The moment you decided to become a chef? “For 20 years, I worked for the Internal Revenue Service and did construction work, too. (Wife) Lori and I were watching a commercial for Platt and two days later, I started.”
Fav website: “Epicurious.”
Culinary star you’d like to meet: “Gordon Ramsey.”
Best feature? “My calves. As chefs, we are on our feet all day and our legs get in pretty good shape. I buy expensive shoes, for sure.”
Boxer or briefs? “Boxer-briefs: tighty-whities with the legs on ’em.”
A famous person you resemble: “Years ago, Dan Aykroyd.”
Any superstitions? “No, not at all.”
Signature dish in your own place: “Not
right now, but I like Rococo’s (the original on Pennsylvania) and I
would have a nice steak house and serve Châteaubriand. That’s so good!”
I’d kill for a: “Hideaway Pizza: The Big Country. Maybe that’s a vice.”
Food I never would eat: “Balut: duck embryo in an egg.”
Quick cooking tip: “Practice on your soup-making ability, as that’s hard to do. I spend all morning.”
Dance? “I can cut a rug. This big old boy (5-11, 230 pounds) can get out on the dance floor.”
Wouldn’t be without: “My Henkel knives.”
Worst job: ”I threw bags on airplanes at Will Rogers. What was so bad, once it rained for three days straight and it was so demoralizing.”
Feel most creative: “At the sauté station.”
Handyman style at home: “Call the landlord!”
Coming in second was chef Kurt Fleischfresser, Western Concepts Restaurant Group, and in third place was chef Casey Marshall, of 105 Degrees.
“All of the entries were simply amazing, and the crowd was totally wowed by the deliciousness. It really was food as art,” event co-organizer Shauna Struby said.
Judges chef Jonathon Stranger of Ludivine, caterer Linda Tripp and Gail Vines of Flip’s chose Marshall of 105 Degrees as the winner of the 2011 Local Food Challenge $500 Grand Prize. Mock of Kam’s Kookery and Guildford Gardens was the runner-up, winning a dinner for two to Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy near Depew.
Struby overheard the judges who said, “All the food was amazing, which made selecting a grandprize winner very difficult. Every contestant outdid themselves.”
QUITE AN ACHIEVEMENT
A benefit auction presented recently at Henry Hudson’s raised more than $40,000 for OKC police officer Chad Peery, his wife and their four children.
You will remember that Peery was the off-duty officer who was brutally attacked on Feb. 15 at Dan O’Brien’s Public House, 2747 W. Memorial. He broke his neck and is paralyzed.
Henry Hudson’s Pub and volunteers from the Edmond, Oklahoma City and Village police departments and Oklahoma Sheriff’s Department all joined together to conduct the benefit auction for Peery.
Among the many pitching in to help were Capital Distributing, Republic National Distributing, Premium Beers and Citadel Radio.
“This event shows the compassion of Oklahomans and what can be accomplished when everyone joins together,” said Kelli Halsted, marketing manager for Henry Hudson’s. “This was truly a community event. Many generous companies and individuals made this a success, including Manske Auction Company. The support for Chad and his family was amazing. We were thrilled to be able to host this event.”
BATTLE OF THE BURGER
Marc Heitz and Interurban restaurant are teaming up with the Toby Keith Foundation for the first Battle of the Burger, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., May 21, at Marc Heitz Chevrolet in Norman.
Money raised for the event will go toward the construction of the Toby Keith Foundation’s OK Kids Korral, a retreat for families of children battling cancer.
This event is an open invitation for regional, self-proclaimed grill masters to step up and accept the challenge to submit a sample of their mouthwatering creations for the honor of being recognized as the best burger on the block.
Judges include chef Kurt Fleischfresser, former University of Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, former Oklahoma State University coach Pat Jones, cookbook author Caryn Ross, Pam Heitz of Marc Heitz Chevrolet, Greg Zoobeck from KATT 100.5, Ron Benton from BOB FM 96.9, KOCO morning anchors Anita Blanton and Mat Garcia, and Miss Oklahoma 2010, Emoly West.
