The Savoy executive chef Joe West has amassed an extraordinary lineup of chefs for his very first No Kid Hungry benefit in Kansas City, which takes place Nov. 5 at The Savoy at 21C. With several James Beard nominations and awards between members of the group and a diverse range of cuisines and cooking styles, the meal should surprise just as much as it satisfies. West also hopes to raise a lot of money for No Kid Hungry, which works to end child hunger in the United States through school and family nutrition education programs.
West first was introduced to No Kid Hungry by Gina Reardon, a longtime local fundraiser for the organization. He recently participated in brunch fundraisers that Reardon organized, and has since closely followed the organization’s work. No Kid Hungry also has a close relationship with West’s employer, 21C Museum Hotels. All of these things combined made the Kansas City dinner a no-brainer for West, and for his first foray into a NKH event, he has invited both friends and chefs he has admired from afar to cook for his guests.
One of the first invitations went out to 2018 James Beard Award nominee chef Michael Corvino, co-owner and executive chef of Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room in the Crossroads. “I wanted to have the KC connection,” says West, “and I just love his style and his technique.”
Next, he invited friend chef Brad Kilgore, a childhood friend and native Kansas Citian with whom West attended school at the Broadmoor Bistro in Overland Park and at Johnson & Wales’ Culinary Academy. Kilgore is currently the owner and executive chef of Alter in Miami, was a 2018 James Beard finalist for Best Chef: South, and was named “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine in 2016. Prior to opening Alter, he worked in world-renowned kitchens, including at Alinea in Chicago, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten's restaurant in Bal Harbour.
Oxford, Mississippi’s John Currence, a 2009 James Beard winner for Best Chef: South, is another of the evening’s invited chefs. He owns four restaurants in Oxford, including City Grocery, which specializes in upscale but unpretentious seasonally inspired Southern and Creole cuisine. And finally (but certainly not least), chef Samantha Fore, owner of Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites in Lexington, Kentucky, has also joined the team. West notes that he loves Fore’s exciting, genuine food, which blends both her Sri Lankan heritage and the culinary influences of her home in the South. Fore is also a 2019 Smith fellow with the Southern Foodways Alliance, which documents all of the different cultures contributing to the culinary heritage of the South.
West notes that he and the four invited chefs will be cooking food that represents their own style. While the final menu is not yet complete, a few tentative dishes include Sri Lankan appetizers from Fore, an Asian-inspired take on sable fish from Corvino, a Italian pasta in brodo from Kilgore, and venison with chestnuts from West, as well as a pawpaw dessert from pastry chef Tia Throckmorton, also of The Savoy at 21C. Cocktail and wine pairings will accompany the dishes.
Tickets to the No Kid Hungry Fundraising Dinner start at $150 per person (including tax and gratuity), with packages and sponsorship opportunities available for groups. Each ticket includes full access to the event, including the cocktail hour, multi-course dinner with beverages, silent auction and programming by No Kid Hungry.
The No Kid Hungry dinner will be held at The Savoy on Tue., Nov. 5. Tickets are $150, available here.
The Savoy at 21c Hotel, 219 W. Ninth St., Kansas City, Missouri, 816.443.4260, thesavoykc.com