Last Thursday, local PBS affiliate KCPT hosted one of many food and drink-oriented benefit dinners. The action took place at the Roasterie plant, underneath a huge tent that protected diners from the steady drizzle that fell most of the evening. This was also my first visit to the Roasterie and I was duly impressed.
The big draw for me was the cooking of Michael Smith, Colby Garrelts and Megan Garrelts who teamed up to provide appetizers, dinner and dessert. While not much to look at, Smith’s Pan Con Tomate & Cured Ham starter was delicious. If I didn’t know better I’d call it bruschetta, which normally doesn’t float my boat, but the deep, rich tomato brought this to a new level.
Dinner was buffet fare with no real revelatory dishes, but it was well-prepared and tasty for the most part. Colby Garrelts’ hangar steak was perfectly cooked and served with sweated onions. His brussel sprouts were great too.
Representatives from Boulevard Brewing and the Missouri Wine & Grape Board were on hand, plying everyone with alcohol. I had a few glasses of wine and recall liking the Norton premium claret and Chardonel from Le Bourgeois winery in Rocheport quite well.
The Roasterie also had a mobile coffee service trailer set up in an Airstream in one corner of the tent. Diners could saunter up to the window as if they were on the street and order coffee. This was a cool touch.
This dinner was pretty much my introduction to the benefit dinner scene here in Kansas City. There are opportunities galore to attend events like these. The ticket prices vary but are fairly high; that’s the nature of the beast. But benefits do provide an opportunity to meet other food-minded people in town and to eat good food prepared by great chefs.