Creative Oklahoma hires local chef to cater event 

click to enlarge RAMSEY WALCHER
  • Ramsey Walcher

Ludivine is known as one of Oklahoma City’s most adventurous and innovative restaurants. It is not, however, one of Oklahoma City’s most adventurous and innovative caterers.

But when Creative Oklahoma asked chef Jonathon Stranger to cook for 300 guests at Monday’s Oklahoma Creativity Ambassadors Gala, he said, “For you guys? Anything.”

One of 13 regions in the World Creativity Forum, Creative Oklahoma is a nonprofit focused on improving the state’s economy with entrepreneurship and innovation, said marketing and project manager Stéphanie Coderre Porras.

“We hold the gala to show people that we have nationally and internationally renowned Oklahomans in business, music and culture,” she said. “We try to reward five of them each year.”

This year’s honorees are Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby, former OGE Energy Corp. chairman and CEO Pete Delaney, country star Toby Keith, NextThought co-founder and CEO Ken Parker and J. Michael Prince, president and COO of Cole Haan.

Stranger said Creative Oklahoma is a “strong arm” for business and culinary relationships. When he went to Belgium with the organization last year, it helped him make connections around the world. Next month, he cooks in the Netherlands and London.

It’s up to the professionals to show their skills, but Stranger said Creative Oklahoma does an excellent job of putting people in the right place to impress a global audience.

“I have a great history with Creative Oklahoma,” he said, “so I wanted to do what we do at Ludivine, but for 300 people at once.”

Using locally sourced ingredients, Stranger plans to serve a salad of gently cooked root vegetables with pecan mousse, crispy chicken skin and buttermilk, a braised wagyu short rib with savory oats, tomato fennel jam and puffed corn and a terrine of chocolate with cherries and pine nuts.

“It’s just a way of showing off what we do in Oklahoma. It’s not your usual banquet food,” he said.

Preparing the meal will require even more creativity, though — Civic Center Music Hall, where the event is held, doesn’t have much of a kitchen.

“I want to support Creative Oklahoma because of what it means to creative people both inside and outside the state,” he said. “They do it for lots of people. Anybody can become a member.”

Students can join the organization for $20, and regular membership is $50.

One project the organization is especially excited for is Oklahoma Creative Communities, which brings together residents from a defined geographic area in different ages, backgrounds and skill sets to work through a creative problem-solving process to benefit their community.

The gala is 6-9 p.m. Monday at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave. 

Print headline: Culinary creativity, Chef Jonathon Stranger brings innovation to the Oklahoma Creativity Ambassadors Gala menu.

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