Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

Tag Archives: Kansas City Star

The ‘life’ part of FoodDrinkLife

Life’s good these days, but it’s left me precious little time for blogging. Maybe you noticed? No? I’m not surprised. Your life is probably more hectic than mine. As soon as school let out, the pace picked up—swimming lessons, summer theater, preparing for the 4H fair, family reunions, attempting to keep at least the fruit trees, roses and other trees and shrubs alive during this searing heat…and suddenly it’s time to pack up and head to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail.

I have managed a little work in between it all. I wrote about the wonderful people at Dark Horse Distillery for the Kansas City Star (New Laws Spur a Generation of New Microdistilleries), and I’m working on a big piece about the Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival for the same paper.

The folks behind Lenexa’s fabulous Dark Horse Distillery (from left): Kris Hennessy, Patrick Garcia, Damian Garcia, Mary Garcia, Jeanne Garcia and Eric Garcia.

There have also been a few restaurant profiles for 913, a Johnson County news magazine, and features for Lawrence Business Magazine.And I keep eying the stack of cocktail books on my office floor, thinking I really should get around to reading them.

Which is why I was happy to stumble across a book review by Wayne Curtis (What Goes Well with a Martini) in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal. If you like his writing as much as I do, then it’s well worth tracking him down at The Atlantic for his most recent column on Cognac’s identity crisis. Or go old school by picking up a copy of And a Bottle of Rum, perhaps one of the best rum books ever written. That should keep you busy ’til I get back to blogging.


At the bar: Gram & Dun

Few recent Plaza openings have made as big a splash as Gram & Dun. Maybe it’s because local restauranteur Alan Gaylin’s already built a following with BRGR Kitchen + Bar and Urban Table in Prairie Village. Maybe this spring weather has folks salivating over the pretty patio. Or maybe I’m just excited because Gram &… Continue Reading

Flipping for Grünauer

Grünauer’s Amontillado Flip got a lot of photo play in my winter cocktail piece in the Kansas City Star (Spirits of the Season) this week, but I realized only later that I’d given it short shrift in the article itself. That’s a shame, because it’s incredibly good. Scott Beskow created the drink, which is at… Continue Reading

Hot Toddy How To

Hot toddies are so simple they don’t really need instructions. Whiskey, sugar, hot water, nutmeg and possibly a slice of lemon have been fortifying folks through the winter months since at least the mid-eighteenth century. That said, there are a few things that make a difference. Good whiskey’s one. Scotch, bourbon, rye, Irish—it doesn’t matter,… Continue Reading

Where mezcal and rum play well together

Pairing drinks and desserts is tricky. Sweet-on-sweet can be cloying, while straight spirits, or complex cocktails, or many wines clash in other ways. Which is why I’m grateful to Craig Adcock for introducing me to what has to be one of the most satisfying matches ever: his Jude’s Kansas City Rum Cake with Del Maguey’s… Continue Reading

One foot on the brake and one on the gas

I’ve logged hundreds of miles in recent weeks in pursuit of good drink, so I couldn’t help channeling Sammy Hagar last week. I was sitting with the husband, sipping a lunchtime beer and describing a morning spent with one of my favorite coffee roasters when he started in on the song. Maybe I was suffering… Continue Reading

Kansas City Star Rocks

This just in from Jill Silva, food editor of the Kansas City Star, who’s attending the Association of Food Journalists conference in Charleston: we won! Silva’s article on food deserts (“Far Away From Food”) topped the Best Newspaper Special Food Project category; the piece has also been included in Best Food Writing 2011. “35 People,… Continue Reading


It’s still a buzz seeing something I wrote in print, even 20-odd years on as a journalist. But I’m a perfectionist, so reading my own work can be as frustrating as it is satisfying. In today’s case, it was the realization that I didn’t list all the winners and finalists in my Kansas City Star… Continue Reading

Campos Tops 5th GKCBC

The Fifth Annual Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition had it all: inventive cocktails, impressive bartenders, demanding judges and even burlesque. Much of what I’ve gleaned in recent weeks—including plans for a week-long cocktail extravaganza called Paris of the Plains in 2012—will appear in the Kansas City Star on Sept. 7, but so much more will… Continue Reading

Paul Clarke: a reformed vodka partisan

Vodka is something of a lightening rod these days. It accounts for almost a third of all spirits sales in the U.S., according to the Distilled Spirits Council, and liquor store shelves are overflowing with gleaming bottles. Yet the craft cocktail movement’s largely snubbed the spirit. Trend-leading bars in New York, Chicago and elsewhere pride… Continue Reading