Carrie Rengers

One-time pastry chef to open the Perfect Plate for healthy eating

Kira Ottaway’s gluten-free and vegan Asian noodle salad, which is a sample of what she hopes to serve at the Perfect Plate.
Kira Ottaway’s gluten-free and vegan Asian noodle salad, which is a sample of what she hopes to serve at the Perfect Plate. Courtesy photo

It may seem odd for a pastry chef to start a business to sell healthy meals to go, but if you know Kira Ottaway’s story, it makes sense.

Ottaway is a classically trained pastry chef who has a bachelor’s degree in food service management.

She spent about a dozen years working in the industry, including a few years at GreenAcres Market and Deli and also the former Luca Italian Kitchen in Old Town where she says customers “said I had the best tiramisu in Wichita.”

Then about six years ago, Ottaway lost 85 pounds.

Now, her idea for a Perfect Plate is “basically a labor of love.”

“It is a healthy prepared meal service,” Ottaway says. “My goal is to really help people learn how to balance their nutrition. Ultimately, it gives you the fuel and the energy to live the life you deserve.”

Perfect Plate is Ottaway’s own creation, not a franchise.

She has a Facebook page but is still scouting for a site to open.

“What I really want is to find a storefront so that people can stop in,” Ottaway says.

She plans to make healthy prepared meals in individual portions and family sizes.

Ottaway says she’d prefer a place with at least a partial kitchen already set up.

“I want to stay pretty centralized, I would say.”

She’s not taking orders yet, but Ottaway says a commercial kitchen may be an option to get the business started.

“I’m just kind of exploring all the different ways to get in and start.”

Ottaway plans a basically gluten-free menu, though she’d like to reserve the right to use gluten if absolutely necessary for a dish that she can’t find a good substitute.

“I’m still kind of torn on how to maybe incorporate pastry,” she says.

That may be a raw or vegan dessert or something with half the sugar than normal, though Ottaway says, “I’m the type of person that would rather eat the real deal less often.”

Ottaway has hired business consultant Jill Miller to help the business get started.

“She’s my coach.”

Ottaway says she’s trying to be patient to find just the right place, but it’s hard.

“I want to get moving on it.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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