Recipes from Garden Chef Series Cooking Demonstrations at Powell Gardens



Fresh Mozzarella 

Recipe courtesy of Chef Jasper Mirabile, Owner of Jasper's Ristorante in Kansas City, Mo. 


  • 1 gallon of whole milk
  • 1 rennet tablet
  • 1 tablespoon citric acid or lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt 


Fresh curds: Pour milk into a large, stainless non-reactive pot. Add citric acid or lemon juice to the pot. Heat milk to 90 degrees. Remove from heat. Dissolve rennet tablet in 1/2 cup of hot milk. Add to whole milk mixture. Let sit for 1 to 2 hours. Strain in cheesecloth and refrigerate curds until ready to pull mozzarella. 

To pull mozzarella: Bring 2 quarts of cold water to a boil. Place curds in a Pyrex glass bowl. Add 1 teaspoon (or more) salt. Add boiling water. Place gloves on. Knead curds, submerging in hot water as necessary until you get a clean, silky outer surface. Fold into a ball. Place back in leftover whey or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

To serve: Slice fresh mozzarella and layer on sliced heirloom tomatoes. Add basil and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Season with cracked pepper and sea salt. 

Roasted Chicken Salad  

Recipe courtesy of Chef Lisa Burgess, Culinary Arts Instructor at the Career and Technology Center at Fort Osage 


  • Whole roasted chicken, pulled from the bone (skin, bones and tendons removed)
  • Fresh-baked focaccia bread
  • 1 cup grapes, sliced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
  • Dressing: 
    • 1 cup each of heavy cream, whipped to thicken slightly, and Greek yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup fresh apple juice
    • 1 head garlic, roasted and mashed
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Fresh thyme or tarragon (or any herbs you like) 


Whisk the heavy cream and Greek yogurt to combine. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Dress the pulled chicken in a liberal amount of dressing and stir/toss to coat. Season to taste. Fold in the grapes and apples. 

Greens and Vegetable Salad 

Roast your favorite vegetables: Toss to coat in olive oil on a sheet pan at 400 degrees until start to brown.

Prepare your favorite greens and herbs. Toss greens and herbs with vinaigrette. Add yogurt dressing (recipe above) to garnish. Add roasted vegetables and toss. 

Snap Pea and Shrimp Salad Canapes 

Recipe courtesy of Linda Duerr, Executive Chef at The River Club in Kansas City, Missouri 
1) Blanch snap peas in boiling, lightly salted water for a minute or two then transfer to ice water to stop the cooking quickly.

2) For the shrimp salad to fill the peas, simply poach or saute shrimp in a little butter and minced garlic over low heat. Allow to cool then chop. Add just enough mayonnaise to bind, chopped dill, minced scallion and celery, salt and pepper to taste.

The snap pea and shrimp salad canapes are pictured at the top of this page. Photo by Paul M. Ingold 

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

Recipe courtesy of Jasper Mirabile Jr., Executive Chef/Owner at Jasper's Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri 


  • 1 loaf sourdough bread 

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, cubed

  • 1 cup chopped cucumber

  • 6-8 torn basil leaves 

  • 1 cup red onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup Greek olives

  • 1/4 cup Balsamic glaze

  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


Soak bread with olive oil. Add remaining ingredients. Drizzle in Balsamic vinegar. Toss all and chill for 30 minutes. Drizzle oil over bread mixture and season with salt and pepper. Toss together until fully combined. 

Jasper's Notes: This is the easiest salad you will ever prepare. I like to drizzle in local honey for a sweet addition. Toss and place on broiled fish, chicken or pork. 

Jasper Mirabile's Summertime Pasta and Heirloom Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy of Jasper Mirabile Jr., Executive Chef/Owner at Jasper's Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri 


  • 1 pound pasta

  • 1 pound heirloom tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2-3 fresh garlic cloves, minced

  • 10-15 fresh basil leaves

  • Sea salt and red pepper to taste

  • Grated Romano for dusting 


Cook pasta al dente. Set aside. Crush tomatoes. In a sauté pan, add olive oil and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Add pasta and toss with basil and more olive oil. Dust pasta with grated Romano cheese. 

