From the editor: The taste of surprise

One of my most memorable food experiences to date happened several months ago, and I’m still thinking about it.


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One of my most memorable food experiences to date happened several months ago, and I’m still thinking about it.

I was dining with Editor Anne Brockman at one of my favorite lunch spots, Kitchen 66 Cafe. Located in the Sun Building in south downtown, it is run exclusively by food entrepreneurs in the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation’s Kitchen 66 program.

We’d been invited by the LTFF’s Ashley Van Horne to sample the Southern cuisine of chef CJ Jenkins, owner of Divine Service Group. Sample we did, and I was immediately surprised to taste what I would have sworn in a blind test were my grandmother’s catfish, mashed potatoes and green beans.

“Do your family dinners taste like this?” I asked Brockman, who probably thought I was crazy. She said they did not, but agreed Jenkins’ food was most delicious.

Food is tied so closely to our memories. That’s why one bite can transport us to our grandmother’s table or halfway around the world. Sharing good food with people we like just makes the experience better.

Shane and Frances Bevel know this, which is why they let 100-plus people into their Tulsa home each February to sample their homemade gumbo, shrimp and grits, and other Mardi Gras staples. See the proof here.

Mid-month, many of us will be on the hunt for Valentine’s Day gifts, possibly of the last-minute variety. Consider a locally made dessert from one of these shops. (Speaking of Feb. 14, our couples cover feature might get you in a nostalgic mood.)

If you dig international cuisine, check out Euro Mart, plan a bulgogi date at Gogi Gui Korean Grill or hit the road for Krebs, also known as “Oklahoma’s Little Italy” due to its plethora of pasta.

After enjoying our Kitchen 66 meal, I called my grandmother to rave about it. “I never realized how Southern you cook,” I said. Her reply: “I’ll take that as a compliment to chef CJ and to me.”

This “food lover’s issue” provides just a taste of the amazing food Tulsa has to offer. My advice? Get you some.

 

Morgan Phillips

City Editor

 

 

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