So, I had the privilege of going to one of Tulsa's best foodie experiences Sunday night. It's called Test Kitchen.
It's an "underground supper club" put together by the fabulous Jenny Vergara. Check out the website for more details but here's the rundown on how it works. You go to testkitchenok.com and sign up to get on the email list. Then you wait. Once a month you get an email with the next dinner's date so you can check your calendar. About 2 weeks later you get another email with more information, including the Chef, menu and price. If you're interested in going you reply to the email and say how many seats you'd like to reserve. Then all the people who replied get put in a random lottery. You may get to go, you may not, there's only 20 seats. If you were picked you get another email to confirm your spot the week before. Then, the day before the event, you get an email with the location. It's top secret and only the chef, organizer and attendees know the location and it's never held at the same place.
I got the email with the location Saturday and thought it was a little strange. We were going to be dining in an old church and the theme was "Sex, Food and Rock n' Roll". Hmm.
|photo from TheChurchStudio.com|
So we pulled up to the church and all the windows were boarded up. We actually drove past it thinking that wasn't the spot, checked the address and turned back around. We walked up the stairs and through the large wooden doors where Jenny greeted us and told us the night's plans. We stepped through a massive door and entered two small connecting rooms for the cocktail hour. The rooms didn't look like the inside of a church at all. There were various guitars on the walls and you could see what looked like a recording studio behind a massive window. (Kicking myself for not taking pictures of the rooms.)
As we mingled with the other folks we met some great people! As we chatted, we learned that we were in a historic Tulsa building. Turns out we were in a recording studio after all! The church was Church Studio. Mr. Leon Russell bought the building years ago and converted it into a studio. Now the theme for the night started to make a little more sense. As it turned out, the Red Dirt Rangers and Tom Petty recorded there. Nice!
After the cocktail hour we were led into the recording studio where a long candle-lit table awaited us. Everyone took their seats and Jenny led us in the Test Kitchen pledge and gave everyone a pin. We had been initiated.
The Chef, Kurt Fichtenberg of Hey Mambo, was introduced and talked about the night's menu. He was amazing! If you haven't been to Hey Mambo, you need to try it out.
Then the first (of six) courses came in. This is the "Sex" part of the theme.
Yes, that is a nude woman with sushi on her. If you've seen Sex and the City this might make more sense. Anyway, we were all served sushi off this woman.
This was "yellowtail nigiri with scallion ponzu puree" and Chef paired a "rock melon infused sake" with it. Both were delicious.
Next came Red Dirt Stew (Red Dirt Rangers) with "red beans, watercress and crawfish" and it was paired with gran porter. Oh my word, the stew was full of buttery, peppery goodness.
Then came a watermelon salad with a "sparkling blanc de noir". It had sea salt, a little sugar and balsamic vinaigrette drizzled on top. Again, delicious.
Up next was a palate cleanser and probably my most favorite thing I ate. It was "spicy lemon gelato with candied lemon rind" and it was served in a lemon bowl and paired with a riesling. AMAZING. The candied lemon rind was what dreams are made of. I wanted to lick the bowl. It will haunt me.
After that we enjoyed a "pan-seared pepper coated bison medallions with peppercorn-cognac cream, cheese taters and porky green beans" paired with rosenblum zinfandel. Wow. The taters and peppercorn-cognac cream, again, dreamy.
And just when we thought we couldn't eat any more, the last dish was served, "chocolate dipped honeycomb" and barenjager honey liquear. This was unreal. So good!
And that was the end. We chatted a bit more and then headed back home.
So, are you hungry now!?
Seriously, if you enjoy food and are up for a totally unique dining experience, sign up now. You won't regret it.
If you're on twitter, follow @jvergara. Do it. Other twitter attendees: @ousooner44, @edsharrer and @pmlngold.
Also, here are a couple other sites that mention Test Kitchen:
And check out the photos her photographer took. Much better than mine and you can see more of the studio!
And now for some other random photos from the night.
This is me fake-singing into the microphone that Aretha Franklin recorded RESPECT! I'm that cool.
Eric was so cooperative.
And with the fabulous Jenny Vergara! Oh, and you can see that table in the background in the studio!
Much love Test Kitchen, much love!