Dining With Denise Neil

The man every Wichita foodie should (or already does) know: Jimmy Vo

See how the sausage is made

Pattie Durham makes sausage with the help of Chop Shop's Derik Spears. Teams are making sausages for Bloktoberfest that happens Saturday at Union Station and Durham is representing the clothing store she owns, Mode. (October 4, 2016)
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Pattie Durham makes sausage with the help of Chop Shop's Derik Spears. Teams are making sausages for Bloktoberfest that happens Saturday at Union Station and Durham is representing the clothing store she owns, Mode. (October 4, 2016)

If you’re a foodie in Wichita, you hear and read his name all the time.

Jimmy Vo.

But who is this Jimmy Vo? And why are so many Wichita chefs always gushing about him on social media?

Vo is the farmer behind Kan-Grow Hydro Farm LLC, and he grows all kinds of edible greenery, from bean sprouts to microgreens to okra to radishes. His produce comes from organic seed, and he doesn’t use any herbicides, insecticides or pesticides. He’s famous among Wichita chefs for an invention he calls “Yum Yum Mix,” a mixture of pickled sprouts, carrots, daikon and chives that restaurants all over town are using in and on their recipes.

Among Vo’s most devoted fans are the owners/chefs at The Anchor, Public at the Brickyard, Wichita Brewing Company, Dempsey’s Burger Pub and District Taqueria.

He’s a regular on the cooking competition circuit, and he has booths on Saturday morning’s at both the Old Town Farmers Market and Kansas Grown Farmers Market at 21st and Ridge.

He also is the creator of the latest pizza in Wichita Brewing Company’s pizza-a-month contest/promotion.

Vo, the only non-restaurant owner besides me invited to participate in the competition, has created what he calls a Farm Thai Pie, which has a base of Thai peanut sauce made with real peanuts and is topped with the Thai sausage Vo created last fall with Douglas Avenue Chop Shop plus jalapenos, Yum Yum Mix, pea shoots and mozzarella. And there are six quail eggs on every pizza.

Of course there are.

Vo’s pizza is available through the month of September.

The pizza-a-month contest was dreamed up by WBC co-owner Greg Gifford, who at the beginning of the year invited me, Vo and 10 local restaurateurs to invent a pizza that he’d serve at both Wichita Brewing Company restaurants, 8815 W. 13th St. and 535 N. Woodlawn, throughout 2017.

The restaurants participating in the promotion all have owners who are supporters of WBC and/or have WBC craft beer on tap. Whichever pizza has the highest sales at the end of the year wins. The prize is a party at the WBC production facility, complete with beer, for the winner and his or her staff.

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