Inspired bites

Melinda Grubb won a sweepstakes to cook with celebrity chef

rpulley@lsjournal.comAugust 19, 2014 

A world traveler and celebrity chef visited Lee’s Summit over the weekend to cook with the local winner of a sweepstakes.

Melinda Grubb, of Lee’s Summit, met chef Kayne Raymond who cooked with her on Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Lee’s Summit Fire Fighter’s Association Union Hall. They spent a couple hours preparing appetizers for their dinner with a small group of Grubb’s friends.

Raymond is one of three celebrity chefs on BBC America’s “No Kitchen Required.”

Grubb was the grand-prize winner in a promotion called Inspire Every Bite which she found on social media. She said she began entering the contest daily and was one of 15,000 online voters who picked their favorite recipes among those promoted by the sponsors.

It was an unlikely pairing Saturday. She’d never seen Raymond’s show and is a vegetarian – although she’s starting to include fish in her diet.

“I love to eat. I don’t love to cook,” Grubb said.

Grubb said she and Raymond talked about travel, food, and his experiences as they fixed toppings for sponsor Dare Food’s crackers with ingredients like prawns, tuna and even ice cream. Dadda Daughter Ice Cream Sandwiches was the recipe that got Grubb’s votes. The meal also included an entree picked up from Garazzo’s.

“No Kitchen Required” features the chefs as they travel worldwide to meet indigenous people in remote locations to learn about their culture and cook with them. The chefs hunt and forage, then prepare meals.

The show also provides assistance to those people. For example, it awarded wood-carving scholarships in New Zealand to help keep that tradition from disappearing, Raymond said.

Raymond, based in San Francisco for the last eight years, said he first studied cooking in Auckland, New Zealand, then took positions as a sous chef in great cities around the world, which he said is the best way to learn. He also enjoys outdoor adventures like camping, surfing and rock climbing. During his career he’s cooked for business luminaries such as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson.

He said he enjoyed visiting Kansas City and Lee’s Summit.

“Everyone’s so friendly. It’s pretty cool,” Raymond said. He said that reminds him of his homeland, New Zealand, where everyone also says hello to or smiles at passersby.

While plating the appetizers, Grubb asked Raymond what he’d tried in Thailand. He said for that episode they caught and cooked frogs. In Belize’s jungles they hunted and ate rodents. Episodes also included visits with Apache and Seminole tribes in the U.S.

“We ate some crazy, crazy things,” Raymond said.

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