Farm-to-Table Dining at the Caenen Castle
At Renee Kelly’s Harvest, you’ll find an upscale yet approachable farm-to-table dining experience like no other, all in a historic castle. Passionate about supporting local farmers in the community with sustainable practices, their menu changes with the seasons to offer guests the freshest local fare.
Having a strong background in cooking, owner and chef Renee Kelly remembers her love of being in the kitchen as far back as her childhood. She worked in restaurants throughout high school at the front of the house, getting familiar with the atmosphere. Starting pre-med at Texas A&M with her sights on being a surgeon, Kelly switched gears after realizing her true passion in life—cooking. Enrolling in the Art Institute of Houston, she gained a full-time apprenticeship at the prestigious River Oaks Country Club where she stayed for two years. With the completion of her schooling and a business plan in her pocket, she traveled around the country and decided to come back home to Shawnee, Kansas to open Renee Kelly’s Harvest hosting private events and catering at the historic Caenen Castle.
The Caenen Castle is on the Register of Historic Kansas Places and was built in 1901 by Remi Caenen, a Belgium immigrant and farmer who styled the 14-room building after the famous European Chateau Chavaniac castle. The castle has had many lives as a restaurant, residence, nightclub and haunted house before Kelly purchased and renovated the historical building. Renee Kelly’s opened in July of 2004 as a private event facility and was later changed to Renee Kelly’s Harvest, a farm-to-table restaurant in 2012.
You’ll know exactly where your food comes from at Harvest.
“Being farm-to-table, we travel to farms within an hour and a half, meet the farmer and family, establish a relationship and maintain it. Harvest is a living, breathing fabric of sustainability which includes not only food, but the soil, our community and health. Everything that is worth it takes time and attention. That’s what we do best at Harvest. We take a familiar favorite and put our Harvest spin on it,” Kelly says.
For brunch, try the RK brioche french toast topped with candied bacon and chocolate ganache. Or try the chef’s favorite Queen’s Break, which is a bacon maple fig scone with fried egg, Dijon, jam and a petite sweet and simple salad.
For lunch or dinner, order the house ground prime rib burger signature style with onion jam, pork belly, Havarti and aioli. Their nontraditional chicken and waffles consists of a waffle cone filled with sweet chili, fried chicken and maple syrup.
Ask for the chef’s tasting menu, which includes a variety of seasonal specialties like confit orange and honey duck legs with red lentils; miso-glazed pork belly with cheddar grits, roasted mushrooms and onions; and braised pork cheeks with pumpkin, apple, popped quinoa and savory bread pudding.
Finish your meal on a sweet note with a beignet basket topped with ganache. Have a drink on the patio and ask for their seasonal cocktail menu for a current list of specialty martinis, whiskey decisions, crafted cocktails, local brews, bubbles and wines.
Kelly’s honors include Open Table’s “Diners Choice Winner” in 2016, 435 Magazine’s “Best of Kansas City” in 2015, The Knot’s “Best Wedding Venue” in 2011 and 2012 and was voted top 20 in their 20s entrepreneurship program for Ingram’s Magazine. Kelly was a contestant on season 13 of Bravo’s Top Chef. Kelly appears as a guest author for KC Chow Town and the food section of the Kansas City Star and frequently appears on local television stations providing content centered around local seasonal food with a playful approach.
Host your next event at the Caenen Castle. Small events are hosted during normal business hours on the mezzanine for up to 24 guests or in their wine cellar for up to 28 guests. For an exclusive private event, you can rent the entire castle. Kelly also books speaking engagements revolving around sustainability, empowerment, food myths and the wild and crazy world of chefdom. To book or make reservations, call 913.631.4100 or visit their website at ReneeKellysHarvest.com.