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Food pros continue effort to support Oklahoma storm recovery work

The local food service industry has been a consistent source of support during the recovery of storm-torn Oklahoma communities.
by Dave Cathey Modified: May 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm •  Published: May 29, 2013

Chen said over the weekend Chase Bank bought out a number of food trucks to continue their efforts, which meant truck operators could continue to feed workers without putting their businesses in peril.

She also said the First Baptist Church of Little Axe, 3405 168th Ave. NE, desperately needs bug spray, sunscreen, tarps, bungie cords, clotheslines and camping tents. She said she's also tried directing food truck traffic into Carney and Shawnee.

Chen said any chefs or professional cooks interested in donating time, skills and product need to be prepared to serve 75 to 100 for breakfast and dinner, and about 200 for lunch. She said to volunteer for this duty, call her at 326-2705.

Chef Jonathon Turney of Urban Wine Works is one of many chefs and food service pros who has spent the better part of the last week feeding workers in Moore.

“I don't have a lot of money to give, but I know how to feed a lot of people, and feed them well,” he said. “When you go down there and see the job people are doing to help, it's just human instinct to do want to do what you can to help them.”

Meanwhile, benefits, events and donations have popped up in tall order around the Oklahoma City metro to aid the efforts. The enormously successful OK Chefs Relief Pop-Up restaurant raised about $75,000 in two days and was led by Westmoore grad and celebrity chef Danny Bowien, and chefs situated as far south as Kyle Mills of Local in Norman to Skip Ailstock at the Francis Tuttle School of Culinary Arts in far north Oklahoma City. Dozens of other local chefs and food professionals also worked to raise those funds. So, too, has Freebirds World Burrito, which fed 500 people, and Buy For Less and Crest Foods stores hosted chef Barrett Beyer of “Hell's Kitchen” for a charity bratwurst cook-off to raise money on Monday.

At the Operation Barbecue Relief encampment at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College, 3701 S Frontage Road in Moore, more than 119,000 meals have been served since the team arrived last week. Folks can drop by to volunteer or donate products and see some of the coolest high-performance barbecue equipment around. That operation is still in need of paper plates, chips, prepackaged desserts, fruit cups, fresh fruits and No. 10 sized canned vegetables and Nitrile gloves.

Paul Peterson, of Tulsa, came in last week to prepare pork loins in his industrial mobile smoker out of gratitude for Mother Nature.

“That storm stopped short of my neighborhood by about 10 miles,” he said. “I told my wife, we need to get down there.”

Barbecue pitmaster Travis Clark was out smoking his championship brisket last Friday as a new resident to the area. Clark is in the process of moving from Kansas to Yukon.

“We just closed on a house,” he said. “So, we reckoned we'd best be good neighbors and get down there.”