By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: Special Interest | Issue: March 2010
Eli Huff of Oscar’s Gastropub presenting a cooking demonstration in CFBEO’s Culinary Center in 2009.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Oklahoma has the fourth-most hungry people in the nation. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, which serves over 40 percent of the state, is working to change that. One of the ways you can help them is by participating in their monthly Recipe to End Hunger fundraiser dinner, and in doing so, enjoy a complete three-course meal and learn the recipes of some of the top chefs in Tulsa.
CFBEO’s Recipe to End Hunger fundraiser dinners are held at 6 p.m., typically on the last Thursday of the month, at the demonstration kitchen in their Culinary Center at 1304 N. Kenosha. “You can come and have a three-course meal, a wine pairing, and a food demonstration from one of our local chefs,” says Cindy Stevens, CFBEO’s director of community relations. “It’s a full meal, and Edwin Butler from Republic National Distributing Company donates the wine.”
Any time you come, you’re guaranteed a sumptuous meal, plus you can learn how to make it at home. For example, February’s dinner featured Jeff Stark, executive chef at the Silo Center at Redberry Farm, and the menu included chilled artichoke soup with crème fraiche and garlic crostini, chateaubriand with three-potato flan and grilled asparagus, and Grand Marnier-infused dark chocolate-dipped strawberries, each paired with complementary wines. For a list of upcoming dates, please visit CFBEO’s website, www.cfbeo.org. The dinner on April 15 will feature Neall Bailey, executive chef at the Mayo Hotel.
The need for food assistance is great: according to the USDA, one in six Oklahomans lives in poverty, and one in five cannot afford to buy enough food for their families. Many of those affected are children—44 percent of household members served by emergency pantry programs in eastern Oklahoma are under 18. CFBEO supplies food to 460 partner pantries, and provides 70 percent of the food those pantries use. They also supply extensive quantities of food to soup kitchens and shelters. In all, Oklahoma’s food bank system serves over 75,000 people each week, and an estimated 10 percent of the population annually. The need is growing: in the last year, the number of people seeking food assistance from emergency food pantries in eastern Oklahoma has risen by over 40 percent.
CFBEO does all this work on donations and grants, with assistance through USDA commodities.
Recipe to End Hunger has become popular since it began in 2007. “We have a lot of regulars, and we sell out a lot,” says Stevens. The demonstration kitchen accommodates 36 guests, and tickets are $45. Reservations must be made in advance, but calling the day of the dinner is fine. Call Frances Bevel at (918) 585-2800, ext. 109 for reservations.
For more information on the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, visit www.cfbeo.org. In addition to monetary and food donations, they also need volunteers. If you’re interested, give them a call.
1304 N. KenoshaTulsa, OK 74106