It’s a party in The Woodlands- Jasper’s Celebrates 10th Anniversarylbarber2015-10-02T12:04:18+00:00
It’s hard to believe it’s already been 10 years since we first opened Jasper’s in The Woodlands. To celebrate this important milestone, we’ve planned an impressive line-up of food, fun and VIP festivities. Join us on October 18th from 4pm-8pm and enjoy a delectable buffet featuring all your favorite Jasper’s menu items, live music by Doppleganger, anniversary cake and Fat Cat Creamery ice cream.
Go VIP and head directly upstairs to dine with Iron Chef winner Kent Rathbun and attend a private cooking demo and more.
$55 per person includes 2 alcoholic beverages, and kids under 12 eat free.
$75 per person includes dinner and a private cooking demo with Chef Kent Rathbun-SPACE IS LIMITED
It Pays To Plan Ahead- Save 50% Off Venue Feeslbarber2015-10-01T10:14:48+00:00
Welcome To The Kitchen at 6130
The cooler the weather gets outside, the more our minds reel with thoughts of holiday entertaining! From small and intimate cocktail parties that are perfect for celebrating the season to large-scale company holiday parties that make a lasting impression, our comfortably elegant private event venue is well-equipped to handle all of your holiday entertaining needs. Our professional staff can assist with every detail like fresh flowers, flavorful food and stylish décor. The Kitchen at 6130 handles all the details so you and your guests can enjoy your event stress-free.
With a restaurant-style setting and full service bar, The Kitchen at 6130 can be customized to accommodate seated dinners, cocktail parties and intimate celebrations. The fully equipped commercial kitchen with a wood burning oven and large full-service bar make it ideal for preparing a wide range of menu options.
Confirm your booking prior to 10-31-15 and receive 50% the venue fee. The very best dates always fill up fast, so don’t delay! To take advantage of this special offer, please contact Charlotte Gannon at 214-619-3555 or .
Food by Kent Rathbun Catering
120 guests for a seated dinner
165 guests for a reception style event Centrally located at:
When The Catering Needs To Be As Impressive As The Venue
Not long ago, we had the privilege of helping one of our fellow restaurateurs celebrate a very special milestone birthday. From the moment we learned the venue was a 1903 historically renovated family ranch house in Oklahoma, we knew this special event required an equally impressive food and cocktail experience for guests.
Cocktails In The Commissary, Y’all- It was a progressive event
Guests were greeted in the Commissary with a glass of wine and a taste of one of our signature Lobster Shooters. In case you’re not familiar, Lobster Shooters are a fun-to-eat “shot” of fresh lobster served in a Thai red curry-coconut sauce. They’ve been on the Abacus menu since the beginning. And, were originally created as a special dish that Executive Chef and Owner Kent Rathbun prepared for Julia Child early-on in his career. Lobster Shooters have since become a nationally recognized tradition at Abacus and also at private events like this one. We’ve served over 1 Million of them and guests love posting photos “Doing a Lobster Shooter” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Guests also noshed on Pimenton Seared Buffalo Crostinis with Red Onion Balsamic Marmalade, Manchego Cheese, and enjoyed a full bar featuring our very own craft cocktail mixers and fresh-herb garnishes.
Next Stop: Dinner Al Fresco Style
Next, guests made their way to decorated tent, complete with checkered linens, white chairs and café string lights where they eagerly congregated for a hearty meal. The feast was prepared in the nearby “Ranch Shack” by Iron Chef Winner Kent Rathbun and his talented catering team. Dinner was served al fresco style, and menu options included an impressive buffet featuring a selection of salads, hickory-grilled hanger steak with red wine butter; hickory grilled chicken breast with marsala mushroom sauce and barbecue-spiced Atlantic salmon with charred tomato oil. It was truly 5 star dining under the beautiful Oklahoma sky.
