A dozen Hopes for Local Food Culture in 2012

The Food Dude shares his culinary resolutions for 2012.
by Dave Cathey Published: January 4, 2012
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Better education at home about food: Following up on the above wish, it all starts at home. If we cook more with fresh ingredients, use far fewer processed foods and boxed meals, we will train the palate of our children. Bad eating habits are born and die at home.

Changes to the liquor laws: I would love to buy wine at the grocery store — on Sunday. But this isn't the only change I'd like to see. I think liquor stores should be able to sell corkscrews, mixers, soft drinks and anything else they want in order to compete. I understand allowing this will have an adverse effect on local liquor stores, particularly the small ones. I have great respect for liquor store owners who have played by the rules and built successful operations. On the other hand, the Internet has cost a lot of jobs for my friends in newspaper, and local radio/television stations. Libraries and booksellers can't love it much either. But more access to larger audience is tough to argue. Sad to say, when the law changes, Darwin will have his day with the poorly run stores, the good stores will survive with a diversified inventory, and I can have a bottle of wine on a whim.

Growth for slow foods: God bless Kerry Norman and Kamala Gamble for this collection of locavores dedicated to sharing the gospel of local artisanal and organic food producers. If you're reading this column, you should be a member of this group. And you should invite at least five friends to join you. Do it at www.slowfoodokc.com.

Drink more Amarone: While sharing a bottle of a nice Chianti with my favorite wine snob, George Percy of Tallahassee, Fla., he told me that if while perusing a list of Italian wines I should come across anything marked Amarone, I should order it. Amarone is made up of the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes. As luck would have it, while dining with Michel and Alain Buthion at Bellini's (story Thursday in Mood), Michel had a bottle of Sartori de Varona 2007 Amarone brought to the table. One sip followed by a large gulp later, I knew George was right.

Help Oklahoma develop a signature flavor: I love fried-onion burgers, I have a soft spot for chicken-fried anything and Indian tacos, but it's time to graduate. So many cultures now influence the food we eat in the red dirt kingdom. So many things grow beautifully here. So many cooking techniques are just a mouse click or cooking class away. It's time for the cultures old and new to combine and create signature flavor and dishes the way the French helped the Vietnamese arrive at the Banh Mi sandwich or the way the Italian flavor influenced Chicago and New York-style pizza. I've got some ideas and tons of good friends who get paid to cook for a living. But I'm always open to suggestions, because together we can celebrate Oklahoma flavor fully and share it with the world.


by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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