March Buzz

JoCo-Native Pastry Chef Garners Culinary World Kudos

Pastry chef and Shawnee Mission Northwest graduate Alison Reed is making quite a name for herself.

Alison Reed

She joined the staff at Ripple, a Washington, D.C.-based restaurant in 2012 and helped launch Sugar Magnolia last March. Her all-natural, made-from-scratch ice cream sandwiches soon became the market’s signature menu item with unique flavors like maple bacon, coffee coconut and beet. The sandwiches even got a plug in an issue of O, the Oprah Magazine.

All this buzz was highlighted by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washingtonian nominating Reed as Pastry Chef of the Year for 2012. While she didn’t win the Rammy, the association’s coveted dining award, she was invited to make dessert for the Best of D.C. Dinner that took place in August at the James Beard House. Her contribution to the menu was a double chocolate mousse cake with cocoa nib tuile and nectarine crème anglaise.

“2012 was an amazing year,” says Reed, 30. “After moving to D.C. in 2005 as a young cook, I really never dreamed of all this great attention to be focused on me. But all the hard work paid off, I am a perfect example of that. I haven’t had much time to sit back, relax and take it all in.”

Reed attended the culinary program at Johnson County Community College to pursue her love of cooking, and especially baking.

“After my first class, I knew it was for me,” she says. “I never thought growing up I would have made a career out of this, but it is the best decision I ever made.”

She went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, which eventually led to pastry chef jobs at Café Saint-Ex, Café Mozu in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Indebleu restaurant in D.C.

Her parents, Ray and Randy Reed, who live in Shawnee, say their daughter’s journey has been a joy for them.

“Alison’s success came from hard work, dedication and a lot of observation while growing up and watching her grandmother and myself cooking,” Randy says.

“Any parent would be pleased with seeing their child succeed,” says Ray. “She’s followed her dream and pursued her passion and found success, so we can’t ask for much more than that.”

The family has visited Ripple many times, where Reed’s dessert menu includes delights like white chocolate peppermint cheesecake, cocoa-spice cookies, brownie rocky road sundae, baked butterscotch pudding and olive oil financier.

“It’s fun to watch people enjoy the desserts she makes,” Ray says. “You want to see your child be appreciated, and she is by the restaurant and all the customers who come in.”


Starlight Offers Spring Break Camp

Starlight Theatre Academy is offering two one-week Spring Break Camps for youth ages 6 to 14 on March 11-15 and March 18-22 at Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, Mo.

Campers, working in age-appropriate groups, will work with theater professionals to explore acting, singing and dance skills while rehearsing for a production they will perform for family and friends at the end of the week. Campers will contribute to the creation of the set, props and costuming for the performance. They also will enjoy classic camp games and craft activities.

Camps are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. Participants must bring a sack lunch, but morning and afternoon snacks will be provided. The cost is $225 for a week. “Before care” is available beginning at 7:30 a.m. for an additional $5 per day, and “after care” is available until 5:30 p.m. for an additional $15 per day.

Registration forms may be downloaded at For more information, call (816) 997-1134 or e-mail


Golfer Boasts Nine Holes-in-One

Tom Baddeley has hit more holes-in-one than many golfers will ever see. In fact, the IBM System Z sales leader has hit nine holes-in-one in nine years.

Before hitting his first hole-in-one, Baddeley says he didn’t think it would ever happen for him.

“I had hit the pin, ripped the edge of cups out and left too many to mention on the edge,” he says. “However, there was an old guy at Milburn, Tommy Creamer, may he rest in peace, who made his first one when he was 80, so it gave me hope.”

Baddeley regularly plays golf at Milburn Golf Club in Overland Park, where he has been a member since 1989. He made his first hole-in-one in June 2000 and his second about a year later.

“I was making one a year for a while and then had a drought,” he says. “I made two last year, one in January and one in September.”

Tom Baddeley

The thrill of making the shots has changed over time, Baddeley admits.

“Having played golf for almost 40 years, getting the first one was complete euphoria,” he says. “On the last one, my first thought was, ‘How much is this going cost me in drinks?’”

Baddeley has made six of his holes-in-one at Milburn. The rest took place at Wolf Creek in Olathe, Greenbrier Hills in St. Louis and Calusa Pines in Naples, Fla. Two of the aces were made during tournaments.

“The worst shot was on No. 15 at Milburn. I shanked a wedge, it hit off the side of the trap, kicked straight right and went in the hole,” Baddeley describes. “The best one was either the one on 15 that flew right into the hole, never touched any grass, or the one at Calusa Pines that I never saw, because I was hitting right into the sun. The worst financial outcome was the one at Greenbrier. We were not playing ‘hundy onedy’ — where everyone in the group pays you a $100.”

Baddeley has an unofficial list of 14 witnesses to his superior shots, including friend Mike Hodges, who has seen him hit a hole-in-one five times.

“I play golf every week with Hodges,” Baddeley says. “Trust me, he cringes every time one of my shots starts out at the hole. I love nothing better than taking a hundy out of his pocket.”

