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Menus & Music: CAFÉ BABALOO, A Cuban-Inspired Kitchen Party

June 12 @ 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Menus & MusicDesigned to lead you away from the everyday, these laid back and relaxed Menus & Music celebrations combine a popular musical genre with the food and drinks that define it.

Join us for our second installment - CAFÉ BABALOO - as we make the culinary exploration into the sexy, soulful culture of Cuba, complete with live Latin band, colorful pan-Latin inspired buffet, rum tastings, craft cocktails, cigar room and dance lessons.  Recipes to take home?  Why wouldn’t we?  Getting to know your fellow partiers?  You bet!

Latin food is one of the sexiest cuisines on the planet. There, we said it. And our own Chef & Instructor Dana Holland (proprietor of the legendary Latin-inspired St. Louis restaurant “Babalu’s” (a favorite among the local glitterati and hoi palloi alike) is no slouch when it comes to Latin & Caribbean cuisine. He is eager to show off his mad skills in a Pan-Latin buffet that will knock you clear off your Cuban burro!  He’ll get this sexy, soulful party started with the likes of Shrimp Salpicon y Tostones, Beef Picadillo, Fish Escabeche,  Plantain Chips, Aiiaco (a velvety coconut milk soup), Moros y Christianos (black beans & rice), Escalivida, Coffee Orange Flan and more!

No Cuban carnivale would be complete without live music, right?  So we are thrilled to host the Cubanisms, a local Latin band sensation with a musical fusion style that mixes Salsa, Brazilian, jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms.  Voted one of the Best Local Bands in 2019 and 2018, not to mention Best Vocalists (Fedra Cooper and Bruno Bessa) and Best Musician (Michael McClintock). Whew!  Now that’s a ‘house party’ band.

The Caribbean bar opens at 5 p.m. with a free rum tasting including Chef Dana’s Pineapple Mojito, as well as a cash bar featuring authentic libations such as the Cuba Libre (Cubato), Daquiris, Havana Loco and the President.

Once we have fueled the party for a bit, the free dance lessons will begin. You’ll learn the Salsa and its Caribbean cousins, the merengue and the rumba.  Plus, falling in the category of “whowouldathunkit?", even the Latin hustle, a relic of the Saturday Night Fever days of the 1970’s, will make a comeback tonight. Folks, this Cuban fête is not just for Latinos - people of all ages, ethnicities and experience levels can dance happily together.  You’ll then get your chance to try out your new skills as you bust a Latin move to the powerhouse sounds of the Cubanisms.

We know this party will be a smokin’ good time so we have designed an outdoor Cigar Hideaway with Caribbean cigars available (or bring your own!) to round out this Havanian experience.

So, gather your Latin flair… and maybe your twirliest skirt… and step into our tasty Latin carnivale.  Come early to secure a table next to the dance floor, because it’s ‘first come first served’ for seating at this party!

  • Friday, June 12
  • Free Rum Tasting and Cash Bar open at 5:00 p.m.
  • Dance Lessons begin at 6:00 p.m.
  • Pan-Latin Buffet opens at 6:30 p.m.
  • Music & Dancing 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

$50/person for advance purchases ($55 at the door, if not sold out)
Includes dinner buffet, live music, free rum tasting & dance lessons
(cash bar available)



June 12
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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The Culinary Center of Kansas City


The Culinary Center of Kansas City
7920 Santa Fe Drive
Overland Park, KS 66204 United States
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