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Saveur’s 100

Carol Smaglinski January 11th, 2011

The Jan./Feb. issue of Saveur magazine published The Saveur 100: Chefs’ Edition, which listed top chefs and their picks for favorite tools, tips, recipes and more. Included as one of the chefs was Oklahoma native Rick Bayless, now a successful restaurant owner and television cook who lives in Chicago.

His restaurants there are Topolobampo and Frontera Grill. This past summer, Bayless and his wife, Deann, opened yet another called XOCO, offering affordable, quick-serve food inspired by the street food of Mexico. For example, an item on the menu is a ham-andegg breakfast bread pudding.

On the Saveur list, Bayless listed not a thing but a person: Lucero Soto Arriaga, the rising star and chef at Restaurante LU in Morelia, Mexico.

Mystery martinis

In November, the Martini Lounge, 505 S. Boulevard in Edmond, right next door to Boulevard Steakhouse, launched a social media-based promotion with mystery cocktails and prizes galore.

It’s called WTF? Martini Friday, and yes, that WTF is just what you’re thinking, although it isn’t a phrase one would hope to hear when strolling through Martini Lounge, which is one of the city’s best places for a drink. However, that is exactly what patrons are being encouraged to ask every Friday evening.

Each Friday, the bar’s talented mixologists concoct a top-secret martini. After enjoying the week’s libation, patrons are then encouraged to test their knowledge by guessing the drink’s identity on the Martini Lounge’s Facebook page. The person with the first correct response is the recipient of some sweet swag. Winners are announced the following morning via Facebook.

“Up to this point, using social media was an untapped resource for the lounge. The WTF? Martini Friday promotion gives us an opportunity to engage with our community, while offering incentives to our patrons,” said Margaret Holloway, general manager and sister of Peter Holloway, co-owner of Boulevard Steakhouse and Cafe 501.

A sister concept of Peter Holloway’s two Edmond restaurants, Martini Lounge opened its doors in 2002 under the ownership of Peter and Sheree Holloway. The bar is open from 4:30 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and stays open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Margaret Holloway said that people are trying too hard to guess the ingredients in the martinis.

“We’ve only had one winner since starting in November, but people love it,” she said. “We are using top-shelf ingredients, so the martinis always taste great. People have had a lot of fun with this, but they have to get simple.”

Nutrition Stores debut

Looking for some weight loss help after the holidays? Two new stores from Complete Nutrition recently opened their doors, with one store in Edmond, 301 S. Bryant in the Alta Mesta Shopping Center, and another in Norman, 1640 N.W. 24th Ave.

Inside the stores, products include sports nutrition and, of course, weight loss aids. Reach the Edmond store at 562-4348 and the Norman store at 801-2111.


Hey, Stella!

If you are a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, here’s something pretty neat: Stella Modern Italian Cuisine, 1201 N. Walker, offers limo service to the games for its diners.

Stella, in the heart of Midtown, offers the complimentary limousine service to Thunder games that are scheduled Monday through Saturday. And owner Lori Tyler said Stella stays open later on game nights to offer guests a late-night menu service.

“The late-night menu will offer selections from the wood-burning oven and especially for guests that have worked up an appetite cheering on the Thunder,” she said.

Tyler added that the restaurant has had such good response to the last several games that the service is now official. However, reservations are recommended for dining prior to the games and the limousine is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more, contact Stella at 235-2200.

The rest of January, the Thunder has four home games against the Magic, Knicks, Wizards and Heat.

Take a Break

 
In celebration of more than 100 years of service to the industry, the National Coffee Association of USA is declaring a National Coffee Break on Jan. 20.

The organization suggests that people take a break from their busy day to bond with friends, family and fellow colleagues and drink a cup of coffee together. More information is available at www. nationalcoffeebreak.org or on Twitter at @NtnlCoffeeBreak.