Pat Green Entertains & We Provide The Pizza Truck
After dinner, guests gathered in “The Barn” for birthday cake, gelato, mini desserts and live music by singer songwriter Pat Green. They scooted their boots, bellied up to one-of-two bars and enjoyed freshly popped popcorn made with locally raised corn from the ranch. With all the fun and dancing, it was easy for guests to work up an appetite. So, to wind-down the evening we served a late-night snack right off the back of a totally tricked-out 20 foot- long pizza truck. We actually borrowed the truck from our friends at Carne Rosso and hauled the big rig all the way from Dallas, TX. This beast is a bright-red, self-contained Italian wood-burning oven that is fueled by Texas Oak and runs at a whopping 900 degrees!
What Made This Event Special?
As the celebration came to a close, guests were delighted! Compliments and words of appreciation filled the night air, and we were reminded once again, that regardless of whether you’re celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event or want to host the ultimate party, choosing the right Caterer is key. Here a few tips to keep in mind:
Work with an experienced caterer! The Sales Managers, Event Planners, Chefs and Servers at Kent Rathbun Catering are all master communicators and have the ability to guide you through every step of the process. From selecting the very best menu options, to making the most of your special venue, to adding all the extra touches; like a pizza oven & recording artist! It’s critical that your cater has a successful track record, and the ability to translate your vision for the event into a reality.
Make sure your caterer has local and national resources. Let’s face it. It takes a fair amount of “Catering Swagger” to gain access to elite resources that are not readily available to the general public. May less connected caterers simply cannot arrange VIP access to talent and equipment. For example, arranging to have the guest of honor’s very favorite pizza and recording artist arrive in Ponca City, Oklahoma for the event required having A-List contacts.
Chef Credentials really do matter. Surprisingly, it’s more important to look at the credentials of the Executive Chef than the length of time the company has been operating. Before you make your final selection, be sure to look at the pedigree and experience of the person (or people) behind the menu. Anytime you can trust your special event to a Chef who has cooked for US Presidents, at the James Beard House, and is an Iron Chef winner, you are far better off than hiring someone who is less experienced. To start planning a similar event please contact Charlotte Gannon at or call 214-619.3555.
Inspirations from Rome, Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast
Just a few short weeks ago, I set out with family and a few close friends to immerse myself in Italy—The culture, the music, the art, the whether, the history and naturally; the food. I also wanted to give Tracy a Birthday she’d never forget. Plus it was the perfect time to recharge my creative batteries and prepare for the busy holiday catering and private dining season ahead.
We started our trip in Rome and wasted no time taking in the sights. While we only stayed in Rome for 1 day, we certainly made the most of our time there. Our home-base was a luxury boutique property called the G-Rough Hotel which is located in the heart of the Eternal City, near Piazza Navona. We also took in a nighttime tour of the Colosseum, where we had special access to the underground and arena floor areas. And, yes! I can’t lie. The next day we all watched Gladiator and reaffirmed our new found knowledge of Roman Medieval History; agreeing wholeheartedly with the authenticity of the movie.
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Next stop, our group packed up, left Rome and headed 3 hours north and settled into a private villa just 20 minutes from what is now my very favorite town in Tuscany. Pienza, Italy is a quaint and charming town in the province of Siena, in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany, between the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino. It is here, in the heart of Pecorino & Romano Cheese country where I fell in love all-over-again with Sangiovese Grapes and Brunello di Montalcino. As a Chef, I have never felt a better understanding of or deeper connection to Tuscan food and wine. The seasonal ingredients from that region (which are near perfect in their own right) don’t require complicated seasonings or elaborate creations. Instead, less-is-more, simple-is-best, and dishes are beautiful, yet refined and are always satisfying and delicious.
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The timing of our trip was impeccable because the weather was absolutely amazing and we were able to go hot-air ballooning over Tuscany. We also had the good fortune of attending a very special 10th anniversary performance by Andrea Bocelli at his beloved “Teatro del Silenzio.” The “Teatro del Silenzio is Andrea Bocelli’ personal open-air theatre, that literally “Sits Silent” every night of the year; except for one…. The night we were there! Watching him perform from only a few feet away was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and a memory I’ll never forget.
