Tabb Singleton: Last week, the “Chopped” champ, who toils in the kitchen of Emeril's NOLA in New Orleans, was in his hometown of Idabel to be given the key to the city and a parade in honor of his triumph on Food Network's top-rated weekly cook-off. What a great way to end 2012 for Singleton. Here's hoping he celebrates the end of 2013 in a brand-new restaurant in Oklahoma City in which he writes the menu and owns a stake.
Josh Valentine: I'm not going to hope against hope that JV reopens Divine Swine, but I am going to wish for a win on Bravo's “Top Chef” with an ensuing guest-cheffing victory tour through Oklahoma City. The show concludes in February, and episodes air at 9 p.m. Wednesdays. The Tasting Room, 4322 N Western Ave., hosts weekly watch parties from 8 to 10 p.m.
102-course service: Speaking of The Tasting Room, I'd love to see chefs Kurt Fleischfresser and David Henry do it all over again — plus one. We're building something in Oklahoma kitchens, and this event, if repeated and topped, is bound to draw even more attention from beyond our borders.
Restraint: I would love to see restaurants move away from monster platter of food in the name of “projecting value.” The best way to ensure customers return is good food and good will. Helping them avoid heart disease is a step in the right direction. On the flip side, as diners we have a responsibility to our own health and the health of our loved ones by not demanding quantity over quality.
Also of note: In my review of 2012, I mentioned I'd love to see continued success and growth for farm-to-fork concepts and an increase in the number of locavores. A great place to get your local on is the Urban Agrarian Market, 1235 SW 2 St. Owner Matthew Burch does a great job of stocking seasonal, local products. ... Yes, I need to lose weight, and this is the year! I hope. ... The Devon Tower's Vast is one of the city's most important restaurants, and I would love to see it justify that designation. As I mentioned before, anonymous Internet grousing lacks credibility, but there has been enough that it's worth addressing. Hopefully the staff can take a step back, deep breath and make things right ... I hope this is the year local fishmonger extraordinaire Delancy Miller can find a way to bring his expertise into his own retail location for Delancey Street Seafood. We lost Avalon Seafood this year, and are down to only Gulfport. Yes, seafood has improved at local grocery stores, but it's impossible to beat a fishmonger who is not only looking out for our needs, but also the needs of our planet's fish population.