We begin this month’s column dedicated to tidbits of information from the local dining scene with an event so big that it warrants lead status despite a dearth of details.
World-renowned chef and Oklahoma City native Rick Bayless is joining the fall roster of guest chefs at District 21 this year. The host of public television’s “Mexico: One Plate at a Time,” champion of “Top Chef All-Stars” and author of enough cookbooks to fill a small library will lead culinary students through the paces at the Francis Tuttle School of Culinary Arts’ District 21 for a special dinner service Oct. 24. But right now, that’s all I can tell you. Tickets are not yet available as school is currently out. The good news is, you can now circle the date on your calendar and circle my column, which will have that information as soon as it’s available. Stay tuned!
Go West for adventure
Chef Eric Smith is a busy dude, but not too busy to prepare a custom-made meal for you and your friends and family at his primary base of culinary operations.
Smith, a graduate of The Coach House Apprenticeship Program, is founder of Sara Sara Cupcakes, for which he appeared on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” last year.
Tuesday through Saturday, you’ll find him manning the stove at Rick and David Haynes’ West, 6714 N Western Ave., where he is executive chef. Smith joined the Haynes brothers in 2009 to initiate the menu at West. Five years later, he’s developed a little something beyond the menu with Chef’s Dinners.
“This is something I started doing for some guys who come in regularly and just said, ‘Make us six courses, or five courses,” Smith said. “So I decided to expand on it.”
The concept is simple: Make a reservation at West for a Chef’s Dinner. When you arrive, let Eric how many courses you’d like to do then reveal any food allergies or phobias you might harbor. Then sit back and enjoy a cocktail and wine program developed just for your dinner, and enjoy dinner as theater.
For me, Smith did a six-course meal starting with Tuna Tartare in sesame oil and ending with a West “Crunch” bar. In between was a brilliant watermelon salad, a whimsical play on lox, a robust interpretation on veal and the best play on creme brulee I’ve had in a long time — mainly because it involved a frozen goat cheese custard.
Be sure to watch the video produced by my dining partner for the meal, Greg Singleton, on NewsOK.com.
To have a meal prepared especially for you, call 607-4072 and let the host or hostess know you’d like to do a Chef’s Dinner.
Local food truck app goes live
Another month, another record crowd for the H&8th Night Market. Organizers say the crowd numbered no fewer than 30,000 visitors Friday, with more than 50 food trucks on hand to feed them. If that sounds like too much trouble to hunt your favorite food truck, the Truck It OKC app has you covered. The locally developed app aggregates and maps the schedules and locations of Oklahoma City food trucks.
Food truckers who would like to be included on the app can simply download the app and click on the red and white truck icon to create an account.
“They can then immediately upload their logo, menu, Twitter handle, etc. (without delay). Once we approve their account, which happens the same day, they can show up on our app. It’s very easy to set up and even easier to update once they’re approved,” co-founder Josh DeLozier said in an email. Truck It OKC is available for free at the iTunes store and works with all Apple devices. The version for Android users will be available soon.
Cummings and goings
Sean and Cathy Cummings are keeping plenty busy these days. Cathy is neck deep in a run for lieutenant governor of Oklahoma on the Democratic ticket, and Sean is handing out discounts on a couple thousand political signs delivered to his pub’s doorstep after the recent primaries.
Cummings promised a dime discount at Sean Cummings Irish Pub, 7521 N May Ave., for every sign delivered. Cummings received about 2,000 signs for the tongue-in-cheek promotion. The signs will be returned to the candidates. ... Revolve Pizza Kitchen, 5500 W Memorial, has opened. The fast-casual concept offers custom pizzas in two to three minutes. ... Speaking of fast-casual chains, Zoe’s Kitchen has opened its second metro location. The first opened in Norman. Last week, a second spot opened near Quail Springs Mall at 14110 N Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 4. ... The Saturn Grill location in Midtown has closed. Chef Joseph Royer’s ambitious attempt to elevate his fast-casual concept was met with unfortunate road construction shortly after opening. Royer’s first two locations, in Nichols Hills Plaza and Quail Brook Center, remain open.