The Food Fight that never was
In case you’re concerned about a “food fight” rising up between the H & 8th Night Market and a new one the city council approved this week, don’t be.
Recent coverage here and here indicates that food truck operator Rick Vick didn't win a spot in H&8th's lottery and found it unfair. He felt so strongly, he took his case before Oklahoma City's city council. All true.
What wasn't reported was H & 8th has already been coexisting, not competing, with three independent food-truckcentric entities this year.
When H&8th returned for its March through October 2015 run, it did so with two new neighbors: Industry Flea and Bleu Garten. Then in June, a third neighbor, Art on 8th and Walker, joined the expanding block party. All of this happened before Vick took umbrage with the H&8th lottery system to the city council. I'm not sure why city councilors voiced concern about Eats on 8th and Walker when MidTown's food truck neighborhood had already shown its ability to grow. I suppose that's a question for the next city council meeting.
H&8th organizer Brian Bergman told me the newest neighbors, Art on 8th and Walker, have been operating 100-percent within the law, calling them “fabulous partners, neighbors and friends.” Bergman said he even helped the organizers find an insurance provider.
Vick now plans to strike out on his own with Eats on 8th and Harvey, and he will not get nothing resembling resistance from his counterparts in mobile street food, according to Bergman. H&8th is simply a nonprofit organizing unit intent on helping local vendors reach the public while demonstrating how community works best when it works together. And it's worked.
Crowds have blanketed MidTown, the Plaza District, Auto Mobile Alley and even downtown on the last Fridays since March this year. This is the blueprint for cultivating a community of individual expression and growing local commerce from seed.
The only competition between neighbors is friendly, and that's exactly what you have with H&8th, Bleu Garten, Industry Flea, Art on Walker and hopefully Eats on 8th and Harvey. Maybe they should start handing out those Coexist bumper-stickers. Bergman would probably do it it, but all this community-building keeps him busy.
But I can guarantee if you have a sincere desire and the will to work at doing your part in expanding the growing civic do-it-yourself spirit, he'll be happy to help you get started.
Mo Rocca’s visit to El Reno airs tonight
Tonight’s episode of Mo Rocca’s “My Grandmother’s Ravioli” on the Cooking Channel (7 p.m. central time) finds the host visiting El Reno’s chuck wagon legend Bill "BK" Nuzum.
The series documents Rocca learning to cook from grandparents all over the country, who share with him not only their treasured family recipes, but also their funny, sometimes surprising, and heartwarming life stories.
Nuzum, 77, of El Reno, Oklahoma, recreates what life and food were like on America's plains in the nineteenth century by building chuck wagons, and throwing parties in which friends dress like ranchers of yesteryear and cook some hearty grub outdoors. Tonight, watch them cook up some chili, biscuits, cobbler using large Dutch ovens.
Tour de Palate this weekend
The 8th Annual Tour de Palate Wine and Culinary Tasting Event is Saturday at The Chevy Events Center, 429 E. California Ave., from 7 to 11 p.m.
The event is a fundraiser for the Go Mitch Go Foundation and has raised more than $375,000 for leukemia research since its inception. The event boasts food from Café do Brasil, Fassler Hall, Old Germany, Mediterranean Imports & Deli, Peloton Wine Bar & Café, Pizzeria Gusto & Back Door BBQ, The Mantel, Gabriella’s, Fire Lake Casino, Kam’s Kookery/Guilford Gardens, Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria, On The Border, AmyCakes and Platt College Culinary Arts Program. The foods will be paired with specially selected beers and wines provided by Paragon Brands Glazers, Republic and possibly Putnam.
The night also includes live and silent auctions and recognition of two heroes: Kyle Andrews, a machinist at Kimray, who was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November of 2014 and is now cancer free plus Rylie Tran, who after 2 ½ years of treatment got to ring the bell at the OU Children’s Center to signify she, too, is cancer-free.
Tickets are $65 each or 2 for $120. Buy them here. For more information, contact cancer survivor and cake-baker extraordinaire Ruth Rickey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rococo plans second clambake
Due to the popularity of its clambake at Rococo Northpark in July, chef Bruce Rinehart has planned a second event at Rococo Penn on Aug. 29 at noon.
Once again, Rinehart and crew will offer: 1¼ pound lobsters, clams, mussels, sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes, dirty chowder, cole slaw and bibs to keep from wearing any of it.
Cost is $65 per person plus tax and gratuity. The event begins at 11:30 with service to start promptly at noon. For reservations, call 528-2824 to secure your seat with a credit card. No walk-ins will be accepted due to the cost of flying live lobsters from Maine.
Gourmet Gallery celebrates 14 years
The Gourmet Gallery, 1532 S Boulevard in Edmond and in the Shoppes at Northpark in Oklahoma City, will celebrate their 14th Anniversary on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oklahoma specialty food vendors will be on site at the Oklahoma City Store to offer samples and recipes. Gina Hollingsworth, owner of Southern Okie, will be in attendance for a book signing of her first cookbook.
Exhibitors include Triple AAA Soda, A Cut Above Fudge, Ace In the Bowl Salsa, AJ’s Food Products, Bedre Chocolate, Della Terra Pasta, E III Cutting Boards, Honey Hill Honey, Jan’s Pickles, Lovera’s,Maria Rae’s, Over the Fence Farms, Pepper Creek Farms, Prairie Gypsies, Seikel’s Mustard, Siegi’s Sausage, Snider Farm Peanuts, Southern Okie, Trader Dave’s, and Wildhorse Canyon. American Propane is providing a grill for demonstrations using recipes that feature Oklahoma products.