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Seg. 1: The famously dry comedian is coming to Kansas City and we're here for it.

You might remember her as the comedian who did a set about getting cancer, but there's a lot more to her awkward sense of humor, which she'll be bringing to the Uptown later this month.

Seg. 2, beginning at 14:49: The restaurant owner/chef is mixing things up in the Kansas City food scene.

Ca Va/Facebook

If you appreciate your own company but dining solo in a restaurant intimidates you, you're not alone. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try.

"I love dining alone. I'm almost evangelical about it," Liz Cook said on KCUR's Central Standard. "One of the reasons I love it is that I'm alone so seldom in my daily life.... This is a time to completely carve out for yourself."

Segment 1: Remembering the charismatic restaurant critic who never romanticized food.

It's the first food show since we got news of longtime KCUR food critic Charles Ferruzza's death, so we're taking a moment to remember the special sauce that made Charles Charles one last time.

Segment 1: President of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City optimistic for 2020 but  keeping an eye out for what's ahead

Playing the long game with the economy is a crucial part of Esther George's job as a Federal Reserve Bank president, but she knows she can't lose sight of how people make financial decisions in real-time.  Plus, in an economy that seems to be doing well, George still has to do a balancing act between the positives and pitfalls that exist no matter how well the current situation looks. 

An ode to a witty and charming food critic that we'll dearly miss.

Colombus Park Ramen Shop/Facebook

Kansas City can sometimes be a city of extremes. It has more than 100 barbecue restaurants and counting, yet it's also seen an explosion of more plant-based and vegetarian cuisine, including restaurants that are completely free of meat.

But as people across the country eat more vegetables for the benefit of their own health as well as that of the environment, it's spurring creativity on the culinary scene.

Segment 1: Meet the bar owner who doesn't think the customer is always right.

Caitlin Corcoran has been a force in the Kansas City food scene for a while now, most recently as the woman behind Ça Va. Her outspoken views on how to create a safe restaurant for both customers and staff have also made a name for her nationally. Does it mean that sometimes certain customers don't like her? Yes, but she's not losing sleep over it.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

The KCUR news staff presents the State of Kansas City series as a look ahead to 2020 on topics of importance to the region. Find the State of Kansas City report on other topics in the series as they are published each weekday, Jan. 6–Jan. 20. Follow coverage on these topics at KCUR.org and on 89.3 FM throughout the year.

Segment 1: The cure to January might be going to a coffee shop inside of a greenhouse. 

We're starting off the first food show of the year at Cafe Equinox at Family Tree Nursery. It's a place where Kansas Citians can experience lush greenery and beautiful sunshine—even if it's 20 degrees outside.

Segment 2, beginning at 2:33: What's going on in the restaurant scene in Kansas City right now?

Segment 1: A Kansas City musician rocks the violin in her new EP.

Tina Bilberry, known to fans as K'Tina, is a KCK-native who fuses international sounds in Crossed Conversations. Here's her story.

Segment 2, beginning at 21:24: Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski is in town with a cookbook.

Segment 1: Why we keep the objects that we keep.

If you were to pick one object in your possession that brings you meaning and joy, what would it be? An author shares intimate stories behind memories of knick-knacks, baubles, and even scraps of paper.

Segment 2, beginning at 33:45: When was the last time you had a Kansas City taco?

Segment 1: What we understand the kids' meal to be and what it could be.

A lot of kids' meals are overpriced hot dogs or grilled cheese, but some restaurants do actually serve kids' menus that emphasize the strengths of the cuisine they serve. Plus, tips for introducing kids to new foods from a self-proclaimed lunch lady.

On this very special edition of KCUR's Up To Date, one of Kansas City's most renowned chocolatiers discussed responsible sourcing of cacao beans, his approach to the combining of other flavors with his favorite ingredient, and how non-experts can stear clear of junk when shopping for something to satisfy a chocolate craving.

How to impress this holiday season without driving yourself nuts.

Our expert Kansas City hosts include a restaurateur who feeds people like they're her personal dinner guests and a bartender who makes strangers feel like friends.

A Wine-Tasting Lunch With Doug Frost

Dec 3, 2019

Kansas City-based wine expert attributes his expansive knowledge to his "drinking and reading" habits.

Seated in Room 39, Master sommelier Doug Frost guided a group of KCUR supporters through a tasting of six distinctive wines. A number of his selections underwent unique growth, harvesting or barrelling processes like the sauvignon blanc from Napa Valley which was harvested at night. Chef Ted Habiger also offered insight into how he selects wines for his restaurant's dishes.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

It seems odd that Sporting Kansas City would make a presentation this week at a national sustainable agriculture summit. 

After all, professional sports eat up lots of resources: jet and diesel fuel for trips to away games, water to keep the turf or fairways looking lush and electricity to fire up their fans and keep score.

