New cookbook stirs columnist's plans for agri-adventures

Oklahoman business writer Steve Lackmeyer writes a cookbook based on stories told by Andrew Black, native Jamaican and corporate chef at Flint, a new restaurant opening this month at the Colcord Hotel.
by Paula Burkes Published: May 9, 2012

It's no surprise Black, who's cooked in Caribbean resorts and The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, wanted that same hands-on experience with Oklahoma products.

He never milked a cow before calling on Christian Cheese in Kingfisher, or visited a slaughterhouse until the one in far north Edmond used by NoName Ranch in Wynnewood.

“Cheeses are made up of different flavors, just like full-body wines made of different grapes,” Black said.

“And you have to understand slaughter if we're going to understand what it takes to produce a good cut of beef.”

One of his most descriptive entries describes a visit to Organic Gardens in El Reno, which grows tomatoes and fresh herbs.

“You walk in, and the smell, the aroma, the bright green of the plants — it's breathtaking and worthwhile, picking the leaves from the plants, holding them in your hands and smelling them,” Black said. “… I can't wait to go back to the kitchen and play with the food.”

His subsequent creations included dressings using lavender and fresh thyme, and blue cheese herb crust with basil for steak.

Farmers look at new crops as Apple does its next generation iPhone, Black said.

“At the end of the day,” he said, “it's about looking all around us and using the products we have right here in Oklahoma.”


by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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Foraging in Oklahoma will debut Saturday, May 19, with a signing by Chef Andrew Black and author Steve Lackmeyer at Flint, 15 N Robinson (the Colcord Hotel).

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