KANSAS CITY, Mo. - He's an author, radio host and businessman – all while carrying the torch for an Italian family tradition.
Jasper Mirabile knows he has big shoes to fill.
He is the youngest son and namesake of his father and the restaurant that shares his name.
"It’s all about tradition and keeping that tradition going," Mirabile said. "That's just my job."
His late father started the family business in 1954. The Waldo location defined fine dining in Kansas City; table side service, jackets required.
In 1998, Mirabile decided it was time to move a bit south and cater to a more casual lifestyle.
"We didn't know if we were going to make it at 103rd and State Line,” he said. “We didn't know what struggles we would have or business wise if people would accept it."
But they did. Partly, because of Jasper's warm personality. He's known for his radio show , his cooking tips and for his generous spirit when it comes to local charities.
Jasper says he hit his high note just recently, serving his lobster Mac and cheese to the first lady.
"I've cooked at some famous restaurants around the country, but to be asked to cook for the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, what an honor. I tell people that whether you’re a democrat or republican, it doesn't matter."
Jasper says he feels his father's presence in the restaurant every day and believes his dad is proud.
He's passing down his own style of Italian cuisine to a nephew, making the Jasper's family tradition continue.
Jasper has cooked all over the world, but he still says his favorite thing to make is pasta.
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