Stranded chef cooks for hotel guests in Oklahoma City

Chef Joel Elliott was stranded in Oklahoma City with ice chests of shrimp, salmon and steak tenderloin. He had to improvise but he was able to cook for others who also were stranded.
BY DIANA BALDWIN dbaldwin@opubco.com Published: February 2, 2011
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Chef Joel Elliott used what he had Monday to cook shrimp, salmon and steak tenderloin for some 40 stranded guests at the Quail Springs Hampton Inn.


Elliott, a 15-year veteran chef, was in Oklahoma City selling food service equipment for Rational in Chicago when the blowing snowstorm canceled his food demonstration planned on Tuesday at Ben E. Keith Co.

He already had the food in ice chests so he said he decided to cook it for the guests at the hotel at 1350 Plaza Terrace near Quail Springs Mall.

Elliott, of Dallas, said he didn't have all the ingredients he needed, or a kitchen.

He used the equipment the hotel had in the continental breakfast serving area to prepare his food for the guests.

“There's a little improvising going on,” he said, laughing. “I had to borrow some orange juice, salt and pepper.”

Shrimp and salmon were on the menu for lunch. The tenderloin was the featured dish for dinner. The hotel had some bread to contribute to the meals.

He admits he had never prepared food like that before. Elliott said he has never been stranded in a blizzard before, either.

“I was hungry,” Elliott said. “They were hungry. It is as much fun as you can have stuck in a hotel.”


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