OKC area gourmet stores cater to high-end taste buds

A few gourmet stores provide Okies with authentic imported goods, cooking classes from professional chefs, kitchenware and even freshly cooked meals.

"I think it's great for our city; it's giving us (Oklahomans) more exposure to different cultures," said Jamie Davis, owner of gourmet food and kitchenware store Jamie's.

At Jamie's (9313 N. Pennsylvania; 879-9999), Davis turns on her in-store stoves and ovens daily, filling the shop with rich smells of beef and pork tenderloin, chicken casseroles and chocolate desserts.

For those whose tastes relish more Middle Eastern and southern Mediterranean flavors of humus, baba ghanoush and chaat, head to Kamal's (2903 N.W. 36th, Suite 112; 601-1287). Kamal Abou Okdeh opened the store because, in his efforts to cook his native Lebanese dishes, he was at a loss for authentic ingredients.

"Those supercenters just don't have the quality," said Sam Uhlenhake, a Noble resident. That keeps her coming back to her favorite gourmet store, The International Pantry.

The International Pantry (1618 W. Lindsey, Norman; 360-0765) offers unique and quality gadgets like Cuisinart's egg cooker or fine kitchenware and cooking classes. But what truly separates this gourmet store from the others is its large variety of hard-to-find imported foods like Goya Guava Paste, fry bread straight from Mumbai, India, and spicy roll wraps from Honk Kong.

"We have a lot of gourmet foods to make things from scratch, but we also have things to make dinner simple, like soup mixes from Turtle Island," said owner Jocelyn Wall. "Lisa Spinelli

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