O where to start on this one. I have been thinking about starting into this blog post for some time, but haven’t come up with a great and exciting intro. Like a great movie or meal, I want it to grab you from the very beginning. So here goes.
About a year ago, My business partner, Robert Painter and I were approached by three sisters, Melissa Scaramucci, Heather Steele, and Abby Clark. They said to me what I consider to be a fateful remark that I’ve heard from several people over the years, “We want to open a restaurant!” So after months of trying to convince them NOT to do it, they have not listened and are going ahead with the crazy plan anyways. So Robert and I went to work on a consulting basis to help the sisters get their project going. Meeting with designers, architects, food service companies, looking at china, flatware, tables, chairs, and meeting with farmers. And the most important part, we’ve been Cooking! Coming up with some great recipes and we are getting ready to display our work to the public. After months of lease negotiations, changing the location, revising designs, we are finally on the road to construction! YAY! So now comes the really fun part, of actually building and getting the space ready for the opening.
Through this process, of creating a menu we were all happy with and getting close to needing to hire a chef, I started to put some feelers out for who this person might be. After talking and thinking about it, I felt as though I couldn’t let thins one go. I mean, I had put so much into the creative process, of the menu, the dining room and the kitchen (which is awesome), that how could I possibly let someone else come in and take it over from here. So after many conversations with my current business partners at Iguana, and the sisters, we have decided to take on this journey together. I will be the executive chef at LOCAL. The concept is somewhat new to Oklahoma but I feel strongly about its future.
The location is in the Normandy Creek shopping center at 24th and Main in Norman. I am very excited to cook in Norman. My entire culinary career has been on the north side of Oklahoma city, and the concept of meeting and cooking for Norman is very exciting. The restaurant will feature an open kitchen, full bar, private dining options, and a really unique and cool patio space. The most unique part of the restaurant is called “Happy Valley”. Happy Valley is a children’s area set inside the restaurant where parents can leave their children to be supervised while they dine and enjoy a meal. Happy Valley will have constant adult supervision, games, toys, a movie area and a wonderful healthy menu.
But what about the Food? Oh yes, the most important part, the food! We have been working with local farmers and ranchers to help us develop food items for use in the restaurant. Our menu will focus around locally grown food, with influences from all over the world. Featuring steaks and Seafood, pastas, daily soups, organic salads, and beautiful desserts. We are also creating a retail area in the front portion for those who don’t have time to dine with us, you can take LOCAL with you and finish the preparation right in your own kitchen!
We are looking at a January 2012 opening, and hoping that you will help us ring in the new year with style.
More info can be found at http://www.eatatlocal.com and I will post info about the construction and opening process here, on twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and google+