We wrapped up our trip on the Amalfi Coast aboard a 72 foot yacht where we toured Capri, Sorrento, and visited the volcanic island of Ischia. The ancient spas there are are best known for their volcanic heat source. With temperatures around 120 degrees and healing properties, our group left the island relaxed with smooth and hydrated skin.
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It’s also safe to say that I experienced the very best food the Mediterranean has to offer during this portion of my trip as well. One of my favorite food experiences was the local rabbit. It was prepared simply with potatoes that were cooked in olive oil. I also enjoyed the abundance of anchovies in the area. Plus, it was interesting to contrast the savory meat driven dishes we enjoyed toward the beginning of our trip with the more fish and citrus driven dishes of the Mediterranean we tasted at the end of our trip. Each very different, both delicious, both very memorable.
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The food, the wine, the arts and the culture all leave me wanting to share these inspirations with each of you. We’ve already added Banfi wines and complimentary special dishes to the menu at Jasper’s. Plus, I’m planning to host a special wine dinner where guests can enjoy inspirations and wine pairing from the trip. And for guests who want to cook alongside me, be on the lookout for an Italian Dirty Dozen Cooking Class coming soon.
Join the Newsletter to learn more about these upcoming events and follow along my adventures as a Chef.
Chef Kent Rathbun’s Insider Tips-Restaurant WeekKent Rathbun2015-07-28T16:10:19+00:00
6 Things You “Really” Need To Know About Restaurant Week
It’s that time of year again! It’s the time of year when the restaurant industry joins forces with the general public to give something back to our local food bank. Yes! That’s right DFW it’s time for Restaurant Week 2015. Staring August 10th through August 22nd everyone who’s savvy enough to make a reservation in advance will be able to enjoy a fantastic multi-course meal at over 125 top restaurants; including Jasper’s and Abacus. It works like this. Restaurants offer special multi-course menus at an unbelievable price and also agree to donate $9 from each $45 meal sold to the North Texas Food Bank and Lena Pope. Next, guests make reservations and pack into the dining rooms of the participating restaurants; all enjoying a taste of the special menus prepared our city’s most popular chefs; all happily supporting a great cause.
I’ve been participating in DFW Restaurant Week for 17 years now and am extremely proud to have been the 2nd largest contributor last year. Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to get the most from your Restaurant Week experience. Regardless of whether you participate in Restaurant Week each year or this is your very first time, it’s important to remember the true spirit of what we’re trying to accomplish. The common goal is to feed hungry people. There is an incredible hunger gap in our community and many are shocked to learn that 1 in every 5 people in Dallas County are considered to be “food insecure”, that translates into a total of 477,000 people. But what really tugs at my heartstrings is the fact the 1 in every 4 kiddos in North Texas are food insecure; and that translates into a total of 304,000 children in our own backyard who experience hunger. And that’s certainly not ok! With that being said, I challenge you to be a part of the Restaurant Week movement we all know and love. Here’s everything you “really” need to know to have a great experience this year.
First Things First-Score A Great Reservation
The enormous popularity of Restaurant Week, make August 10th through August 22nd among the busiest weeks in the restaurant industry. If you want in on the fun (especially if you have a large party) you’d better make a reservation early. Like really, really early…. Like right now!! Ok, I get it. You’re busy and have waited a little too long. It’s ok. If you can’t get the time you prefer, don’t be afraid to take an early-or-late reservation instead. Restaurant week, especially during non-peak times are among some of my very favorite times to visit one-on-one with new guests. Servers are also far less busy during these off-peak times and are able to provide extra “special touches” that make your meal all the more enjoyable. You can make a reservation at Jasper’s or Abacus by calling or booking online.
All Menus Are Not Created Equal. Know What You’re Getting
Do yourself a favor and do a little homework before you decide where to eat during Restaurant Week. Just because your favorite restaurant is participating in Restaurant Week, it does not necessarily mean they will be serving the exact same items you love for the $45 price tag. Avoid the disappointment of expecting to eat your favorite signature dish, only to discover it’s not included. Remember to view the menu ahead of time, and make your selections wisely!