Chef’s tasting at the Skirvin

Here’s a first: The Oklahoma City branch of the International Wine and Food Society held its annual holiday dinner recently with a chef’s tasting by Andrew Black, executive chef at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel.

Mickey Skrede, general manager of the Skirvin’s Park Avenue Grill, collaborated with the chef on the wine for the particular menu items.

The selections from the chef and his staff were delicacies rarely seen or tasted in the metro area. The excellent evening included 10 small courses presented in contemporary place settings. The food was prepared in the restaurant’s active kitchen.

Among the courses were a salmon mousse; okra stuffed with blue cheese and rolled in crushed popcorn; a seared scallop stuffed with lobster and Boursin cheese served with a Cabernet Sauvignon reduction; and pork belly and goat cheese ravioli served with a port wine reduction.

Other courses included a tomato and lobster bisque with cappuccino foam, served with lobster marinated in cilantro and accompanied by a brandy snifter containing cranberry tea, and Oklahoma beef with Stilton cheese and pink peppercorn rub with a Cabernet reduction.

The knockout dessert of the party was a glittering presentation of a small square of signature carrot cake with ginger and peanut butter ice cream.

Chef Black, who has worked in restaurants in Paris, came out into the dining area between each course and had great interaction with his guests. The IWFS host and hostess were Sue Zubik and Kris Brule. Among those guests were Bob Teeter and Julia Bunker, Bob Shaw, Deborah Lynne, Dr. Karen Mahlmeister and Nick Massey, Tom and Venita Springfield, Toby and Elizabeth Muller, Kyle and Sheryl McLain, Linda Saleski and Bob Shapiro, Trey and Susan Bize, Mike and Karleen Krywucki, David Johnson, Bob and Kim Helgeson, Dr. Neil Woodward and Geni Thomas- Woodward and yours truly.

Chow chat 

The charismatic Mary Nhin is the co-owner with her husband, Kang Nhin, of Kang’s Asian Bistro, 2080 E. Second in Edmond, and Nhinja Sushi & Wok,

13905 N. May near Quail Springs Mall.

She has been married to Kang for more than 14 years, and they have three boys: Michael, 14; Kobe, 6; and JoJo, 5. Figured it out yet? The boys are all named after basketball greats.

Best feature: “My enthusiasm.” Hometown: “Texarkana, Texas.” Met your husband: “I met Kang in high school at Northwest Classen High School, and we were high school sweethearts.”

Most difficult thing you do:

“Balancing work and family, and it still is a challenge.”

Best thing you do that does not cost money: “Go to the park with the kids.”

Food you would never eat: “Pig’s blood, but my parents do.”

A nice happening recently:

“Donating money to the OU Children’s Hospital.”

Do you cook? “No, that’s why I married Kang.”

The one thing that Kang does that drives you nuts: “He snores.”

Greatest extravagance: “Chocolate.” Any talent? “Tennis.” People would be surprised to discover: “That I am a bookworm.”

The attribute you value in friends is: “Understanding.”

When hiring people, you look for: “Cleanliness, orderliness, organization and a sense of humor.”

When you eat out you go to:

“The Grand House for the dim sum.”

Most treasured possessions: “My three boys.”

Pet peeve: “People who smack their gum.”

You wake up thinking about: “All the things I have to do during the day.”

A final note: “Nobody knows that I applied for medical school and got in, but didn’t go. I chose to spend time with Kang and follow his dream.”

BYTES

On Oklahoma Gazette’s Facebook this week, we asked you where to find the best movie or gourmet popcorn. Here are your unedited answers:

“Popcorn Fharmacy on May is pretty yummy!” —Elizabeth Potter

“from my own kitchen!!” —Shelly Landis-Scovill

“my stove popper, holllla!” —Liz Blood

“The Warren movie theatre. Real butter, former toppers yum!” —Liz Breen

“My place for black Truffle popcorn. Okc really needs someplace for gourmet popcorn. Not that neon colored crap.” —Molly Jolene

—Carol Smaglinski

 
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