Edmond to celebrate Valentine's day later this year
Chef Joshua Valentine, whose life was changed forever by a top-3 finish on season 10 of Bravo’s hit television show “Top Chef,” is returning to the local dining-sphere in a big way later this year.
Known in some parts at Chef Porkbelly, Valentine joined for lunch last week at brand-new Stitch Cafe, 835 W Sheridan Ave., to talk about his next culinary adventure.
Valentine and his world-class beard worked in Dallas before returning to Oklahoma City in 2014. In the years that followed, he’s worked most prominently at The George and Carlton Landing while also doing consulting work for Paseo Grill and short stints around town between his travels.
Now, the newly 40-year-old Valentine is ready to launch a new project in Edmond come fall.
While he’s not yet ready to share the name, Valentine said the concept will be located near the intersection of Coltrane and Second street in Edmond and offer a butcher shop and restaurant.
"We're going to be a true ranch-to-butcher-to-table concept," he explained. "The food is going to be Oklahoma. I'm a Del City kid, I grew up eating simple food."
He went on to say he was more interested in expressing food that celebrates what Oklahoma culture is rather than show Oklahoma what it should be.
"We have so many culinary influences born and raised in Oklahoma now, there's no reason to look outside (the state)," he said.
Valentine is also now part-owner of a heritage-breed hog farm, which will supply the pork.
“I’m breaking down hogs every week right now,” he said.
Valentine said the restaurant will also offer local beef and eventually he hopes to source chicken, lamb and any other livestock liable to graze on the Oklahoma prairie.
And, if you'd like to ask him about it yourself, happen to have some free time Friday morning and subscribe to The Oklahoman's print or digital editions, join us at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum at 11 a.m. Josh will be there with me and Emmy-winning chef Loretta Barrett Oden to participate in Dutch oven cooking demonstration.
We are filming the demo in preparation for the upcoming Chuck Wagon Festival, and we will need some help sampling the cornbread and Three Sisters Stew.
If you're interested, email Clytie Bunyan at email@example.com. Space is limited, so email today to get on the list.
The visit also marked my second visit to Stitch Cafe. Owners Chad Grubbs and Jen Semmler Grubbs have built a beautiful, inviting dining room with a simple, well-executed menu.
Overcast weather landed me on the Earl Grey-fueled London Fog cup of tea. The first one was so good, I was delighted to arrive on an another gray day so I could have another.
So far, I've tried Day Tacos and a Grain Bowl. Of the two, I preferred the Grain Bowl, but not because the shredded pork tacos with pickled red onions, salsa verde and cotija cheese weren't tasty.
It's just rare I come across a lunch as equal parts healthy and delicious as the Grain Bowl, which included the same pickled red onions but mixed with queso fresco, Balsamic-glazed grilled chicken, roasted veggies, fresh cucumbers, and toasted almonds mixed into farro.
Stitch has a Bricktown location, but the new West Village spot is connected with another Grubbs business, The Plant Shoppe. The new location, joins a growing scene on Film Row, which is already home to Joey's Pizzeria, The Jones Assembly, Sanctuary Barsillica, Bar Arbolada and Mary Eddy's.
Stitch is open Sunday through Thursday 7 a.m. to midnight and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
Plaza District to welcome burger concept
A new locally owned burger concept is coming to the Plaza District this summer. New State Burgers & Spirits will feature a 14-seat bar offering local and craft beer including nine on tap, a classic cocktail menu and wines curated by Thirst Wine Merchants.
Chef Robert Black, former corporate chef for A Good Egg Dining, did the kitchen consulting through his Spring Board consulting company.
Managing partner is Jay Iaquinta. He partnered with El Reno natives and Chris Gomez, Jordan Harris and Tyler Maune on the burger-centric concept. Here’s hoping their El Reno root combined with Black, who was on the AGE team when Tucker’s Onion Burgers was born, leads to a churched-up fried-onion burger.
Gomez, Harris and Maune hope to turn the 1250-square feet across the street from Goro Ramen Bar and The Mule into a “come-as-you-are restaurant with an approachable, yet elevated atmosphere.”
The space at 1705 NW 16 St. was owned by the New State Ice Company from 1927 to 1952, which inspired the name. Sara Kate Little of Sara Kate Studios is handling interior design.
To learn more about New State, click here.