At Jasper’s and Abacus we take great pride in putting together a menu that is truly reflective of the overall dining experience you’ll have during any other time of year. Obviously, based on the high volume of guests we serve and the price point at which we are limited to, certain restraints definitely exist. At my restaurants we work extremely hard to give you a dining experience that is just as rewarding during Restaurant Week as it will be the next time you visit. I applaud our Chefs for their exceptional talent and creativity when putting together our Restaurant Week menus. From mustering support from our purveyors and suppliers, to including locally sourced fresh seasonal items, to considering preparation and execution methods, we stop at nothing to uphold and maintain the same high standards we hold ourselves to all year-long.
Know What To Expect When It Comes To Service
I’m going out on a limb here. I’d say the Chefs, Bartenders, Servers, Hostesses and Line Cooks do a pretty miraculous job during Restaurant Week. This busy time of year leaves most industry professionals feeling utterly exhausted, tired and read for a vacation by the time August 22nd rolls around. When you’re in the restaurant during Restaurant Week, please remember the overall spirit of what we’re trying to do here…. feed as many people as possible, pun intended. Restaurants are trying to “feed as many people as possible,” so the North Texas Food Bank, can in turn, “feed as many people as possible”. These weeks are a period of time in which the staff, and the entire industry for that matter, is gladly working much harder than normal. Don’t get me wrong I want your Restaurant Week experience to be fantastic. I want you to crave our food and come back again and again. Of course you should expect the very best service anytime you’re in my restaurant, but please keep your expectations realistic and within the overall context of what Restaurant Week is all about.
A La Carte Additions
Here’s what savviest-of-savvy VIP Restaurant Week diners know. If you really want to elevate your Restaurant Week experience, ask about optional a la carte items, signature craft cocktails and wine suggestions. The best way to set the tone at Abacus or Jasper’s is to arrive early and start the evening with a Big Daddy Martini or an Old Fashioned. Next, have fun watching your guests experience their very first Lobster Shooter. Or, how about sharing a great bottle of wine and adding the savory and satisfying flavors of our Crispy Brussels Sprouts to your meal? At Restaurant Week prices, you can afford to dine like a rock star.
When it comes time to hit-up the all the top social media sites with your Restaurant Week review, be sure to address any problems with the restaurant directly before you post negative comments online. If there is an issue, don’t be a coward and air your grievance online before you’ve talked with the restaurant staff and given them an opportunity to correct the problem. If you do chose to air your grievance in the public forum, please be prepared to accept a follow-up call from the restaurant to discuss the issue with you in person. Above all, please be sure to be honest and fair when you post your review, especially during Restaurant Week.
Get Into The Spirit! Share Your Experiences Online
Summer is the North Texas Food Bank’s hungriest time of year. So, let’s all get into the spirit of helping hungry families who need our assistance. If you’re having a great time at Abacus or Jasper’s during Restaurant Week, please snap a photo and share the love with your friends on Social Media. Remember to tag me and use #Hashtags so I can easily find your post. Together we can make a big difference for North Texas Food Bank and Lena Pope.
A Preview Of What’s In Store For Restaurant Week 2015lbarber2015-07-24T13:55:42+00:00
Abacus Presents Smoked Hamachi Crudo With Melon Salad
Celebrating Texas’ Best Summer Produce and So Much More
Abacus Chef de Cuisine Chris Patrick has planned a fantastic menu for Restaurant Week 2015. We’re celebrating all the things you love about Texas’ best summer produce in many of the dishes being offered this year. We’re proud to present your choice of a selection of 7 different small plates, a “Beat The Heat” Limonchello with Thyme Infused Caviar Pearls Intermezzo, 6 different big plates, 4 optional sides (including our famous Lobster Shooters) and 4 sweet plates.
