A menu of New Year's wishes for 2014

The Food Dude makes his wishes in Oklahoma City's food culture for 2014 known.
by Dave Cathey Published: January 1, 2014
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Happy 2014, folks.

Last week we looked at the many gifts Oklahoma City's vibrant food culture bestowed in 2013, so this week we'll take a look forward at what 2014 might have in store — or at least what I hope it has in store.

Cupcake shakin': First, indulge me a moment in continuing with last week's theme of cool occurrences from 2013.

Food Network chose two local cupcakeries for its hit show “Cupcake Wars.” First was Eric Smith of Sara Sara Cupcakes. Though Smith didn't bring home the victory, he did leave a lasting impression — especially in his choice of eyewear. Well played, chef.

Tiffany Magness, owner/chef of Green Goodies, also earned a spot on the show and won her competition, bringing home $10,000 and the opportunity to cater the wrap party for Fran Drescher's “Happily Divorced.” Here's hoping both can use the publicity to fulfill their cupcake goals.

Mobile health: Not quite a year ago, I introduced many of you to Green and Grilled, 8547 N Rockwell Ave., which is just the kind of restaurant most of you will be looking for starting tomorrow. Owners Juan and Adriana Suarez are committed to serving heart-smart foods with no loss in flavor. And while their little corner of the universe is convenient from my house, we all know Oklahoma City is a big place. The good news is that Green and Grilled has added a mobile kitchen to its repertoire with G&G on Wheels. You can follow its movements on Twitter (@GreenGrilled) and Facebook (search Green & Grilled.)

Catfish revival: A few months ago Dino Smalley and his wife, Maria Vitale, closed their Steak and Catfish Barn with an eye on retiring in Italy. As the philosopher Lee Corso often says, “Not so fast my friends” ... Smalley and Vitale plan to reopen Steak and Catfish a little south of their old location, taking over the space long ago occupied by Papa's Little Italy at Interstate 35 and Britton Road. Smalley told me he hopes to be open next week. But don't fret about their retirement plans. Smalley says he and Vitale plan to get the restaurant up and running and turn it over to staffers from the old place. Then it's off to Italy where their “retirement” will include opening a little trattoria that will only be open a few days a week. Few farewells can boast more benefits for all concerned parties.

Say cheese!: Lovera's Famous Italian Market is up to its ribbon-winning ways, and here's hoping the cheese operation at the venerable market in Krebs finds opportunity to expand and cast a broader braided-cheese net over planet Earth. At the 2013 American Cheese Society's annual show, Lovera's Caciocavallo-style cheese took bronze medals in the Aged Provolone and Mozzarella categories, and the Braided Caciocavera was cited as one of the year's top 101 cheeses in the world. Cheesemonger Shawn Duffy has the passion to boldly go where no Oklahoma cheesemonger has gone before, so my New Year's wish is that he find the time and space to chase cheese nirvana.

By George, I think I'm hungry: I don't think I've ever written as much about a restaurant that isn't open as The George Prime Steakhouse. Interurban vet Kevin George has teamed with “Top Chef”-grad Joshua Valentine to bring life back to the restaurant space atop Founders Tower. The build-out and remodel has been frustrating for all parties. The team George has assembled will be a veritable service-industry all-star team in front and back of the house. My New Year's wish is that I get to sample chef Valentine's creations before Valentine's Day.


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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