Oklahoma City Arts Festival foods go head-to-head at Culinary Arts competition

The Food Dude helps judge the first-ever Culinary Arts competition at the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts.
by Dave Cathey Published: April 26, 2012

For the first time in the history of the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts, food vendors entered their best dishes into a competition. Among the three judges who sampled dishes from each cart and booth — about 30 altogether — was yours truly.

Along with Laveryl Lower, owner/manager of the Metro Wine Bar and Bistro, and Terry Adams, executive director of the Cherry Creek, Colo., Arts Festival we began with the cart foods and worked our way toward Culinary Arts row.

The Kona Ice, Maui Wowie smoothies, Dippin' Dots and Italian Ice were welcome respite on a warm day, edging dangerously toward hot — though after last summer we got a new definition for the term.

The assortment of caramel apples at Rodney and Lisa's could've been from Willy Wonka's factory, offering dreamy caramel apples dappled with decadence for every heart's desire.

My Reese's Pieces apple was a time machine to a spring day seated on a park bench, legs swinging over the sidewalk, face smeared with caramel and apple juice.

Hazel Purkey, of Gore, offered expertly made pecan logs at the Nuts and More Territory Tellers cart. Creamy in the center, crunchy on the surface, this is a throwback treat to days of divinity and fudge, which Hazel also happens to make and peddle at the festival.

Cinnamon-dusted pecans from Just Nuts were perfect for toting around the festival as was the caramel corn from Sweet Corn Express.

On the arch-shaped row of vendors, Adella's wowed us with their version of Italian Nachos — large pasta slices deep-fried and topped with Alfredo sauce, grated cheese, Italian sausage, jalapenos and pepperoncinis.

Food Dude blog: Festival of the Arts Food Confidential
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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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