Metro Chef: Kansas City Will Be a Food Mecca

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - From burnt ends to baby back ribs, Kansas City's food reputation largely relies on barbecue, but that's changing as more diverse restaurants make their way into town.

"I think most of in Kansas City knew that that existed - that we were a lot more than just barbecue, but I'm excited that we now have the opportunity to show it," said Grant Cansler, the executive chef at Pandolfi's in Kansas City's Columbus Park neighborhood.

In fact, that's one reason Cansler recently left his tech job to work at Pandfolfi's.  He said being in the food industry has never been as exciting as it is 2012.

"I think we're going to see more unique ingredients on menus," said Cansler.  "I think diners are ready to expand their pallets and maybe branch out and try things that aren't usually typical like rabbit meat for example.  I think that's up to the chefs to bring it to the table."

Cansler said he's among the chefs who will, especially since Pandolfi's recently started offering dinner on the weekends to meet his diners' demand for Italian with a twist.  And he expects more restaurant to expand their offerings and menus though out 2012.

Kansas City will highlight its ever growing food culture with Restaurant Week, which kicks off on Jan. 22.  More than 120 restaurants will participate in the ten-day event which raised money for Harvesters.

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