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Chefs to host tribute to Pachamamas on Thursday

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"Soigne as Fudge," Pachamamas' sold-out dinner slated for Thursday evening, isn't farewell, promises Ken Baker.

The event, billed as a "tribute to Pachamamas" comes on the heels of the announcement of the restaurant's likely closing. Last month, chef/owner Baker told the Journal-World he would close Pachamamas if a buyer isn't found.

"I’m not trying to say goodbye," he says. "It’s a different era."

Nor is it a eulogy to the restaurant, as its name suggests.

He sees the seven-course dinner (priced at $125 per person, including wine pairings, plus tax) as a celebration. Nine of Baker's foodie friends helped create the menu, and come Thursday, will make the trip to Pachamamas to cook it.

"It's a tribute to all the people who have worked here, all the customers, all the chefs who are passionate about food," says Baker, who is excited to reunite with Pachamamas alums and culinary peers.

The list of participating chefs includes some pretty big names from the area's restaurant scene. James Beard Award winner Colby Garrelts (Kansas City's Bluestem and Rye restaurants) and chef Howard Hanna (Ça Va and The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange in K.C.), are among those preparing food. Former Pachamamas sous chefs Vaughn Good (Hank's Charcuterie) and Quillan Glynn (Pizzabella in K.C.) are also participating.

Thursday's soiree will include a reception with the chefs at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. If you didn't snag tickets, Baker says to make sure to stop by Pachamamas sometime soon. The restaurant will remain open full-time until Valentine's Day.

"Our client base is really important to me," he says. "I'd like to see as many of them as possible."

Pachamama's chef Ken Baker.

Pachamama's chef Ken Baker. by Nick Krug

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at jhlavacek@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @hlavacekjoanna. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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