Spicy Skillet Brussels Sprouts

Recipe courtesy of Cody Hogan, Chef de Cuisine at Lidia's Kansas City 

Remove any loose or discolored leaves from Brussels sprouts and trim the bottoms. Slice them in half, then slices the halves into thin slices. Have ready:
  • The prepared sprouts

  • A few slices of bacon (I like the thick ones), but into batons (bacon is optional)

  • A few cloves of garlic, sliced

  • Some hot pepper, fresh or dried, as desired

  • Wine vinegar

  • Salt, to taste

Preheat a roomy skillet with a little olive oil and the bacon pieces. When the bacon begins to render its fat and color a little, add the garlic slices. Toast for about one minute, until just beginning to color around the edges. Add the hot pepper and then the sprouts, tossing in the now hot skillet. Cook, stirring and tossing until the sprouts begin to wilt and the colors are bright. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar. Toss again, taste for seasoning, and serve.

Braised Pork Belly

Recipe courtesy of Brian Bromwell, Executive Chef at Anton's Taproom


  • 5 lbs pork belly, skinned and trimmed

The Brine: 

  • 1 cup molasses

  • 2 bottles dark beer

  • 1 1/4 cup kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed 

  • 1 tablespoon coriander

  • 1/2 tablespoon cloves

  • 1 small nutmeg, crushed

  • 5 thyme sprigs

  • 5 rosemary sprigs

  • 4 bay leaves 

  • 4 quarts water

Bring everything but beer to a boil, remove from heat and add beer. Let cool. Soak pork belly for 2-3 days. 

The Braise: 

  • 4 large yellow onions, chopped 

  • 2 large carrots, chopped

  • 2 heads garlic, halved

  • rosemary, thyme, bay leaf 

  • chicken stock to cover

Place everything in a braising pan and cover. Cook at 225 for at least 4 hours or until very soft.

Let cool to room temperature. Carefully remove belly onto a flat sheet tray and gently press. Cover and cool, pressed, in refrigerator. 

Cut into desired portions. Sear or grill at medium-high heat until browned and warm through. 

Grilled Pork Chili 

Recipe courtesy of Duane Daugherty, Owner of Mr. Doggity's Foods


  • 2 pounds grilled pork shoulder or steak, cubed

  • 2 grilled onions, chopped

  • 6 grilled tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 grilled peppers, chopped

  • 2 minced garlic cloves

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Tree's Smoked Olive Oil

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Tree's Roasted Chili Olive Oil

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Tree's Smoked Balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin 

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Grill and prep the meat and veggies. In a Dutch oven, saute the onion, pepper and garlic in the oil; add the tomatoes and pork. Stir in the seasonings and cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. 

Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salsa 

Recipe courtesy of Duane Daugherty, Owner of Mr. Doggity's Foods


4 cups chopped tomatoes

1 ear roasted sweet corn

1 15-ounce can unseasoned black beans, rinsed

1/4 cup chopped bell pepper

1/2 cup green onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 chopped, roasted hot Hatch chile pepper (more or less to taste) 

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional) 

2 tablespoons Olive Tree Jalapeno Lime White Balsamic Vinegar 

1/2 teaspoon Olive Tree 5 Pepper Sea Salt 

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 


Mix all ingredients. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. 

Chilled Cucumber & Asian Pear Soup 

Recipe courtesy of Julie Kendall, Chef/Owner at Café Blackadder


  • 6 medium cucumbers, peeled

  • 12 small Asian pears, cored

  •  1/2 Hungarian hot pepper or preferred hot pepper 

  • 1 bunch (about 1.5 cups packed) cilantro, chopped 

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil 

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or more to taste) 

  • 6 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons honey (or more to taste) 

  • 1-2 leeks

  • 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon 

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


Puree cucumber, pear, pepper, leek, cilantro, basil and water to preferred texture. Add lemon juice, vinegar and spices. Chill for at least one hour. Serve with yogurt garnish, chopped green onions or sherry. 