Hodges, of Hodges Law Firm, says he was happy for Baddeley when he made his first and second holes-in-one.

“After that, I would prefer that he get all bogies,” says Hodges. “When he hits one close to the hole, I do start to think about whether I have a $100 on me.”


Dinner Benefits Sisters, Servants of Mary

The 15th annual spaghetti dinner to benefit the Sisters, Servants of Mary took place Feb. 3 at St. Patrick’s Parish Center in Kansas City, Kan. This year, the dinner served 2,050 people and raised $24,000.

All of the ticket sales go directly to the Sisters, Servants of Mary, a Catholic order of sisters who are registered nurses and who care for the terminally ill in their homes, day and night, at no cost.

For $8, attendees received a home-cooked Italian dinner featuring spaghetti and meatballs, Italian sausage, salad and garlic bread. In addition to those who dined in the parish center, 850 orders were for carry-out.

Jasper Mirabile Jr. of Jasper’s restaurant donated 450 pounds of cooked pasta, Johnny Caracci of Johnny C’s restaurant donated 2,600 handmade meatballs, the Balano family donated 400 pounds of Scimeca’s Italian Sausage, and the Pace family donated beer and wine.

The event is sponsored each year by Mary and Mike Sullivan, Denise and Craig Janes, Vic and Janet Seeman, and Al and Sheri Seeman. The Amino, Balano and Pace families helped with serving at the event.

Other volunteers included Bill and Marta Buser, Janice Heble, Jenny Scheve, Jim and Michelle Hersh, Paul Barrett, John and Carol Bartolac, Tom and Cindy Creal, and Nancy Chop, as well as those from the Sisters Servants of Mary men’s group and the Ladies Guild, which supplied the desserts.


KC Native Gillian Flynn Tops the Bestsellers List

Kansas City, Mo., native and author Gillian Flynn has topped the New York Times Bestsellers List with her critically acclaimed suspense novel “Gone Girl.” The book spent more than eight months on the list and was No. 1 for several weeks.

Gillian Flynn

Flynn attended the University of Kansas, received undergraduate degrees in English and journalism, and also earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Flynn, who currently lives in Chicago with her husband and son, worked at Entertainment Weekly magazine for 10 years before writing her debut novel, “Sharp Objects,” in 2006. The literary mystery was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards.

Flynn’s second novel, the New York Times bestseller “Dark Places,” was Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of 2009, and her third novel “Gone Girl,” released in summer 2012, is making huge waves in the publishing world. Flynn’s work has been published in 28 countries and movie rights have been sold for all three of her books.

According to Flynn’s website, “Gone Girl” opens on a warm summer morning in Carthage, Mo. It is Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick Dunne’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented “McMansion” on the Mississippi River. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media — as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents — the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter, but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love.


Fashionable Event Benefits Women’s Health

Fashion for a Cause, the annual benefit for Truman Medical Centers women’s health programs, takes place April 5 in the Grand Ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center.

This premier fashion event blends trends, design, couture expression and style with philanthropy. Since its inception, Fashion For A Cause has raised more than $950,000 for women’s health care. This year’s chairmen are Amy and David Embry, and honorary chairmen Paul Black and Julie Cheslik.

Emmy Award-winning television star, celebrity stylist, author and fashion designer Carson Kressley will host Fashion for a Cause with his signature flair for transforming and inspiring lives with style and humor. Kressley, a recent favorite on “Dancing with the Stars,” began his career as an independent stylist, leading to a long tenure with Polo Ralph Lauren.

Participating boutiques include: Clique Boutique, Miriam Garvey, Hudson & Jane, N Valentino, Helen Jon, Joscelyn Himes Couture and Nolte’s.

For more information, call (816) 404-3430 or visit


Baker Gives Show Another Try

The third time could be the charm for Smallcakes owner Jeff Martin, who will make his third appearance on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” this month.

Martin, who started the wildly popular bakery franchise in Overland Park, became notorious for forgetting the key ingredient on the first season, but he hopes this time will be a success. Tune in to Food Network on March 10 to cheer him on!


Luncheon Celebrates Girls and Women in Sports

WIN for KC hosted the Women’s Sports Awards Celebration in February at the Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center. The annual luncheon celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day and recognizes girls and women for their community contributions and achievements in sports.

This year’s keynote speaker was Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings. Walsh began her career on the indoor volleyball court at Stanford University and garnered a number of records before transitioning to the sand where she has become one half of the winningest team in beach volleyball history with partner Misty May-Treanor.

Married to U.S. volleyball player Casey Jennings, Walsh is mother to two young sons and is expecting her third this spring.

During the luncheon, six local women were recognized for their contributions and achievements in sports and fitness: Ellen Bell, Jo Ann Herd, Makaela Kerr, Terry Mann, Barbara Nelson and Shawnie Nix.

Several area high school female state champions also were featured as part of the “Celebration of Champions March."