Media & Awards

We’re Tooting Our Horn!

The Culinary Center of Kansas City and our own ‘Main Dish’ Laura Laiben have been honored with many awards and special recognition over the past 20+ years.  In addition, we appear in the news media regularly! 

Here are just a few of these awards and news items/appearances.


City Union Mission’s Good Samaritan Award (Luke 10:33), 2017
for outstanding corporate involvement through our ‘All Hands for Hunger’ interactive cooking experience that combines culinary teambuilding with community service

Kansas Department of Commerce’s Woman-Owned Business of the Year (Service Industry Firm), 2016

Downtown Overland Park’s People’s Choice Award – Best Service Business, 2015 & 2016

Kansas City Business Journal’s Best Places To Work Award, 2011 
(Our ‘Main Dish’ Laura Laiben’s favorite award!)

Johnson County Solid Waste Management’s Green Business Award, 2010
for “leading the way towards a more sustainable community through efforts in reducing waste and conserving resources”

Downtown Overland Park’s Impact Award, 2008

Downtown Overland Park’s President’s Award, 1999
for contributions to business and community



  • Named as one of Kansas City’s Most Influential Women by KC Business Magazine, 2012
  • American Culinary Federation’s Greater Kansas City Chef’s Association President’s Award, 2007  & 2014
  • 25 Under 25 Award by Kansas City Small Business Monthly, 2006
  • Top 25 Women Who Mean Business in KC by the Kansas City Small Business Monthly, 2003
  • Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program, Member and Fellow, 10 years 
  • Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Board of Director Member, 3 years
  • Shawnee Mission Medical Center’s Speaking of Women’s Health, Committee Member, 3 years 
  • Overland Park, KS Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, 3 years
  • International Association of Culinary Professionals, Panelist & Member, 3 years
  • Missouri Bar Association
  • Slow Food Association, past member
  • Kansas City Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, past member


3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe / Summer Classes & Camps 2021

3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookie Recipe / Private Events & Teambuildings @ CCKC
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / April 13, 2021

A New Twist on Black-Eyed Pea Soup To Ring In The New Year
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / December 31, 2020

Chef Shows How To Prepare A Pared-Down Thanksgiving Turkey
KMBC-TV9 / November 25, 2020

Halloween Recipe: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / October 29, 2020

Fall Pumpkin Recipes
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / September 24, 2020

One Tank Trips: The Culinary Center of Kansas City in Downtown Overland Park
KSHB-TV 41 News / July 31, 2020

New Initiative Brings Chefs Together To Give Back
KSHB-TV 41 News / May 14, 2020

Air-Fryer Ratatouille
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / February 20, 2020

Menus & Music: Café Babaloo
Mojo Pork Cubano Sandwich and Cuban Beef Empanadas
Better Kansas City / KCTV5 / February 19, 2020

Menus & Music: Honky Tonk Heaven
Grown Up Mac & Cheese
Better Kansas City / KCTV5 / January 16, 2020

‘Coming 2020’: Abby Eden Surprises FOX4 Family with News She’s Pregnant With Boy
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / January 14, 2020

World Famous Hot Brown Sandwich Mornay Sauce (Menus & Music: Honky Tonk Heaven)
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / January 8, 2020

Answers To Your Pantry Emergencies / Smart Substitutions / Dish Up Some Green Bean Bundles  
Better Kansas City  / KCTV5 / December 11, 2019

How To Make A Whole Roast Chicken
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / December 4, 2019

Danish Pastry Full of Goodies –  Laura ‘Elle T’ Thomsen
Better Kansas City  / KCTV5 / October 16, 2019

How To Cut Perfect Sugar Cookies
Better Kansas City  / KCTV5 / September 5, 2019

The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s Chef Dana Holland Reveals How To Make His Mexicali Corn Relish
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / July 22, 2019

How to Make Sheet Pan S’mores
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / July 16, 2019

All Aboard the Hogwarts Express for a Birthday Bash!
Better Kansas City / KCTV5 / July 11, 2019

Zip Trip: Fox4 Travels to KC’s Largest Suburb – Overland Park
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / June 7, 2019

Chef Jill Make Chicken Enchilada Casserole on BetterKC
Better Kansas City / KCTV5 / May 29, 2019

Summer Camps for Kids with The Culinary Center of Kansas City
Kansas City Live / KSHB-TV41 / May 23, 2019

Chef Jill Demonstrates How To Make A 3-Ingredient Flatbread
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / April 29, 2019

Chef Jill Shares Knife Skill Tips with Fox4’s Abby Eden
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / April 10, 2019

The Secrets to a Great Grilled Cheese
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / March 19, 2019

Pairing Chicken and Wine Perfectly with Coq au Vin
KCTV5 / March 18, 2019

Overland Park Named One of the Happiest Cities in Ameria
KCTV5  /  March 11, 2019

Give The Gift Of Cooking This Valentine’s Day
KCLive / KSHB-TV 41 / 2019

CCKC Exec Chef Jill Garcia Schmidt Warns About Potential Dangers of Pressure Cookers
Fox4 News at 5 p.m. / WDAF-TV / 2018

Lead Chef Molly Flynn & Junior Chef Molly Minor explained our CCKC Kids’ Summer Classes and Camps to Fox4’s Mark Alford
Fox4 Morning News / WDAF-TV / 2018

CCKC Lead Chef Molly Flynn talked Montana ranch life, Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce and the Western Farm Show 2018.
BetterKC / KCTV5 / 2018

CCKC Lead Chef Molly Flynn demonstrated making the Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce she’ll present at the Western Farm Show 2018.
KCLive / KSHB-TV 41 / 2018

Molly Flynn Chats About Her New Gig at the Culinary Center of Kansas City
FeastMagazine.com / 2018

Reporter Carey Wickersham reported live from CCKC showing the holiday classes and gift ideas available!
Fox4 Sunday Morning Live / 2017

Fun and healthy lunches for kids include blueberries, spinach and tomatoes 
KC Star / 2014

Healthy recipes win kids trip to the White House
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire / 2014

12 Kansas City Companies That Won’t Stand for Soul Sucking 9 to 5 Workdays
FindingKansasCity.com / May 5, 2014

Cooking Up Inspiration at the Culinary Center of Kansas City
KC Star / April 10, 2014

Meet and Retreat in Kansas City
KC Star / April 10, 2014

Mix a Pinch of Planning with a Dash of Dreams
KC Star / April 10, 2014

35 KC People, Places and Things That Makes Us Drool
KC Star Food Issue / June 11, 2010

Way More Than a Cooking Class
What You’re Missing KC blog / March 31, 2010

Best Night Out 2010
The Pitch / 2010

Where Can I Take Cooking Classes in Kansas City?
Kansas City Cooking Examiner / July 19, 2009

Bake Like a Pro: Upcoming Events
Lisa Cason blog / June 26, 2009

Corporate Team-Building Exercises Move Into The Kitchen
KC Star / 2002

A Flavorful Recipe for Teambuilding
MIssouri Meetings & Events / 2008