Though servers at Taste & See parade saffron-infused paella, lump-crab-loaded mac ‘n’ cheese, and expertly blended cocktails through the dining room, customers have more to stare at than the food and drinks. While sipping Sangria or an herbal gin concoction, patrons fix their eyes on Venezuelan-born chef Jason Febres, who tosses together ingredients in his kitchen located at the center of the dining room. A performance venue as much as it is a restaurant, Taste & See's unique space lets patrons witness the cooking process from start to finish. Some visitors snag the front-row seats along the kitchen's sleek granite countertops, which wrap around the stoves and griddles, but those further back can watch Chef Jason demonstrate techniques such as meat preparation and plating on a 110-inch projection screen. To keep the experience interactive, he also leaves his station to visit diners individually, as well as shares his insights with the whole dining room through a microphone or carefully rolled cone of salami.
As he chats, Chef Jason reveals the inspiration behind his constantly changing menus, which blend an array of global flavors, such as those of the Middle East and Argentina, Peru and the American South, or Hawaii and Japan. He and partner Steven Bacci draw from their years of global travel and different ethnic backgrounds to concoct their eclectic fare. They draw further inspiration from their daily shopping trips for ingredients at local farmers' markets, and by scheduling surprise raids on their friends' refrigerators or Fort Knox's stockpile of fancy cheese. This international inspiration is also reflected in the Latin, Middle Eastern, and Italian music that mingles with the sounds of sizzling food in the dining room.
Kathy Kissane, owner and meal-maven of Kissane's Creations, has opened her heart and hearth to apprentice foodies hungering to master the culinary arts. Her hour-long cooking classes can be tailored to the taste buds of each visitor and cover such topics as appetizers, entrees, sides, crock-pot meals, desserts, and meal planning. Aspiring master chefs can call Kissane directly to schedule their foray into wild gastronomic frontiers fraught with treacherous garlic mines, dense gravy bogs, and haunted meatloaf forests. Become proficient in the chemistry of deliciousness by yourself, or buy two Groupons and bring a friend who may become more than a friend once the smell of rosemary scents the air and your hands casually brush while reaching for the paring knife.