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OKG Newsletter


 

Lee Bennett


Chow Chat

By Carol Smaglinski December 3rd, 2012

Currently executive chef at Iguana Mexican Grill at 9 N.W. 9th Street, Lee Bennett has cooked at Lucille’s in Mulhall, and the now-closed Trattoria il Centro, among others. Each working day, the Oklahoma-born chef can’t wait to get back into the Iguana kitchen and come up with more creative ideas.

Family: “I am single, with three children who are Vincent, 19, Allyssa, 18, and Kayla, 3.

Friends say you look like: “Kadeem Hardison or Denzel Washington.”

Food I would never eat: “Brains.”

But would kill for: “My mom’s, Anna Bennett, chicken soup and corn bread; comfort food.”

The moment you decided to become a chef: “I was in California and got a job at a country club as a dishwasher. When they shut down for a remodel, I spoke to the chef, and he worked me in and it’s been history ever since.”

Listen to music: “On Pandora, a rhythm and blues station. I love Earth, Wind and Fire and love jazz.”

Most people don’t know: “I was once a Boy Scout.”

Your hero: “My dad, Otis Bennett.”

Favorite kitchen gadget: “Our over-sized chopper. Actually, an over-sized food processor that can hold 20 pounds of beef that we can grind into hamburger.”

Culinary star you would love to meet: “Gordon Ramsey.”

You die and come back as: “Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder.”

A perfect date: “Dinner at Stella’s. For comfort food, Mama E’s.”

Dating tip: “Be a true gentleman and you will win her heart. Treat her like a queen.”

Smart thing you did to land a job: “I just put myself out there.”

Best advice from your boss: “Robert Painter forced me out of the kitchen to walk the floor and got me out of my comfort zone.”

Just love your: “Black leather trench coat that drops down about 6 to 8 inches above the floor.”

Hidden talent: “No, I only sing in the shower.”

What I wish I knew five years ago: “What Oklahoma City was going to be. I’d have put in a restaurant of my own.”

Funny kitchen happening: “[Year ago] to clean a deep fat fryer, I drained the fat, filled the fryer with water, added dishwashing soap and turned it on. About 15 minutes later, the whole room was filled with soapsuds with everybody laughing. I have a lot of funny happenings.”

 
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