Chef Rock Harper

Chef Rock Harper

AARP Kansas has invited Hell’s Kitchen (Season Three) winner and celebrity Chef Rock Harper to Kansas City to demonstrate how to prepare healthy meals in order to prevent or help control diabetes.  Chef Harper will be in Overland Park at the Kansas City Culinary Institute, 7920 Santa Fe Drive, on Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the meal preparation and tasting.


The cooking class participants will be primarily African American women who have been selected because they prepare meals for people or family members who have or may be prone to have diabetes.  Diabetes is more prevalent among African Americans than any other population with the exception of Native Americans.  In addition, several of the cooks who will participate own or manage local food-related businesses in the Kansas City area.  Participants will help prepare the meal at the direction of Chef Harper and then serve it to their invited guests.


“We have organized a similar and very successful event with members of the Native American population in Northeast Kansas for the last three years,” said AARP Kansas Director Maren Turner.  “Because of the classes, participants have made changes in lifestyle and cooking habits.  We look forward to sharing this extraordinary experience with members of the African American and small business community in Kansas City and are excited that Chef Harper agreed to share his expertise with us.”


Throughout his career, Chef Harper has worked at award winning restaurants such as Café Calliope, Burke Station Restaurant, Planet Hollywood, BET on Jazz Restaurant, and as Executive Chef of B.Smith’s Restaurant, Ben’s Next Door and The Carlyle Club.


Before the cooking begins, participants will learn more about chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and how even minor changes in food preparation and ingredients can contribute to a healthier lifestyle.  After the meal is prepared and served, the audience will hear from Health and Human Services Region Seven Director Stephene Moore talk about the Affordable Care Act and how it impacts the African American population and specifically women.


Cooking class participants have already been selected; however, there are limited spaces available for anyone wanting to take part in the meal.  Reservations for the meal are required and can be made by calling AARP Kansas at 1-866-448-3619 or e-mailing Janet Clearwater at


The event is sponsored by AARP Kansas, the Topeka Chapter of The Links, Inc. and the Kansas African American Affairs Commission (KAAAC).


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