Josh Valentine to cook atop Founders Tower in Oklahoma City

Back in Oklahoma City, chef Josh Valentine will be executive chef at a new restaurant on top of Founder Tower.
by Dave Cathey Modified: April 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm •  Published: May 1, 2013
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It's official: Chef Josh Valentine is back in Oklahoma City, and he soon will be cooking at the top of Founders Tower in a newly remodeled restaurant in the space previously occupied by Nikz at the Top and The Eagle's Nest.

Born and raised in Del City, Valentine recently left his job at FT33 in Dallas to take the stove inside the historic space. Valentine made headlines by becoming the first Oklahoma chef to compete on Bravo's top-rated cooking competition show “Top Chef” in the fall/winter. He advanced to the brink of the finale before being eliminated.

Before that, he was chef/owner of The Divine Swine and is a graduate of The Coach House Apprenticeship Program.

Kevin George, who long has been associated with Interurban Restaurants Group, is the owner of the still-nameless concept.

This will be his first venture outside the Interurban Group. His partners in that group recently opened their own new concept, Packard's, in downtown Oklahoma City.

But Interurban isn't dissolving it partnership; this is more like members of a band taking time for solo projects.

George's concept with Valentine atop Founders Tower will revolve around prime steak, but the restaurant will not revolve like its predecessors.

George and Valentine said spinning the restaurant every night creates more problems than it is worth and lessens its significance.

“If it revolves every night, then it kind of loses something,” Valentine said.

George said they haven't dismissed the thought of having the restaurant revolve. He said they are considering having it revolve for special occasions such as New Year's Eve or even private parties. The restaurant will have about 200 seats and private dining spaces, many of which will be aligned for window-side dining.

Meanwhile, Valentine said the menu will reflect his culinary passion beyond prime beef, which includes a seasonal menu, premium seafood and, of course, pork. Will we see the return of the Candied Bacon Sticky Bun? Valentine smiled under his signature Snidely Whiplash 'stache: “Maybe.”


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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Fajitas Two Ways

Marinated

2 pounds skirt steak

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup tawny port win

1/3 cup jalapeno brine (the vinegar from a jar of pickled jalapenos)

1½ teaspoons garlic

1½ teaspoons salt

1½ teaspoons fresh ground pepper

• Combine soy, port and brine in an airtight container, resealable bag or vacuum-seal container with beef and marinate at least six hours.

• Light a fire on half of the grill. If using gas, light half the burners.

• Grill steak over direct heat 1 minute to 90 seconds per side, depending on the thickness. Once each side is well-seared, move to unlighted side of grill and cover. Let roast 6 to 8 minutes.

Rubbed

2 pounds skirt steak, preferably tenderized

¼ cup chili oil

2 tablespoons Sweet and Spicy All-Purpose Rub, or your favorite rub or chile powder

• Pour oil into a shallow baking dish. Place steak in the oil and coat on both sides. If the steak is too long, cut it into two or three pieces. Pack rub on both sides of the steaks, cover and let stand at room temperature until fire is ready.

• Light a fire on half of the grill. If using gas, light half the burners.

• Grill steak over direct heat 1 minute to 90 seconds per side, depending on the thickness. Once each side is well-seared, move to unlighted side of grill and cover. Let roast 6 to 8 minutes.

Sweet and Spicy All-Purpose Rub

½ cup ground mild red chile such as ancho; you may substitute chile powder

½ cup paprika

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup sea salt

3 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons ground coriander seed, toasted

2 tablespoons ground cumin seed, toasted

2 tablespoons ground black pepper, toasted

1 teaspoon chile de arbol or cayenne pepper

• Combine thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Pico de Gallo

2 medium ripe tomatoes, cubed and strained

Half of a small white onion

1 to 3 serrano peppers, minced

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice

Salt to taste

• Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and let stand at least 15 minutes.

Source: Dave Cathey.

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