Here’s a tip on an out-of-the-way restaurant from reader Brian Hulett: “Found an elegant little restaurant I guarantee you’ve never been to … because it’s in Meeker!!! I’ve lived in this town for 20 years and knew some locals were fixing up a place and calling it The Marketplace, but after several months I finally went in and was shocked.”

Hulett said The Marketplace, 602 W. Carl Hubbell Blvd. in Meeker, is “an old garage that’s been given such a complete makeover. I’d swear I was in Bricktown.”

Please note that Marketplace is only open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. To reach the restaurant, call 279-3333.

Retired Army Col. Kevin Wilkerson, an Oklahoma City native, recently opened OKC’s first Marco’s Pizza with his wife, Laurel, a retired military attorney.

The OKC Marco’s, 12201 S.

Penn, joins a location in Edmond, 17900 N. Western, plus locations in Lawton and Broken Arrow. Another is planned for Durant.

Marco’s menu offers dine-in or carryout, delivery, along with online ordering services. The menu features what the company has dubbed “Ah!thentic” pizza, plus chicken wings, fresh-baked subs, meatballs, salads and more.

The casual chain was founded in 1978 by Italian immigrant Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco (get it?), and it’s headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. It now operates more than 230 stores in 18 states.

The new metro Marco’s Pizzas will be owned and operated by the Wilkersons. Marco’s plans to develop a total of 40 locations in Oklahoma.

The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) met in Austin, Texas, recently for its yearly convention.

Oklahoma residents Susan Zubik, Sara Branscum and Sherrell Jones attended the multi-day conference, which covers a wide range of topics related to the food industry.

Along with plenty of superb food, attendees were given the rare opportunity to learn about and taste bitters (used to enhance flavors in cocktails and foods), tequilas, Texas wines, authentic Oaxacan Mexican food and more.

Other sessions discussed glutenfree foods, the science of baking and sustainable food communities. Local chefs, bartenders and restaurateurs provided tastings and special meals throughout the week, and the IACP Cookbook awards were presented.


Executive chef Marc Dunham (pictured right) is currently the director of culinary arts at Francis Tuttle Technology Center. And that’s not all. Dunham and his wife, Jenny, a chef whose family is involved with Townley’s Dairy, own and operate JT’s Tacos. The taco truck serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday from its location at N.E. Fourth and Harrison.

JT’s is named after: “My wife, Jenny Townley.”

Background: “I am a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and I have a bachelor of science in nutrition from Texas State, San Marcos.”

You met Jenny: “At the Texas Culinary Academy where we were both working.”

JT’s opened: “May 20, but it had been an idea of ours for three-and-ahalf years, but the babies came. We have Olivia, 3, and Emily, 1.”

Just tacos? “Yes, right now, but at 5 a.m. I am up, and I make all of the handmade tortillas from scratch everyday. We used family recipes that I grew up with.”

Your best features? “My sarcastic sense of humor. I was a skateboarder as a kid and have a chipped tooth to prove it.”

You avoid: “Highly processed food.” Signature dish in your own restaurant: “It would some sort of braised meat with an Oaxacan pasilla sauce.”

Love to again meet: “Diana Kennedy (a chef and cookbook author sometimes called the Julia Child of Mexico).”

Claim to fame: “I cooked at the James Beard House on July 15, 2010, in New York City. We did braised beef tongue and cheek in the style of menudo.”

Kitchen goof: “At the CIA, I watched a student who was roasting a piece of meat. To stop it from cooking, he knew about blanching and shocking (done only with vegetables) and did it. Teacher Cory Clark said, ‘Son, I don’t think I can pass you.’”—Carol Smaglinski

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