Long pours coming to Oak & Ore
Oak & Ore, 1732 NW 16 St., will introduce Oklahoma’s first “long pour” method for pilsner beer on May 23, at 6 p.m. The first 20 patrons to order a long pour lager the night of the event will receive free custom glassware.
Long-pouring highlights the art and craft of brewing and also of serving beer. Patience caps are required since the process takes about five minutes but owner Micah Andrews promises “a beautiful glass of pilsner with a softened carbonation and enhanced flavor.”
"Slow pouring is pretty standard and traditional in Europe, especially Germany, for serving pilsners," said Micah Andrews, owner of Oak & Ore, “and recently it’s been popularized here in America by Bierstadt Lagerhaus in Colorado with their Slow Pour Pils. The process makes a surprising difference in the flavor and feel of the beer. I’ve wanted to offer this for some time now. Bierstadt's commitment to popularizing the method was an inspiration, and they've been incredibly supportive with advice as we get ready to bring slow pours to Oklahoma."
The rotating beers for the Long Pour Lager project will be on a dedicated, stainless steel side-pull tap imported from the Czech Republic and built specifically for pouring traditional European pilsners.
“We've collaborated with Stonecloud to brew Czech Please to kick off the program,” Andrews said. “Each quarter we'll team up with a different brewery to brew a traditional pilsner. Our next collaborations will be with Prairie Artisan Ales, Heirloom Rustic Ales and Marshall Brewing. Our conversations about the program have been very fun, from a beer geek's perspective at least!”
Oak & Ore will introduce a summer solstice cocktail and beverage menu on June 21, and continue their quarterly Brew U education series, with local brewers talking on a range of topics. For more information, click here.
If you haven't seen Nic's Grill founder Justin "Nic" Nicholas behind the stove at his 17-seat concept it's because he's been spending a lot more time at Nic's Place adding cabrito to the menu. While Valentine has gone into the hog-farming business, Nic has turned to raising goats. The result? New cabrito tacos at Nic's Place.
Nic has big plans for integrating his goat farm operation with the restaurant, starting with the tacos. They haven't been added to the menu permanently yet, but if you're at Nic's Place and he walks up to your table offering a taco, take it!
I sat down to eat one and ended up eating three! The meat is braised over hours with herbs and spices in a tomato-based sauce and the result is a rich, spicy stew born to ride flour tortillas wearing pico de gallo. ...
Hats off to chef Corey “Slawta” Harris of Off the Hook Seafood & More, who continued his winning streak on Food Network competition shows last week. Corey appeared on Food Network’s “Bite Club” last week along with chefs Brianna Shear of Packard’s New American Kitchen and Bruce Rinehart of Rococo and The Manhattan.
The trio met host Tyler Florence at Broadway 10 and competed in a two-round competition judged by chef Russ Johnson of Ludivine and celebrity chef and Oklahoma City native Rick Bayless. Rinehart took round one before Harris rallied to win the title of Bite Club champ in the second round.
The trophy pictured above is currently on display at the south Off the Hook location, 1920 S Meridian Ave.
Great job by all three representing the 405. To find out when the episode airs again, click here. ...
In case you haven't heard, Cathy Cummings is moving her legendary Vito's Italian Ristorante across the street at the end of the month. Last year, husband Sean Cummings took over the former Sophabella's building to re-open Sean Cummings Irish Pub. The building at 7628 N May Ave. will now be home to both concepts. If this sounds familiar, it should. Back in 2010, Sean Cummings moved his popular pub from The Collonade Shopping Center to the Lakeside Shopping Center, where Vito's resides. That move was a boon to both concepts, shrinking Vito's down to an appropriate size and giving the pub a room like it had before. Good luck to Cathy and Sean on the move, drop by to say arrivederci to the space where Vito's has called home since 2003. ...
Kwan’s Kitchen, 3031 W Memorial Rd, is hosting a food, fashion and fireworks show on Saturday at 6 p.m. Chef Vuong Nguyen recently joined the kitchen at Kwan’s as co-executive chef.
Saturday’s party will showcase the Coach House Apprenticeship Program graduates new dinner menu while raising money for the Miss Oklahoma Organization and in honor of current Miss Oklahoma Ashley Thompson.
The evening includes a four-course dinner, and a fashion show featuring current Miss Oklahoma local title holders. An after party is planned in the south lot at 8:30, including live music and fireworks. Tickets are $100 in support of Miss Oklahoma candidates. Purchase tickets in person or by calling 607-8838.