We're off and running in 2013, and I can't think of a better way to keep the ball rolling than to discuss a little about a lot.
For more than a decade, Saints Heart and Vascular Institute at St. Anthony Hospital has brought some of the best-known chefs in the world with its Celebrity Chefs series. Past chefs included Cat Cora, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, Giada De Laurentis, Curtis Stone, Ingrid Hoffmann and Robert Irvine. This year's celebrity chef is Oklahoma City native Rick Bayless, and he will host a day of activities on Jan. 17.
Chef Bayless, whose mother and sister still live in the metro, will take ticket-holders on a heart-healthy tour of Mexican cuisine.
A graduate of Northwest Classen High School, Bayless grew up working in his parents' Hickory House barbecue restaurant. He has long been the star of PBS's “Mexico: One Plate at a Time,” is the author of numerous cookbooks and was the first winner on Bravo's “Top Chef Masters.” Bayless built his reputation in Chicago as the owner of side-by-side, award-winning restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo as well as the fast-casual Xoco.
The Celebrity Chefs event begins with a noon luncheon and cooking demonstration. At 7 p.m., Bayless will conduct a dinner and demo.
Tickets for the events are $15 each. Both events will be on the St. Anthony Hospital campus in Midtown's Rapp Foundation Conference Center, 535 NW 9 St., on the fourth floor.
Seating is limited and reservations are required. Call 272-7383 for tickets.
Burrito options expand
Once upon a time, if one wanted a big burrito to go, one had to drive to Oklahoma City's predominantly Hispanic southside to get it.
To get a great burrito, that's still the case, but national burrito wranglers have begun to dot the metro. We did lose Moe's at Belle Isle, but it was immediately replaced by Freebirds, which also opened in the parking lot of the new Dick's Sporting Goods.
Across W Memorial Road in the newly renovated space where Just for Feet and Books-A-Million failed, Costa Vida recently opened. Qdoba now has eight metro locations, and Chipotle — the concept from which all these others drew their inspiration — has seven stores in Oklahoma. Chipotle is from Denver, Costa Vida is from Utah, Qdoba is brought to you by the makers of Jack in the Box, and Freebirds started out in California.
As for me and my house, we will serve burritos from Tacos San Pedro or Chalo's Tacos.
Meanwhile, Yukon is now home to a great new Mexican restaurant that is neither Tex-Mex, Fresh-Mex or Interior Mexican. Green Chile Kitchen Route 66, 2 E Main St., is hosting grand opening events this weekend. The original Green Chile Kitchen, which is owned by Yukon native Trevor Logan, is located in San Francisco.
As part of the Yukon grand opening, diners will receive a free piece of homemade green chili pie with a purchased meal while supplies last. This homemade pie is insanely delicious. Festivities begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday with a Yukon Community Coffee, which will include the official ribbon cutting ceremony by the Yukon Chamber of Commerce.
From 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oklahoma City guitarist Edgar Cruz will perform. Ten percent of the sales on Sunday will be donated to the Re-Light the Mill project to restore the lit sign on top of the historic Yukon Mills.
Green Chile Kitchen Route 66 serves New Mexico-inspired food focusing on red and green chili flavors and traditions of the region.
For more information about the Green Chile Kitchen Route 66, go online to www.gckrt66.com or call 265-4346. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Last week, I mentioned how cool it would be if we all took time this year to learn about the fuel our body needs. I got this great email from Samantha Boyd:
“My husband's little brother came to live with us for six weeks this summer. He is 10 years old.
“He thought dinner meant hitting a drive-thru. Actually his only knowledge of food was fast food or Golden Corral. We educated him on calories, the food pyramid and preparing food. I'm happy to report he lost 15 pounds and has kept it off all by himself!
“We are so proud of him for learning how to make healthy choices even when the grown-ups around you don't.”
It starts at home folks. Take care of yourselves, and take care of each other.
In the coming weeks, we will begin filming a new series of videos in the spectacular new demonstration kitchens of Culinary Kitchen. The plan is to highlight local restaurant favorites. I have a few in mind, but I'd like to hear from you.
Drop me a line, letter or email to let me know which local favorites from yesterday and today you'd like to learn how to make. It'll then be up to me to see if I can wrestle the secrets you request from local chefs.
I can be reached at 475-3155, firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a shout on Twitter (@TheFoodDood) or Facebook: Dave Cathey The Food Dude.