More than a simple Chef.
We had the immense pleasure of running an interview with Chef Jasper, and you can find his answer right after the ad!
Q: Hello Jasper, first of all, welcome to SicilianFoodCulture.com! You’re Master Chef and Owner of one of the Top 10 Italian Restaurants in America, chairman of Slow Food Kansas City, Vice President (Midwest) of Gruppo Ristoratori, and board member of The American Institute of Wine and Food Kansas City, but we want to know more! Who’s Jasper and what’s your story?
A: I was fortunate to be born to Kansas City’s Sicilian dining dynasty and started cooking as a young child. How could I not be involved in the family business? It’s in my blood. My life is surrounded by Sicilian food and culture. From the time I first visited Sicily and my grandparents home town of Gibellina, Sicily I fell in love with all things Sicilian. I love marketing and advertising and host a radio show every Saturday at 11 a.m. on KCMO Talk Radio now for 11 years.
Q: We know that your main background is coming from the Sicilian Cuisine, and of course as we’re all about Sicilian food… we want to know more!
A: I cook what my parents and grandparents cooked, cucina Siciliana! I trained in Italy and being a member of Gruppo Italiano for over 30 years has help me develop relationships with other well-known Italian chefs throughout Italy, Sicily and America. I do have extensive training in Tuscan and Roman cuisine. I attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas Restaurant Management School where I learned the back of the house and the front of the house part of the business.
Q: Let’s talk about your restaurant, Jasper’s, in Kansas City. As it has been quoted as one of the Top 10 Italian Restaurants in America, do you keep cooking all your recipes following the Sicilian/Italian tradition, or you needed to adapt to the market?
A: We have had to adapt to the market but we still hold you to authentic Sicilian recipes. I travel to Sicily and Italy every year to explore more historical dishes but also keep up on the trends. We offer the basic such as lasagna and Veal Parmesan but also have many dishes from Sicily that our guests have enjoyed for 63 years.
Q: Which one is the Sicilian dish that your clients love the most?
A: I would say Pasta alla Norma and our Involtini di Pollo. For dessert, it has to be Cannoli.
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Q: And which one is the one that you love!?
Q: But there’s not only food in your professional life – You’re running a Radio program Every Saturday from 11 to Noon on KCMO Talk Radio 710 AM & 103.7 FM! That’s super cool!
A: yes, the show is not about me, it’s about local farmers and food orders and along with restaurant owners and chefs across the country. We also do a lot of interviews with authors and food writers, magazine editors from Saveur and nationally known Food Network celebrities such as Giada, Rachel Ray, Bobby Flay, Emeril amd more. I have the greatest time doing a show every week. It is a lot of work and takes me away from the restaurant but I do a lot of live appearances and cooking demos weekly while doing the show. I have the greatest sponsor, Hen House Market and David Ball who also let me develop respite for their grocery store chain.
Q: And you wrote three books. Are you planning to write a new one soon?
A: I am working on On The Cannoli Trail, looking for the world’s greatest Sicilian dessert. It will have 75 recipes and many stories of my travels.
Q: Jasper, it was a pleasure for us to do this interview with you, and we really hope to have you here again soon!
A: Thank you so much!