Bite Size 

In his free time, he also is a ballroom dancer.

Most treasured possessions: “Diana, and my daughter Christy’s two children in California.”

Present address: “Langley, where we own and operate The Artichoke Restaurant & Bar.”

Best food on your menu: “Our stuffed mushrooms called ‘Whatnots’ and our blackened salmon.”

Serving this year as: “Chairman of the board of directors of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.”

You
kinda look like: “The original host on ‘This Old House.’” 

Best feature:
“Working with young people and doing what I can to further their
careers.”

Do you cook? “I help out with catering for weddings. But we have loyal restaurant customers.”

Cooking tip? “Curl your fingers when using a French chef’s knife.”

Food I would not eat: “Geoduck clam.”

But
you would kill for: “A rib-eye steak. I used to go to the neighborhood
butcher, and they would cut them and we would grill them.”

Best dinner ever: “In London at the St. James Club, and it was a rack of lamb followed by a nice Cuban cigar.”

Famous chefs you’ve met: “Paul Prudhomme of New Orleans and the late chef Louis Szathmary in Chicago.”

What
do you wish you knew five years ago? “I would have liked to have known
that you should put center posts in a 3,000-square-foot greenhouse. Ours
collapsed when we had 15 inches of heavy snow. Diana’s heart hurt.”

Market Hours
The Oklahoma State University- Oklahoma City Farmers’ Market has changed to its spring/summer hours and is now open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday at the OSU- OKC Horticulture Pavilion, 400 N. Portland.

Also, OSU-OKC is getting ready to start its Wednesday market in conjunction with Chesapeake Energy. That market is held from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting May 4 in the Glenbrook East Parking lot, N.W. 63rd between Western and Grand.

Restaurant Closings

Cafe 53, 5350 S. Western, has closed, as well at J & Kay Restaurant, 1622 E. Highway 66 in El Reno.

Spring it on

Looking for plants? Get your garden growing with help from the spring plant sale from the OSU- OKC horticulture department. The sale is set for April 21-23 at the Horticulture Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland. Times are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

“This year’s spring plant sale is more eclectic than ever and has something for everyone,” said Barry Fox, OSU-OKC’s greenhouse and gardens manager in a release. “Each year, we have a great turnout for the sale, so it’s a good idea to come early to get the best selection.”

Among the annuals and perennials available, garden lovers will discover geraniums, diamond frost euphorbias, sweet potato vine, foxglove, wishbone flower, plus an assortment of herbs to spice up recipes.

All plants sold are grown by OSU-OKC horticulture students and staff, and the proceeds benefit the horticulture program.

For more details, call 945-3358 or email plantsale@osuokc.edu.

Bierocks at Kamp’s

Reader Bill Wasinger wrote to alert us to the fact that there is a really unique item, call bierocks, at the wine bar inside Kamp’s 1910 Cafe, 10 N.E. 10th.

The restaurant, in the spot that was originally Java Dave’s, recently opened the wine bar portion of its business.

“As the son of a small-town Kansas German boy, I was raised on these things and was shocked to see them on the menu when it opened,” Wasinger said. “Bierocks are essentially German peasant food, seasoned ground beef with chopped cabbage and/or onions and sauerkraut inside a big pocket of bread. Kamp’s serves their with spicy mustard.”

Kim Cordero, managing partner of Kamp’s 1910 Cafe, said that customers who try the bierocks love them and come back again and again for more.

Note that the bierocks are only available from 4 to 8 p.m. in the wine bar side of the restaurant.

Wine Forum at Osu

“Cowboys and Gauchos: A Celebration of Our Wine and Beef Cultures” was the theme of the 2011 Wine Forum staged recently at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

One of the biggest laughs
came from chef Mark Dunham, who said: “I was on the phone with my mother
while I was in culinary school, and she said, ‘Are you drunk?’ And I
said, ‘Yup.’ And she said, ‘What are you doing?’ And I said,
‘Homework!’” Another big laugh came during the keynote address from
executive chef Francis Mallmann, a master of inspired wood-fired
cooking. When talking about discovering various flavors in wine — such
as pineapple, tobacco and boysenberry — he exclaimed “Just shut up and
drink!” The audience inside the Wes Watkins Center auditorium went wild
with laughter.

