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Festival of Arts gets more expansive and interactive than ever

Oklahoma City's rite of spring is delving even deeper into the art of food with the addition of the Culinary Arts Demonstration Stage.
by Brandy McDonnell Published: April 19, 2013

The Festival of the Arts is getting more interactive, expansive and local in its 47th year.

Plus, Oklahoma City's rite of spring is delving even deeper into the art of food with the addition of the Culinary Arts Demonstration Stage.

“We've spread our wings ... and we're adding some more attractions,” said Peter Dolese, executive director of the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, which organizes the festival. “Everywhere you go in the (Myriad) Gardens, you will come across a nugget of wonder that is part of the Festival of the Arts.”

The downtown celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts will take place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through April 27 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 28 at the Festival Plaza, on Hudson Avenue and at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.

Artful food

The Culinary Arts Demonstration Stage, the biggest addition to this year's festival, will surely have festivalgoers and food fans alike smacking their lips.

Situated on Stage Center Drive, the new stage will add a dash of interactive culinary flavor, with free 45-minute demonstrations from 23 of Oklahoma City's most talented and popular chefs, including The Oklahoman Food Dude Dave Cathey.

“They each chose what they're going to demonstrate and do,” said festival co-chairman Linda Whittington, adding the new stage was inspired by a similar attraction at Denver's Cherry Creek Arts Festival. “We think it will be great fun and a great way, too, for the restaurants to highlight great things that their chefs are doing.”

The tent housing the stage has been fully outfitted with a cooktop, sink, prep area and refrigerator, along with donated cabinetry and mirrors that will help the audience see the chefs' hands at work, she said.

The demonstrations will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Each session will be limited to 75 attendees.

The Artful Experience, where wood turners, glass blowers and other visual artists demonstrate their techniques, will move to the southeast corner of the Myriad Gardens to make room for the new culinary stage.

Tasty newcomers

Along with mainstays like Indian tacos, Strawberries Newport and fish tacos, the festival's ever-popular International Food Row will get even more global flavor this year with new vendors Inca Trail Peruvian Restaurant, Waffle Awesome and LOCAL.

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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