People say you look like: “Brett Favre.” Best feature: “My sense of humor.” Good friend: “I am always there when someone needs something.”
Favorite cut of meat: “I am a strip-steak guy.”
Favorite indulgence: “I am a little bit of a clothes horse. At 5 foot 11 and 250 pounds, I am no skinny butt, and when I find something, like a good shirt that fits, I buy it.”
Creativity boost: “I love making desserts, and I do a delicious habanero steak recipe.”
Tip for an amateur cook: “Read the recipe before you start.”
Favorite kitchen equipment: “An immersion blender, a flattop and an iron skillet for blackening.”
Any superstitions? “From a book I read as a kid: Never go to sleep with the closet door open. Put your right shoe on before your left, and I never step on a crack.”
When Paseo customers ask what’s good: “I come back and I tell them, ‘I
told you!’ You’ve got to trust a fat kid when it comes to food; we like to eat, so trust us.”
Most difficult thing: “Being a father in high school. My daughter, Raven, who is almost 16, was born the summer before my senior year in high school.”
Treasured possession: “My stupid iPhone.”
Funny happenings while serving?
“I’ve seen it all. Once, an engagement proposal shot down. They said, ‘Check, please.’ And they left.”
But that doesn’t mean plates of the animal. It is very rare to find rabbit on any of our local restaurant menus, even those few French restaurants in the area.
Ba Luong of Super Cao Nguyen, 2668 N. Military, said his supermarket sells a decent amount of rabbit, but his customers mostly use them in stews.
“There’s not a lot of meat on a rabbit, and in stews it is used for the essence of the rabbit,” Luong said.
He spent many hours on the phone recently searching for items, such as spiny lobsters from Australia, to bring in for the Asian feasts.
CULINARY ARTS DINNER
The American Culinary Federation/ Culinary Arts Society of Oklahoma recently held its annual President’s Ball.
Members gathered at Platt College, 2727 W. Memorial, for the dinner, which included a micro-green salad with goat cheese, a mini tart with maple vinaigrette, rack of lamb with a cashew stuffing presented with a reduction sauce, and a side of stuffed cabbage with a creamy couscous.
For dessert, the students prepared a deconstructed Black Forest cake.
Servers included culinary students Cheyanna Ragan, Danielle Hubbard, Wesley Compton, Mireya Mendez, Elizabeth Howe, Walter Hayes, April Webster, Josh Meriano, Jose Iturrino, Kathy Tien, Ramona Nickers, Cody Malone, Amber Barnard, Cesar Guidos, Neil Jones and Ashlee Pierce. The students worked under the direction of chefs Will Johnson, Saeed Mirzaee and Robin Magturo.
The annual dinner also included awards. Winners were Geni Thomas- Woodward, chef of the year; Alton Wright, apprentice of the year; Cody Malone, culinary student of the year; U.S. Foodservice and Ben E. Keith tied for purveyor of the year; Bill Naifeh, humanitarian of the year. This reporter was also given a special consideration award from the chapter members.
Currently serving as officers are Yvette L. Curry, president; Geni Thomas-Woodward, vice president, Chef & Child Foundation chair and apprenticeship chair; Debbie Adams, secretary; Sharon Gomez, corresponding secretary; Sue Zubik, treasurer; and Mark Cochran, certification chair.
WINE FORUM RETURNS
Get ready. Registration for the Wine Forum of Oklahoma opens Tuesday. The second annual Wine Forum, which will be held April 8-9, is for people who are passionate about wine and want to learn more.
This year’s theme is Cowboys and Gauchos and is being called a “celebration of our wine and beef cultures.” The forum is presented by the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration and the College of Human Environmental Sciences at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Cowboys and Gauchos will celebrate the wine and beef of North and South America through the eyes, expertise and products of vintners and chefs. The forum will include an appearance by Argentina’s star chef, Francis Mallman, who is known as the South American grill master.
Jeannette and Dick Sias, owners of Joullian Vineyards in California, will be the honorary chairs for the 2011 wine event.
Wine tastings and educational seminars will be featured during the two-day event. More details are available by calling 744-7600.
BOOKS AND BEER
Good news for book lovers. The Garden Cafe at Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, has added beer and wine to its menu of sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and specialty coffees.
James Tolbert, owner of Full Circle, said the addition of beer and wine will add to the excitement for his clientele who come to eat at the cafe and enjoy the musical performances.
The Garden Cafe will be offering red, white or sparkling wines, and a variety of beers will be added to its menu within a few weeks, said Full Circle’s Dana Meister.
Acoustic musical performances, including jazz, blues, folk and more, are presented each Friday and Saturday from 7-9 p.m. Here’s a tip: For a full list of performances, go to www.fullcirclebooks.com.
Full Circle, in business for more than 30 years, is the largest locally owned and independent bookstore in Oklahoma. Reach them at 842-2900.
CAMP FIRE SELLING CANDY AND NUTS
All right, so you worked hard and took off that holiday weight. Good! That means that you can chomp on some nuts and indulge in some candy, too.
Camp Fire USA Heart of Oklahoma Council has kicked off its annual candy and nut sale, which will end on Valentine’s Day. Proceeds from the sale help fund programs for Camp Fire camps, give aid to foster care families, help children with disabilities and give a hand to homeless youngsters.
For more information on how to purchase Camp Fire USA candy, call 478-5646.
JUST CATERING NOW
Something to Remember Catering and Dessert Kitchen, 7619 N.W. 23rd in Bethany, recently had to make some tough decisions about closing the bakery side of its business.
Owner Gail Murchison, who has operated Something to Remember for two years, said she is only going to offer catering, instead of having an open bakery.
If you can’t stand the heat in your own kitchen and want to throw a party, give her a call.
The Dessert Kitchen opened in October and featured more than 10 flavors of cupcakes, including strawberries and cream and a red velvet, plus its own house-made cinnamon rolls, cookies and delicious brownies that melt in your mouth.
These items can still be ordered, said Murchison, but just call in advance. Reach the chef at 203-9103.
“There are an awful lot of nutty people around. People obsessed with health are not enjoying their food. I belong to the American Institute of Wine & Food and our motto is ‘moderation, small helpings, and a little bit of everything.’ Have a good time. And I think if you follow that, you’re all right. If you’re afraid of your food, you won’t be digesting properly and you certainly won’t be enjoying it. “ —from the late Julia Child in an article by Nicole Alper in the July/ August 2010 issue of Food Arts
Last week on Oklahoma Gazette’s Facebook page, we asked where to find the cleanest bathrooms in the metro. Here’s where you go to do your business. Answers are verbatim.
“The upstairs men’s room at The Abner Ale House is one of the finest Fortresses of Solitude in downtown Norman.” —Brian Hardzinski
“Avanti bar and grill!” —Stacy Micka
“Cantina Laredo – always surprisingly spotless.” —Matthew Atkinson
“Cool Greens in Nichols Hills.” —Kelli Mckay-Conrady
“Saturn Grill both locations:)” —Trinity Love Cook
“Wedge Pizzeria on Western!” —LaNell Cody Long
“Don’ know, but City Bites has the most interesting.” —Kim Rodgers
“Pepe Delgado’s in Norman” —Marcy Marce