Author
Michael Wallis spoke on the iconic cowboy of myth and reality, and OSU’s
Steve Ruby did an excellent job of coordinating the event.

The
second annual Wine Forum of Oklahoma included guest speakers and chefs
such as Michael Smith, Steve Gerkin, Marilynn Thoma, Beth Nickel,
Tiffany Poe, Eric Stafne, Guy Stout, Kurt Fleischfresser, David Egan,
Ian Clarke, Mark Dunham, Curt Hermann, Tim Fitzgerald, Italo Jofre,
Randa Warren, David Henry, Jason Hisaw, Heather Buckmaster, Clay
Burtrum, Susan Gerbart and Michael DeTerra.

Quote

“Today’s restaurant is theater on a grand scale.”

—Marian Burros in “Food for Thought,” compiled and edited by Ian Makay

BYTES

Had a bad meal?
Would you say something or remain silent for fear of what might happen
if you complain? That’s the question we asked last week on Oklahoma Gazette’s Facebook page. Here are your answers, verbatim.

“I have no fear of
complaining. In a nice way though. If you’re paying for the meal it
should be a good one and what you ordered not just something they
half-a$$ throw together.” —Kisa Winn Dawson

“No
problem talking to the manager in a construtive critism way. They
expect you to have a great meal and would want to know.” —Jim Bybee

“I
would say something. I wouldn’t be rude or anything, just cause I don’t
know if my meal was a fluke, but I think it’s important to say
something. I think of it more as constructive criticism then
complaining. Really, what is the worse that could happen? Chances are
they’d comp your food or give you a credit for another trip.” —Amber
Esada Theinert

“I
agree, I have no problem letting the manager know either, and you don’t
have to get ugly about it. And I don’t do it to get a free meal and
usually will not accept a free meal unless it was completely inedible, I
believe if the manager is worth his/her salt then they WANT to know.”
—Julie Burdett Kelly

“It
depends. Some places don’t care what the customer thinks. Once is a
mistake, twice is a worry, three times is policy.” —Jimo Ward

“As
a server, I feel that it’s part of my job to make sure you get
something you like. After all, if you leave happy and full, you’re WAY
more likely to come back and tip me again. It irks me when people don’t
want to admit they don’t like their entree - or worse - when they admit
to it, but refuse to let me get them something else. I’ve never met a
restaurant manager who didn’t put guest satisfaction as one of their top
priorities, although I guess it probably does happen occasionally.
Can’t win ’em all.” —Monica K Helms

“Tell
the server first. The server will almost always go directly to the
kitchen and let them know... after all, the food affects their tips! A
couple of times, I’ve seen the server go directly to the manager and
come back with a refund or a coupon for another meal, AND an apology.
Most restaurants really do want you as a return customer.” —Roger Barton

“I would remain quiet, but would not go there again and tell everyone I know not to go there.” —Elyse Poland

“I
wouldn’t say anything. Who hasn’t ever had a bad meal. I am that way
though. Afraid I might hurt someone’s feelings.” —Crystie Scott Fogle

“Remain quiet!! Never go back.” —Alisha Franklin

“If
it is something small, I don’t bother, every place has off days. If it
is bad enough I’ll complain to the server. If the server doesn’t respond
appropriately I’ll ask for the manager. What in the world do you have
to fear from saying something? All I ask my compatriots is not to be an
ass about it when they complain.” —Geoff Baysinger

“Just
did (meal okay, service terrible, and unapologetic) and just did
(complain) when the perky manager asked at the end, was everything okay?
Well, you know, no. He refused to take payment for the meal (lunch, 2
people). Now I’d go back; before, probably not. Good call on the
manager’s part.” —Lisa Schmidt

—Carol Smaglinski

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