ON THE Night time the Kansas City Chiefs acquired a next consecutive journey to the Super Bowl, a area chef named Mano Rafael cried in his kitchen area. This qualifies as news in K.C.’s River Market neighborhood, wherever Rafael’s bunker of a cafe, Le Fou Frog, has been an anchor as a result of blight and now revitalization. Mano, crying? Yelling, his longtime buyers would have considered. The restaurant is generally alive with audio: a single of his daughters serenading diners with a tune, or the chef himself launching into a curse-laden tirade in his native French. But tears? That doesn’t audio like Mano at all. He is a difficult guy, born in the challenging port city of Marseille, a veteran of cutthroat New York kitchens and now, alongside his spouse, Barbara, the master of ceremonies at his individual great restaurant, exactly where the mix of magic light-weight and the finest steak in Kansas Town has built the place a fixture. Not as substantially of a fixture as Patrick Mahomes, but a fixture nonetheless.
Barb laughed the upcoming working day about his tears. A little something about this Chiefs group speaks to Mano. He’s constantly felt a bit like an outsider in Missouri, renowned for turning his white-tablecloth culinary palace into a athletics bar all through French Planet Cup games — for hardly ever allowing the many years throughout the ocean blunt his connection to household. Mano lives in Kansas Metropolis, but he is from Marseille, his restaurant basically a sovereign piece of French soil like an embassy or a warship or something. But this staff — the communal working experience of very last season’s Tremendous Bowl victory, when the metropolis just about took flight with ecstasy, blended with the consolation the continued winning brought during this tricky yr — has captured his coronary heart.
“I guess,” Barb Rafael suggests, “he at last feels a aspect of his adopted metropolis.”
KANSAS Metropolis IS a significant, modern metropolis, with great dining places, terrific neighborhoods and educational facilities, and running as a result of it all, a feeling of civic satisfaction a lot more generally observed in a a great deal smaller position. Natives connect with it a city. But the normal flip side to civic satisfaction is also part of Kansas City’s self-identity: a nagging feeling of insecurity, that Denver is cooler, or Chicago is much more metropolitan, a wanting to the east and to the west with the notion that anything may well be improved just around the horizon.