Ratatouille Bruschetta

Serves 12

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Ciordas, Owner of Lucca Bakery and This One Bite 


  • 1 crusty loaf of bread from Lucca Bakery
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red or yellow onion, chopped 
  • 2 bell peppers (red, yellow or green), seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares
  • 3 zucchini, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 cups whole tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, juice reserved 
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil or Italian parsley, finely chopped (2 tablespoons dried if you don't have fresh)
  • Salt and pepper 


Slice bread into thick slices and toast or grill. In a large sauté pan or pot, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the eggplant, peppers and the rest of the olive oil and sauté about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender.

Add the zucchini, garlic, tomatoes, red pepper flakes and bay leaf, and bring to a simmer. Stew for about 20 minutes, until everything is cooked through, then remove the bay leaf. 

Top toast with ratatouille. Enjoy! 

Grilled Swiss Chard

Recipe courtesy of Craig Jones, Owner of Savory Addictions Gourmet Nuts and the Food Network's 2012 Grill Mayor 


  • 1 bunch Swiss chard 
  • olive oil 
  • salt and pepper 
  • juice of 1/2 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar 
  • sea salt 


Set up the grill for a medium two-zone fire.

Wash the chard and remove the leaves from stems. Toss the stems in 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the stems until they are moist and supple, with some nice caramelized grill marks. Remove the stems and allow to cool to the touch. Slice the stems and reserve in a bowl. 

Lightly toss the leaves in 1/2 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the leaves until they wilt. You will have some slight charring. Add the leaves to the stems and toss. In a separate bowl, whisk the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and rice vinegar. Season to taste. Toss with the leaves and stems. 

Grilled Baby Carrots 

Recipe courtesy of Craig Jones, Owner of Savory Addictions Gourmet Nuts and the Food Network's 2012 Grill Mayor 


  • baby carrots
  • olive oil 
  • salt and pepper 


Set up the grill for a medium to medium-high two-zone fire. Toss the carrots in olive oil and salt to taste. Place the carrots in a grilling basket or pan to keep them from falling through the grates. Grill the carrots until tender and slightly charred, tossing every few minutes. 

The Perfect Grilled Brat 

Recipe courtesy of Craig Jones, Owner of Savory Addictions Gourmet Nuts and the Food Network's 2012 Grill Mayor


6 to 8 brats 


Set up your grill for a two-zone fire. After the grill has heated up for at least 10 minutes and the grates are cleaned, place your favorite brats on the side of the grill without the fire—the indirect cooking method. Add a chunk of smoking wood (or soaked chips) to the fire and place the lid back on the grill, ensuring that the vents are directly over the brats. Cook until done, about 20 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160 degrees is reached. Remove from grill and serve. Thank you to the Broadway Butcher Shop in Kansas City, Mo., for donating the delicious brats for Craig's demo!

Balsamic Glazed Sweet Potatoes 

Recipe courtesy of Cody Hogan, Chef de Cuisine at Lidia's Kansas City

Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges. Toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil, some salt and pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. They should be tender to the touch but not mushy. 

Toss with a balsamic vinegar reduction and serve. (A reduction can be made by reducing "grocery store" balsamic vinegar by half with a little bit of honey, being careful not to burn it.) 

Skillet Turnips and Potatoes with Bacon 

Recipe by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich; prepared by Cody Hogan, Chef de Cuisine at Lidia's Kansas City


  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 8 ounces thick-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 

  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

  • 1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 1 1/2 pounds white-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt 

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley


Mix 1/4 cup water, vinegar and sugar in small bowl. Combine oil and bacon in heavy large skillet; sauté over medium-high heat until fat is rendered, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add turnips and potatoes; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt and toss 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until vegetables are almost tender, stirring and turning vegetables occasionally, about 15 minutes. 

