GBS Influence debuts 2017 season with Shining Stars Catering & CommonGround

By: Jacob Elyachar,

Over the past few years, I have been very fortunate to see Kathryn Snellen and Sarah Ruhlman take the Midwest blog industry by storm through Go Blog Social, a group that connects passionate bloggers about the world of social media.  Last night, both ladies introduced the latest chapter in Go Blog Social’s history: GBS Influence.

For GBS Influence’s first influencer event of 2017, it was a night filled with fun and food. Shining Stars Catering, Kansas City’s boutique catering company, provided the food for the evening. Founded by Executive Chef Deborah Williams, Shining Stars Catering creates outstanding food from scratch and work with Kansas City area food companies such as Farm to Market Artisan Bread, Shatto Milk, Local Farmers, and Landeria Farms.


Shining Star Catering Executive Chef Deborah Williams (center) explains the menu to the GBS Influences attendees. (Photo property of Jake’s Take)

Chef Williams presented the GBS Influence group with an incredible meal that started with two beautiful antipasto spreads that were the Hors d’Oeuvres of the evening.  The first platter contained colorful grilled and chilled vegetables that ranged from squash and zucchini to three different kinds of peppers and onions. The second tray featured meats and cheeses that came directly from Kansas City butchers.  The three foods that I had to go back for seconds (and maybe thirds) were the grilled peppers, a spicy pepperoni, and salami slices.


(Photo property of Jake’s Take)

However, I made sure not to gobble every single piece of salami, pepperoni, and peppers that I could find because Chef Williams prepared one of the best salads that I had since in a long time. It was her signature kale and apple salad. The dark emerald green kale salad that included apples, dried cranberries, and pecans were accompanied by grilled chicken and two mini vegetable frittatas, which would give Starbucks’ egg bites a healthy competition.

(Photo property of Jake’s Take)

The meal concluded with three types of homemade cookies (chocolate chip, red velvet, and peanut butter) and with four different types of milk from Junction City’s Hildebrand Farms Dairy.  My two favorite milk flavors were the root beer milk, which tasted like a fantastic root beer float and the strawberry milk.

As I tried not to let my inner Cookie Monster loose onto the spectacular cookies, the ladies introduced CommonGround to the group.  CommonGround Kansas helps consumers make fearless food choices and will answer questions regarding about food and farming so that they can make confident decisions when they visit their supermarkets.

In addition to a Skype conversation with McPherson, Kansas farmer Kim Baldwin, each of the influencers received a cookbook that contained profiles and recipes from farmers from all across the state.  I truly believe that the best is yet to come for CommonGround Kansas, Shining Stars Catering, and GBS Influence as they continue with their respective journeys.

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar