Chef Rick Bayless will inspire fundraising three ways

Celebrity chef Rick Bayless will come to his Oklahoma City hometown to raise money for tornado recovery with a unique triple pop-up restaurant event.
by Dave Cathey Modified: June 11, 2013 at 4:35 pm •  Published: June 12, 2013
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Happy Father's Day my fellow dads. I've got just the ticket for the pappy in your life: a reservation to the OK Chefs Relief pop-up at the Will Rogers Theatre on June 24.

Details are still trickling in, but I can tell you that chef Rick Bayless will be in town that day for a celebration of his Mexican cuisine that will benefit the ongoing recovery efforts in local storm-torn communities.

Bayless, who is based in Chicago but was born and raised in Oklahoma City, will be in town for one day, and three restaurants will pop up based on his world-famous Mexican restaurants in Chicago.

The day will start downtown, in a location still being determined, with a pop-up based on Bayless' newest concept, the fast-casual Xoco. Local chefs will man grills to produce Bayless' signature street food from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A minimum $10 donation is required for tacos and agua fresca.

At 5:30 p.m., The Tasting Room, 4322 N Western, will be converted into a miniature form of Bayless' upscale Topolobampo. This exclusive pop-up will include an intimate evening with Bayless, including a demonstration and the chance to interact with the star of public television's “Mexico: One Plate at a Time.”

Admission for a night at Topolobampo Oklahoma City is $1,000 per couple and is limited to 40 people.

The final pop-up will be inside the Will Rogers Theatre, adjacent The Tasting Room. It will feature a menu from Frontera Grill. Cost is $60, and the event is limited to 240 people.

The Xoco pop-up will be first-come, first-served, while reservations will be required for the night's events. UMB Bank will handle ticket sales as it is collecting donations, 100 percent of which will go to the relief effort. The phone number is 239-5936.

The OK Chefs Relief team also plans to include live music, a silent auction and other surprises. For updates, keep an eye on my blog: blog.newsok.com/fooddude.

Another good cause

OK Chefs Relief isn't the only function at which local stove-tenders will raise funds for a good cause this summer. The Odyssey de Culinaire returns for its 11th incarnation in July.

Chefs from Tulsa will serve a feast to Oklahoma City diners, then Oklahoma City chefs will reciprocate the following week.

The Oklahoma Restaurant Association event begins July 25 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, featuring Tulsa chefs Sam Bracken (The Canebrake), Jakub Hartlieb (River Spirit Casino), Lia Lewis (The Culinary Institute of Platt College), Erik Reynolds (SMOKE on Cherry Street) and Grant Vespasian (The Tavern). The Tulsa gang will serve a five-course meal, paired with wines by local experts.

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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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