Recap of Chef Collective #10 at Odd Fellow Hall ft. Chefs Soulayphet Schwader & Alan Albarracin Jr.

Chef Collective #10 at Odd Fellow Hall

Odd Fellow Hall Chef Collective

One of the cool food events in Wichita is the Chef Collective dinner series at Odd Fellow Hall. The event venue at 930 W Douglas Ave in Delano has put on nine previous dinners featuring many top chefs and mixologists/bartenders in town. I’ve been to a couple of them and when I heard about #10, it was one I couldn’t miss.

For Chef Collective #10, Odd Fellow Hall featured Chef Soulayphet Schwader. Schwader, who was born in Laos, immigrated to Wichita. After graduating from culinary school and bouncing around, Schwader moved to New York, where he opened Khe-Yo with Iron Chef Marc Forgione in 2013.

The dinner also featured, Schwader’s close friend, Chef Alan Albarracin Jr. who many people know as the owner of the local food truck, The Kamayan Truck, which closed in 2018. Albarracin worked under Schwader and considers him his mentor.

Schwader and Albarracin explained that dinner would be a mix of Laotian and Filipino cuisines.

From L to R: Chef Alan Albarracin Jr., Chef Soulayphet Schwader, and Jimmy Vo

The drinks were prepared by Nathan Thurnau of Good Company, who won a cocktail competition earlier this year. Live jazz was put on by Judd-Consiglio Trio.

Judd-Consiglio Trio
Judd-Consiglio Trio

Chef Collective Dinner

I won’t get into every detail of the dinner but it was one of my favorite events for multiple factors.

Everybody met in Rebekah’s Lounge before the dinner started for light appetizers and cocktails. Platters filled with all-you-can-eat appetizers were on display and to be honest, I pigged out here. Between the lumpia, sesame beef jerky and yellow fin tuna laap, I started to feel bad constantly going back for seconds and thirds and thirtieths.

Once the doors opened to the event venue, there were tables for eight people who filled the room. Luckily, we were asked to join a party of six. We immediately clicked with the group and had fun conversations all night. In an “only in Wichita” twist, we found out one of the couples at our table was moving to our neighborhood.

The group of, mostly strangers that we sat with, really enhanced the entire evening for us. Good conversation, good food and good drinks always make for a fantastic time.

When dinner started, it was family style, which is a commonplace in many Asian cultures and something I was 100% familiar with.

When the food started coming out, it never stopped until our table was full. We had sticky rice, garlic rice, local caught, crappie, suckling pig, noodles, chicken salad, shrimp, ribs, oxtail, and more. Everyone started grabbing food, passed it around, ate by hand, and enjoyed the dinner.

Odd Fellow Hall Chef Collective

On top of that, there were plenty of drinks prepared throughout the evening.

And our evening ended with a Filipino dessert called halo-halo.

I’ve said some of the best times are shared over a meal, and this Chef Collective at Odd Fellow Hall was no different. Applaud goes out to Chefs Alan Albarracin Jr. and Soulayphet Schwader, Nathan Thurnau of Good Company, Judd-Consiglio Trio, the team over at Odd Fellow Hall including Jimmy Vo and William Cody Lonergan, and our dinner mates. We had such a great time.

Be on the lookout for future Chef Collective dinners at Odd Fellow Hall by following them on Facebook or visiting their events page.

…and who knows, perhaps there might be a collaboration between Wichita By E.B. and Odd Fellow Hall in the future.

Happy Dining,
Eddy


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