Push vegetables to one side of skillet. Pour vinegar mixture into cleared space. Toss vegetables with vinegar mixture. Spread vegetables in even layer in skillet; cook until golden and slightly crisp on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn vegetables over; spread in even layer and cook until browned and slightly crisp on bottom, about 4 minutes. Continue to turn, spread and cook vegetables until tender, golden and crisp around edges, 7 to 8 minutes longer. Season with more sea salt and black pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with parsley. 

Grilled Fresh Heirloom Tomato and Basil Sauce 

Recipe courtesy of Chef Richard W. McPeake, Cookbook Author and Chef Instructor 


  • 10 heirloom tomatoes, ripe, cut in half

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 sweet onion, small, cut 1/2-inch slices

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chef Richard's Tip: I like using an immersion blender for finishing this sauce, after grilling the vegetables. 


Toss the tomatoes, garlic and onions in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat the grill with a medium-high heat. Grill the tomatoes, garlic and onions using a direct heat zone. When they are charred and soft, remove from the heat, and place in a processor bowl. Add the vinegar and fresh basil, and pulse until smooth texture. Blend the sauce while all the ingredients are still warm. Use the fresh grilled sauce immediately. Makes 2 cups. 

Grilled Sweet & Sour Fingerling Potato Salad 

Recipe courtesy of Chef Richard W. McPeake, Cookbook Author and Chef Instructor 


2 pounds fingerling potatoes, washed, cut in half

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup champagne vinegar 

1 tablespoon stone ground mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 red onion, small, thin slices 

1/2 cup capers, petite 

1 cup scallions, bias sliced 

1/2 cup parsley, minced

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste 

Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves 

Note: If you can't find fingerling potatoes, use Red Bliss, Golden Yukon or any baby potatoes instead. 


Lightly toss potatoes in just enough olive oil to keep them from sticking to the grill. Preheat the grill and grill the potatoes cut side down. Grill until slightly charred but not burned. 

Combine the oil, vinegar, mustard and sugar, and emulsify with a whip. Place the warm grilled potatoes in a stainless or glass bowl. Add onions, capers, scallions, parsley, salt and pepper. Add the dressing and toss gently to coat well. Serve the salad warm on a bed of lettuce. 

Guisantes a la Catalana (Peas with pancetta and onions)

Serves 4-6 

Recipe courtesy of Carmen Cabia Garcia, Chef/Owner at El Tenedor KC 

  • 2 pounds peas

  • 5-6 ounces of pancetta, small diced 

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 

  • Salt to taste

  • 10-15 fresh mint leaves 

  • Parsley, chopped 


Chop the onions and place in pan with a little oil and pinch of salt. Add the chopped pancetta and fry until browned. Stir in peas and mint, add a bit of water and cook for 15-20 minutes. 

Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omelet) 

Serves 6

Recipe courtesy of Carmen Cabia Garcia, Chef/Owner at El Tenedor KC 


  • 1 pound potatoes, thinly sliced

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced

  • 8 eggs

  • Salt to taste

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • Parsley to garnish


In a large frying pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle potatoes lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown and crisp. Once the potatoes are golden, stir in the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and begin to brown. 

Meanwhile, beat eggs together with salt and pepper. Pour eggs into pan and stir gently to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook until eggs begin to brown on the bottom. 

Loosen bottom of omelet with a spatula, place a large plate over the pan, and carefully turn the omelet out onto it. Slide the omelet back into the pan with the uncooked side down. Cook until eggs are set. Garnish omelet with parsley. 

Sweet Potato Hummus

Recipe courtesy of Beth Bader, Co-author of Cleaner Plate Club 


  • 1 pound sweet potato, diced, peeled and steamed for 30 minutes

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 clove garlic

  • Juice of one lemon 

  • 1/4 cup tahini 

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon salt 

  • 1 teaspoon coriander 

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin 

  • 1/4 teaspoon mace 


Pulse in food processor until smooth, adding a bit more olive oil if needed. Serve with pita, pita chips or vegetables. 

Did you know? The flowers and fruit of Malabar Spinach make it quite a showy ornamental annual vine. The foliage is a good leafy green that tastes like spinach yet thrives in summer when lettuces and such languish in the heat. See more plants we like »


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