Dining With Denise Neil

Ben George is Intrust Bank Arena’s new head chef

Ben George won last summer’s Iron Chef Cookoff at the Old Town Farmer’s Market.
Ben George won last summer’s Iron Chef Cookoff at the Old Town Farmer’s Market. File photo

Intrust Bank Arena has a new chef. In related news, Siena Tuscan Steakhouse inside the Ambassador Hotel, 104 S. Broadway, is looking for a new chef.

Ben George, who took over the Siena Tuscan Steakhouse kitchen in April of last year, replacing Marshall Roth, has been hired as the executive chef at Intrust Bank Arena.

He enjoyed his time at Siena, George said, but when he was approached recently by the arena, he saw an opportunity. His last day at Siena was Thursday, and he starts his new job on Monday.

Among George’s new duties will be providing food for the arena’s suites and catering jobs and preparing meals for visiting stars. And he’s used to catering to celebrities, he said. Many of the acts who perform in Wichita stay at the Ambassador while in town.

He’s replacing Kasey Thexton, who had been the head chef at the arena since it opened. He recently accepted a job at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center in Savannah, Ga.

George previously worked as the executive chef of Treat America at Beech Activity Center, at Tallgrass Country Club and at The Anchor.

Tad Stricker, general manager of the Ambassador, said he’s launching a search for his next head chef.

“We hate to see Chef moving on, but it’s such a fantastic opportunity for him to go over there to Intrust Bank Arena and lead up such a large operation,” he said.