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Rick Bayless comes home to cook

The Food Dude shares news and notes from around Oklahoma City's food scene, including the impending arrival of celebrity chef Rick Bayless.
by Dave Cathey Modified: January 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm •  Published: January 9, 2013

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.

Grand opening

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.

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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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