Individual grillers in the Backyard Grillers competition will contend for $500, $250 or $100; the best three Team Challengers will win $1,000, $500 or $250.
The winners of the restaurants category will be given awards of distinction, recognizing their business as the best of the best in the regional burger competition.
“A battle among friends, teams and restaurateurs is entertaining in itself,” said Robert Ross, co-owner of Interurban. “But throw in bragging rights for a year, cash prizes, live music and entertainment, and you’ve got the first-ever annual opportunity to showcase your talent in Oklahoma.”
All participants must have a current food handler’s permit, which can be obtained from your county health department, or by attending a class the morning of the event. The class will be held at the information booth at 8:30 a.m. A copy of a current permit must be turned in before a competitor can participate.
For more information, visit battleoftheburger.com or contact Beth Patterson at 321-7150 or info@ battleoftheburger.com.
A SIGN SPOTTED
On an outdoor sign just outside Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler, 33 E. 33rd in Edmond, just before Mother’s Day: “Don’t make me remind you. It’s Mother’s Day!”
ST. GREGORY EVENT
The Abbot’s Table Reception, a fundraiser for St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, is planned for this Friday.
A deluxe bus will leave from All Souls Episcopal Church, 6400 N. Pennsylvania, around 5 p.m. and take dinner guests to Shawnee for the event.
“There will be a reception prior to the dinner at the museum at the Abbey Refectory,” committee woman Teresa Brekke wrote in an email.
Tuck Curren of Tulsa’s Biga and Kurt Fleischfresser are doing the dinner, and Dick Sias is providing wines. While on the bus to the event, Ana Davis is providing snacks and Stan Stack will serve bus wine, courtesy of Sias.
Menu highlights include housesmoked salmon, braised veal belly and chili-rubbed whole roasted beef tenderloin, with wines from Nickel & Nickel, Far Niente and more. Edgar Cruz will entertain at the dinner prior to an auction.
For more information on this fundraiser, call Brother Damian Gregory at 878-5100.
Where’s your favorite place to eat inside state lines, but outside of the greater metro area? That’s the question we asked last week on Oklahoma Gazette’s Facebook page. And here are your answers, verbatim.
“Miner’s Cafe, Meers” —Dan Kubier
“Recently discovered Joe Momma’s Pizza in Tulsa, it’s awesome. Also like Paw Paw’s Burgers in Chickasha” —Michael Shoopman
“Sam & Ella’s Chicken Palace (which is a pizzeria) in Tahlequah.” —Elizabeth Michelle Miller
“Mami Chula in Luther, has the best tamales in the state.” —Jason Green
“Frank N’ Lola’s in Bartlesville. Extrmemly good food and atmosphere!” —Jeremy Johnson
“Kendalls in Noble, Brown Derby in Shawnee” —Michelle Keith
“Ken’s steakhouse in Amber, Old Germany in Choctaw, Eischen’s in Okarche” —Holly McKee “Ken’s in Amber!!!” —Jana Steelman
“Meers and Railhead Diner in Purcell” —Pam McClard
“Bob’s Catfish betwixt Waurika and Texas” —Patrick Rost
“Wild Fork at Utica Square in Tulsa” —Clarke Harris
“Eskimo Joe’s!! —Cindy Sheets
“Giacomo’s - McAlester, OK (Pete’s in Krebs is pretty fantastic as well!)” —Lauren M. M. Walls
“Enriques at Ponca City Airport! Ppl fly in from all over the country and I live in DFW and have considered flying in when I’m not driving up there! (PC was just hit by a tornado that damaged parts of the airport and the industrial district, may want to check if Enriques is open before driving up there!)” —Tyler Atnip-Woodworth
“Murphy’s Steakhouse in Bartlesville, and the catfish at Punkins in Pauls Valley is terrific as well.” —Andrew Rice
The May 4 “Wine Forum wrap-up” story by Greg Horton was incorrectly credited to another writer. Oklahoma Gazette regrets the error. —Carol Smaglinski