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About Missy Roe

Kauffman Center - Chicago 030[1]

Photo credit: Will Patterson, Makeup: Lisa Proctor

It comes down to this:

I’m continually searching for an amazing new food experience, and at the same time returning to my tried and true favorites.

I’m working from a basic knowledge of food and wine, and am motivated by the education I’m getting in tasting, trying, reading, dining and cooking every chance I get.

I’m always looking for that “perfect bite”. Whether it’s the section of the burger where the toppings line up perfectly or the exact amount of fruit to top my bite of foie gras, somewhere there’s a balance combination that exceeds your expectations.

I’m a lucky girl who once worked in a great restaurant that opened my eyes to the magic of food, and now I want to experience more and share it with others.

I write about food, because I talk about it, think about it, plan around it and get such joy from it, what else should I do.

That’s really all you need to know – small town girl now indulging in Kansas City’s culinary offerings and beyond. No authority on food here, I just want to partake in the feast!

With my passion for food, I could talk all day about where it came from. So if you care to read more, I’ve rambled below.

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Grand Opening Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

It’s always been the highlight of my week. Where will we go for dinner? What am I making for the party? Which new dish do I get to mark off my “must-taste” list? It’s a slight obsession that’s accompanied me through each chapter – my lifelong love affair with food. Not just any food, but amazing food.

I’m talking about the food that creates emotion, brings excitement with the new flavors your experiencing or gives you a sense of passion when the decadent flavors and textures envelope your senses.  Experiences with food that truly moves you don’t come along everyday, but there are so many degrees to which a great dish can bring pleasure. You can’t waste it. At least I have to seek out those delights, take them in, savor, remember and look forward to it again.

You might think I’m talking about a days-long preparation of meat from a fine restaurant or a creation using the freshest and most expensive ingredients. Yes, those experiences can be touching. But so can the sandwich from the deli down the street or the dessert from my friend’s kitchen. If you don’t look for it, you will never have the encounter. I seek it out, plan for it, dream about it, indulge in it. And now I WRITE about it. Reliving the event, the friends and surroundings, the aromas and flavors, brings me almost as much joy as having it the first time. The practice truly is remarkable. Perhaps my waistline would fare better if I were just to write instead of dine.  ; )

I don’t claim to be an expert, but I know what I like and I’ve tasted some phenomenal fare. Ask anyone who knows me, I LOVE TO EAT:  to taste, to dine, to create, to sample and of course to talk to about it! More so, I love to learn about it all. What new fruit will I try at the next dinner? How do you prepare that?  Tell me again what’s in mirepoix? From the basic standby’s we all love to the most cutting edge preparation and flavor combinations, I want to know how it’s done. Maybe, just maybe, on a good day I can try to imitate it at home.

In a good meal for me, there’s always the ideal combination of each taste and texture. It might be a lot of one with a touch of the others, or eating the entrée with the sides and some wine in a particular order. It’s different each time, but somewhere in every good meal is THE PERFECT BITE. It makes my day, it makes me smile and I love to share it with others.

I’m just a girl blessed to live in Kansas City with its abundance of culinary bliss. The Hubs and I dine out a lot, both here and wherever we travel. My kitchen is stocked with all sorts of fun toys and I’m dying to learn to master them all! My calendar books up with cooking classes, wine dinners, shopping for food and wine, and of course dinner with friends.  I want to try it all, every place in KC I’ve ever heard a good word about and each notable restaurant wherever I go. The list is very, very long and I will probably never get through it all.

Growing up in a tiny town in the Oklahoma panhandle, food was often understated yet it played a huge role in my life. Tyrone, Oklahoma had but one restaurant – Shade’s Well Café. It was the local diner where the farmers gathered for lunch. If we wanted to “go out to eat” we headed to Liberal, KS, a town of about 16,000 flush with Mexican restaurants due to the high immigrant population.

Like so many families, it was the social event of the week. We always went out for lunch after church on Sundays and usually for dinner on a Friday or Saturday night (rarely ever both Friday and Saturday since money was tight). We frequented our two favorite Mexican places, a Chinese buffet, either Ken’s Pizza or Pizza Hut and, of course, the Golden Corral with our church friends. The nicest place in town was the oversized Hong Kong restaurant, that is if you weren’t a member of the Petroleum Club (and I don’t think I even knew anyone who was). But no matter the limited choices, we enjoyed dining out – the food, the friends, the experience. And still today that’s what it’s about.

Brunch at Table Fifty-two, Chicago

Mom taught me first to bake, then as I got older we attempted cooking supper. Yes it was called “supper” at our house. And to this day, if you ask my dad what he wants for dinner, he’ll tell you he already ate dinner at the café, but supper is still up for grabs. Now, I still haven’t perfected her snickerdoodles or Davy Crocketts, but working with mom in the kitchen gave me a sense of accomplishment, to have created something that brought my dad joy and that I could share with others, like a gift. Mom’s repertoire for supper included goulash, spaghetti, beans with cornbread (dad’s favorite), chili from the leftover beans, and the occasional steak or pork chops on the grill. It was a big night when we had tacos, with the assembly line for all the toppings and always plenty of leftovers!

I still remember my first “fancy” dinner. I was in junior high and Dad took me to the newly opened Olive Garden on a trip to Springfield, Missouri. Boy, did I think I was living high on the hog. I was enamored with the servers in their white shirts and aprons, the fancy glassware and the delicious food. I knew I wanted to do this often and at many places when I grew up. Never could I have dreamed then the wonderful dining experiences I would have.

My eyes were opened to the vast world of culinary possibilities when I went to work at Yia Yia’s Eurobistro during college. Up until that point, I thought some of the best steaks came from Outback and every great meal came with the choice of potato baked, mashed or fries. Not only did I get a crash course in top-notch service, but PB&J Restaurants put so much care into the food and wine education of their employees that I entered a whole new world. I was not only serving these dishes, I was learning about the unique ingredients, different cooking methods, sauces, terms could barely pronounce let alone imagine how they tasted. But taste I did, and frequently.  Server training included tasting every dish on the menu and each night during line-up we tasted the specials, new menu items, featured drinks and even did weekend wine classes. It changed my life.

After college and out of the restaurant business, I wanted to try re-creating those great dishes I used to serve. I started collecting cookbooks that looked good, trying out whatever sounded most decadent. I had fun in the kitchen and loved sharing the end result with friends or family. I set out to try all the local restaurants in the new town where I had started my first job – a difficult task on my meager salary. But what a fantastic journey. I just wanted to know more, taste more, share more.

That’s why you’re reading this. There are so many stones left unturned. I hope you’ll join me in enjoying the places, dishes and delights that I write about. I’ve had a great adventure so far and expect the old saying will ring true – “the more, the merrier”.

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