Segment 1: Missouri is home to choice wild edible fall mushrooms.

A hunt for wild mushrooms at Burr Oak Woods launches a conversation about foraging Missouri mushrooms. Then, a James Beard Award-winning chef offers mushroom-cooking expertise for the home cook.

Segment 1: The host of The Splendid Table stops by on a Kansas City visit.

Francis Lam is the son of immigrants, the father of a toddler, and a rising star in the food world. Hear his take on how something as simple as food ties into complex, multi-layered personal stories, in his life and in our culture.

  • Francis Lam, host, The Splendid Table

Segment 2: Bob Dylan may not be forever young, but a lot of his fans are.

Segment 1: A Kansas City restaurant teams up with a New Orleans chef on a popup event.

Ryan Prewitt is a James Beard Award winning chef at Peche in New Orleans, known for its focus on sustainability in seafood. When he comes to Kansas City to collaborate with Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar, he'll be spreading a message of consuming ocean species responsibly. 

Leanna Bales / Many States of Coffee

After seeing national "best of" coffee lists skipping the entire Midwest, coffee blogger Leanna Bales started a website Many States of Coffee.

Those lists, she said, "didn't really reflect what I was seeing in Kansas City, which was just this really beautiful coffee culture where I think there's a lot of movement between coffee shops and community."

Laura Norris

Whether you begin a meal with "buon appetite" or "tuck in," Central Standard's Food Critics can point you in the direction of a hearty dish personalized to your palette.

Segment 1: Artists are reviving the shopping mall experience.

There's a new trend in malls. Whereas the spaces artists were transforming a couple decades back tended to be abandoned warehouses in industrial parts of town, now the suburban shopping mall's providing that canvas. 

  • Dave Claflin, marketing consultant for area shopping malls

Segment 2: Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski is in town with a cookbook.

Shanley Cox / Facebook

It's still summer, which means it's hot dog season. But for all the democratic appeal they can rightly claim, hot dogs — also known as weiners — don't get much respect. 

"They're cheap. They have notoriously been cheap. They're just a filling, inexpensive way to get something in your tummy," says Jenny Vergara of Feast Magazine.

But The Pitch's Liz Cook thinks we need to reconsider the hot dog. 

Seg. 1: Llamas | Seg. 2: Food Train | Seg. 3: Crossroads Shooting

Aug 5, 2019

Segment 1: A llama show gains popularity.

What is it about llamas? They're everywhere. And that includes the Douglas County Fair. 

  • Mason Kelso, interim llama superintendent, Douglas County Fair
  • Amber Fraley, freelance writer, Lawrence Magazine

Segment 2: An Austin-based chef travels the country tasting regional cuisine.

Segment 1: Northeast News celebrates 21 years with current publishers

Northeast News has been providing Kansas City with local journalism for more than 90 years. In that span, it has developed a website, a podcast and worked with four owners. This year the paper is celebrating 21 years of publishing with owners Michael Bushnell and Christine Adams. 

Segment 1: New research shows a difference between what we expect and what we experience when it comes to humor in romance. 

Data suggests that in heterosexual relationships, men tend not to recognize that their partner's sense of humor is a major determinant of long-term happiness. Why not?

  • Jeffrey Hall, professor of communication studies, University of Kansas

Segment 2: A nineteenth-century vegetarian settlement in Kansas inspires further investigation.

Seg. 1: Grocery Stores | Seg. 2: Ryan Wilks

Jun 13, 2019

Segment 1: How are grocery stores changing?

Leon's Thriftway recently closed down in Kansas City, marking the end of an era for a black-owned business that had served its community for 50 years. The closing of Leon's reflects a sea of changes for a grocery industry that now has to keep up with the Amazons and WalMarts of the world. So how are grocery stores trying to keep up with the times? And how has the consumer relationship to grocery stores changed? In this segment, we tackle these questions and discuss the future of grocery stores.

Celisa Calacal / KCUR 89.3

It’s raining steadily as Jay Maddink tends to a couple thousand young chickens inside a hot, small barn in Lathrop, Missouri. His wife, Carol Maddink, says the chicks are about three weeks old and are being raised as broiler birds.

“These will all get butchered pretty much in one week,” she says. “And this is what we'll take to the restaurants and grocery stores in about six weeks from now.”

Seg. 1: What We Keep | Seg. 2: Kansas City Tacos

May 15, 2019

Segment 1: What We Keep

If you were to pick one object in your possession to keep that brings you meaning and joy, what would it be? An author shares intimate stories behind memories of knick-knacks, baubles, and even scraps of paper.

Segment 2, beginning at 34:21: Kansas City Tacos

Segment 1: Debate KC

Two high schoolers from Kansas City, Kansas, made waves in the 2019 Urban Debate National Championships. We hear more about their experiences and find out how our town has traditionally used debate as a tool for social justice.

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