We take great pride in putting together a menu that is truly reflective of the overall dining experience you’ll have at Abacus during any other time of year. Our Chefs use their exceptional talent and creativity to give you a dining experience that is just as rewarding during Restaurant Week as it will be the next time you visit. From mustering support from our purveyors and suppliers, to including locally sourced fresh seasonal items, to considering preparation and execution methods, we stop at nothing to uphold and maintain the same high standards we hold ourselves to all year.
For Restaurant Week Reservations Please Call 214-559-3111
Remembering Gary Walllbarber2015-07-23T16:21:02+00:00
Paying Tribute To Our Good Friend
All of us at Kent Rathbun Concepts are sad to learn that our dear friend Gary Wall passed away in Bogata, Columbia on July 22, 2015. Gary was doing what he loved, filming a video for his company Small Pond Video. Our hearts go out to his family as we pay tribute to his life by sharing our own special collection of our memories of him.Regardless of whether Gary was working with us in the kitchen, spending time in one of our dining rooms, shooting video for us, or serving as our “Special Events Chef” he was deeply woven into the fabric of our work family.
To say that Gary was a pioneer in the HD Video production world is an understatement. He specialized in video and event production and directed and produced over 300 films. It was his love for cutting-edge technology that fueled his career and life’s work.
Gary also loved life and spent his free time pursuing his second passion, cooking. Gary met Chef Kent 16 years ago and the two quickly became fast friends. What touched our hearts the most was his willingness to volunteer and help Chef Kent and the catering team at events such as Taste of the NFL, Cote du Couer, March of Dimes and so many more. Gary was also a staple at most of the Abacus Dirty Dozen classes and became well known for his countdown to “SHOWTIME”! He brightened each event and class with his passion to learn and teach others.
“In my lifetime, I’m not sure that I’ve ever had a more loyal fan and friend. Gary was always there for us; and he thought a lot of everyone in our organization. We’re going to miss him.” Chef Kent Rathbun
And we can’t forget to mention that Gary also had a zealous fervor for motorcycles and the tango. He woke up everyday fueled with joy and enthusiasm. There was no one else who was more motivated or had a better outlook on life-we loved this about him.
Gary will be truly missed by all he touched. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked to make a donation in his name at the charity of your choice.
Team Member Spotlightlbarber2015-07-09T10:36:19+00:00
Two Minutes With Jasper’s Austin Sales Manager Laura Niederhofer
If you’ve ever hosted a private event at Jasper’s Austin or attended one of our Wine Dinners, then chances are, already know our Sales Manager Laura Niederhofer. We spent a few minutes chatting with Laura this week and learned a few things you might not know! Listen in on the conversation and learn why this avocado-loving, sales quota shattering, Wood Grilled Pork Tenderloin eating sales manager so valuable to our organization.
You’ve enjoyed a successful career with Kent Rathbun Concepts. What’s your biggest career highlight so far?
Breaking $525k in sales against a budget of $455k!
Whoa! That’s an impressive accomplishment. Can you tell us about one of the more memorable private dining experiences you’ve managed?
Oh, there’s so many! I set up a 40th birthday dinner for a client’s husband; complete with custom menus, floral arrangements, room décor, and a even a slideshow. When she saw the space, she almost shed tears of joy! It made all the hard work worth it! We also hosted a thank you party for the staff at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center after they helped save the life of a mother and baby. It warmed my heart to be a part of something so special!
Name one thing on the menu you’re excited about serving guests.
Wood Grilled Pork Tenderloin Filet – It’s my favorite dish!!
What do you do when you’re not working?
Kayaking and fishing on Town Lake, playing with my three dogs, or making jewelry in my metal studio!
What are you drinking theses day?
With so many great options, I love to mix it up! Every Friday after work, I’m a sucker for our barrel-aged Old Fashioned.
Tell us about one person who has influenced your career.
Ever since I started as a hostess back in 2007 at Jasper’s Woodlands, my husband has been a huge support to me. He has always encouraged me to work my way up the KRC ladder.
What are your favorite flavor profiles?
Anything spicy – I add avocado to just about EVERYTHING! They call me a snob-ocado! Our Aztec Tortilla Soup is right up my alley.
