Sizzle reels 

In the five years since its birth, OKC Black Eats has snowballed, with the first of a series of films about Black-owned eateries debuting this month.

Apollo Woods

Photo provided

Apollo Woods

 For the last five years, OKC Black Eats has kept its followers up to speed on Black-owned restaurants in the city and is now doing so in a completely different format with the premiere of its film format earlier this month.

The first short feature debuted this month at Rodeo Cinema in the Stockyards. It will be screened at Circle Cinema in Tulsa as well as at this summer’s deadCenter Film Festival but there may be some showings between here and there, founder Apollo Woods said.

“Our plan is to turn this into a 10-episode series featuring Black-owned restaurants around the state of Oklahoma. We’ll probably base most of the episodes, well, probably about half of them in the metro area and then get out to Tulsa and some other towns. I know there's a place called Philly Scratch out in Ada, which is the first Black-owned restaurant out in Ada,” he said.

The first segment’s focus was Not Cho Cheesecake, whose co-founder Shoshiana Aunjeane passed away prior to its release. The Bethany bakery began as a pop-up shop before opening its brick-and-mortar in 2020. It offers some gourmet recipes off the beaten path, with original names that hint at the flavors within.

For example, the “Oh Really Oh” is an Oreo cookie cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust and the “Sundae Morning” boasting all the ingredients you’d expect to find in one.

While Woods hasn’t announced the subjects of the remaining eateries in the first season of OKC Black Eats, his options have expanded greatly from fewer than 20 to nearly 100 Black-owned restaurants since its founding in 2017.

And though it may seem like a decalogue of short films, Woods said he prefers to think of them as episodes of a first season, with an additional slew planned after the first wave is completed.

Also, last year, Woods expanded into Tulsa with Tulsa Black Eats, which is fitting since the Duncan native attended Tulsa University before spending most of two decades living in Texas.

“I'm glad both Oklahoma City and Tulsa have grown to where they have in the past 20 years. They are definitely different. And there are a lot of cool things to uncover. From living in Houston for 18 years, I see it as there's still so many great things that we can do in the city coming from a different set of fresh eyes. So I'm always uncovering some stone unturned that people hadn’t paid attention to,” Woods said.

OKC Black Eats’ immensely popular Social Sunday Brunch also returns for the second year in March, but you’ll have to check its socials for the location, which has not yet been announced.

For that news, follow OKC Black Eats on Facebook and Instagram.

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