire ecosystem I am only marginally in charge of. It’s like Biosphere 2 in there. Our pantry looks like a tornado hit the Asian market and left ravaged bags of rice noodles and shiitake mushrooms scattered everywhere. I just have not had time to cook at home lately.

Food Essays

Nov 18, 2011

I devour books. When I find one I love I’ll read it cover to cover, as fast as I can, and all other activities pale in comparison. I have a particular passion for food essays that started when I was a little girl. I would read about exotic places and food and imagine myself eating it, and then beg my mother to make whatever it was I was reading about. She was busy, though, so she let me try to cook some of it myself.

I just returned to Kansas after a week in Connecticut. I went for a bellydance teacher training and was hosted by a friend who grew up here, but has since put roots down on the East Coast. My friend Pajes and her family made sure that I got a good sample of the wonderful food from the area…and there was lots of it. They are blessed with proximity to New York City, so their standards are very high and there was incredible diversity of choices, from Moroccan to regional Italian and the some of the best pizza I have ever eaten.

Chester's Chophouse

Oct 21, 2011

I don’t normally go to really expensive restaurants, for no other reason than I am usually too broke to do so. If a meal costs as much as a pair of cute heels, I will almost always choose the shoes. Most of the food I’m drawn to is inexpensive, spicy, and can be eaten standing up. I love great food at any cost, though, so once in a great while, we go crazy and splurge on something really special.

Bocconcini

Oct 7, 2011

Italian food is almost universally accepted as America’s Favorite Ethnic Food. It’s so mainstream nowadays that we forget that as few as 50 years ago it was considered a very foreign cuisine. We are so saturated with pizza in Wichita (Italian cuisine’s gateway drug) that we have acquired a taste for tomato sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella. We love spaghetti and meatballs and lasagna. We want our pasta drenched in sauce and cheese. This Americanized Italian food is delicious, don’t get me wrong. I grew up on Ragu sauce with Kraft Parmesan cheese and ground beef meatballs.

Sushi has been the subject of many a dinner negotiation. I adore sushi and will bargain outrageously with my non-sushi-loving family to get to go eat it. I’ll promise to fold laundry, or dance a little jig, or even listen to Steely Dan to get to eat sushi. They have gamely tried to enjoy it but it’s just too weird for them. Too cold, too many textures, the unforgivable presence of seaweed…not to mention the raw fish part.  That just puts it over the edge.

Knolla's Pizza

Sep 9, 2011

We live in difficult times. Because we are wired the way we are, when we are stressed, we turn to foods that feel comfortable, reassuring and safe. Some people turn to soft, creamy things like macaroni and cheese, or ice cream, or oatmeal. “Mom Food” is what others want: meatloaf and mashed potatoes, or chicken and noodles, or chili. We turn to our country of origin when we need reassurance, as well.

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