Got any words of wisdom for guests who are new to Jasper’s?
Try the Mac ‘N Cheese – you’ll never think of this classic dish the same way.
To discuss the details of your next event, contact Laura (512) 834-4111 or via email at
Team Member Spotlightlbarber2015-06-12T08:07:57+00:00
Scott Neuman, Chef de Cuisine Jasper’s The Woodlands
Jasper’s The Woodlands Welcomes
Chef Scott Neuman
You might have noticed some fresh new daily specials on the menu recently. Or maybe you caught a glimpse of an unfamiliar Chef-jacket wearing cuisiner greeting tables in the dining room. His name is Scott Neuman and I am delighted to welcome him to the Kent Rathbun Concepts family as the Chef de Cuisine at Jasper’s The Woodlands.
My Social Media team was lucky enough to spend a few hours getting to know Scott this week. Listen in on their conversation and learn who has influenced his career, what he learned in Napa Valley and why his son is trying to make him a gamer.
Care to share a couple of your most memorable career highlights?
I have two things that represent the pinnacle of my career: First, I was a Brand Ambassador for Certified Angus Beef and have represented them in Portland, at the Taste of the Caribbean in Miami, and for numerous promotions in Trinidad and Aruba. Second, I was honored to be chosen by the Cakebread family from Cakebread Cellars in Napa to attend their annual American Harvest Workshop. I was one of only five Chefs chosen each year; and was also invited back to participate in the 25th Anniversary of the workshop. I was also chosen as one of 12 chefs to represent their 40th anniversary vintage.
Be honest. What’s your favorite item on the menu at Jasper’s?
I love seeing that big ol’ Cowboy Ribeye cooking on the grill. Yum.
Scott Neuman, Chef de Cuisine Jasper’s The Woodlands
We know you spend most of your time in the kitchen, but what do you do on the rare occasions when you’re not working?
I love to play golf, fly fish and watch movies. I sing, play guitar, play piano, and love cooking for my family and friends. My son is trying to make me into a gamer.
You have a great reputation in the industry. Who are some of your biggest influences early on?
The person that influenced my career more than any other, was my father. Unfortunately, he never had the opportunity to see me cook professionally. Not only did we spend entire weekends barbecuing, smoking ribs and grilling steaks together, but he also made it a point to take me to the most highly rated and authentic restaurants. I grew up thinking that restaurants were magical places. These days, it’s me that gets to be the magician. He would get up in the middle of the night to put together crazy combinations he had just dreamed about. Unfortunately, we lost him just as I was starting in the industry.
What are you eating these days now that you have rejoined the Texas population?
I’m having a blast trying different briskets, baby-back ribs and chicken-fried steaks. At home, however, I’m trying to eat light.
If you would like to take advantage of Chef Neuman’s culinary talent, make a reservation and join us for dinner. Better yet, speak with our Sales Manager Yvette Openshaw to discuss booking a private event.
Maui Onion Crusted Swordfish with Chinese Black Fried Rice and Izze Grapefruit Habanero Sauce
Abacus Invited To Create Special Dishes Commemorating PepsiCo 50th Anniversary
I feel incredibly privileged that Abacus was one of only a few restaurants in the U.S. invited to craft special food and drink recipes commemorating the 50th anniversary of PepsiCo. To celebrate this special occasion Chef de Cuisine Chris Patrick and Top Mixologist Jordan Gantenbein, crafted two one-of-kind offerings, each incorporating their favorite PepsiCo products into their recipes.
As a main course, Chef Chris Patrick offers guests Maui Onion crusted swordfish with Chinese black fried rice and Izze Grapefruit Habanero sauce. And, since every fine dining experience deserves a perfectly paired bespoke cocktail, Jordan Gantenbein created the Smoky Paloma using Izze Grapefruit Soda. Both recipes celebrate the bright and spicy citrusy flavors you love to savor in the summertime.
We invite you to come in and experience both of these special creations at Abacus. They will only be on the menu for a limited time, so be sure to try them soon. To make your reservation, please call 214-559-3111.