“The book is a collection of interviews, and Keith’s was fantastic,” said author Wil Brawley. “His advice and wisdom will help other restaurant owners, aspiring owners and anybody interested in learning from successful entrepreneurs.”
Learn more about the book at www.schedulefly.com/rou. A Good Egg Dining Group includes Iron Starr Urban Barbecue, Red Prime Steak, Republic Gastropub, Cheever’s and Cheever’s Catering and Events.
HELPING OUT THE BALLET
Generous restaurant owners recently pitched in for the auction at the annual gala fundraiser for Oklahoma City Ballet. “Backstage at the Ballet” was held at the Oklahoma History Center and included participation from local chefs, such as Alain Buthion of La Baguette and Kurt Fleischfresser of The Coach House.
One of the auction items was a patron’s party at Stella Modern Italian Cuisine, complete with appetizers and wine on opening night for OKC Ballet’s “Masters & Moderns,” plus a backstage tour.
Attending the ballet and party at Stella were Sergio Monteiro, Ana Rita Nery, Ruirui Ouyang, Eunkyong Park, Jae Hee, Zhander P’ng, Donald L. Kerr, E-Ling Chia, Victor Duan, Xuan Kuang and Jill Jantzen.
Chef Russ Johnson is co-owner with chef Jonathan Stranger of Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson, which opened October 2010. The Oklahoma City native began his cooking career at age 16, at the former Charlie Newton’s. At Colorado State University, he studied restaurant and resort management.
What does “Ludivine” mean? “It means ‘divine light’ in French, but Jonathan is a fan of a French actress named Ludivine Sagnier and so …” Best feature? “I am a real people person. I read people well, and I love food with a passion.”
What makes you a good friend?
Favorite meat: “Lamb.” Essential kitchen tool: “A heat source, a good knife, and I got some good ones from my girlfriend, Lori Rappaport, who owns The Culinary Kitchen with her dad.”
How did you meet her? “We grew up together and went to the same school.”
Famous person look-alike: “Jack Black, and some say Mario Batali when I had my ponytail.”
Best meal: “When somebody else cooks for me.”
A favorite thing to do that doesn’t cost money: “That’s fit to print?” Your own signature dish? “The food at Ludivine is so constantly changing, I really don’t have one.”
Your favorite restaurant:
“Galatoire’s in New Orleans.”
Wild happening in a restaurant:
“At one restaurant, we once told a new employee that a Microplane grater was a nut scrubber. He never tried it.”
DECADENT DESIGN 2011
As part of Architecture Week 2011, the Oklahoma chapter of the American Institute of Architects presents its second competition to help promote the importance of good design. Five local architectural firms have teamed up with metro chefs and restaurants to create desserts inspired by Oklahoma architecture.
The teams involved are:
Boynton Williams & Associates with CocoFlow; HSEarchitects with Ludivine; Frankfurt Short Bruza Associates with Full Moon Sushi; LWPB Architecture with Alvin’s Cafe; and Studio Architecture with Prairie Thunder Baking Company.
The desserts will be available for purchase in the participating restaurants through April 10. After sampling the sweets, diners can visit the AIA Central Oklahoma website at aiacoc.org/dessert to vote on their favorite. Winners of best design and best taste will be announced at the “Decadent Design” event on April 12.
For more information, call Melissa Hunt, executive director of AIA Central Oklahoma, at 948-7174.
Chili Dog Express, which opened in August 2010, has closed. It was located at 321 E. Second in Edmond, right near the University of Central Oklahoma. —Carol Smaglinski