The Odyssey de Culinaire brings together chefs and students for a unique experience | eat the food

Chef Joel Bean says he always jumps at the chance to participate in events like the Odyssey de Culinaire because it is a unique way to learn as well as teach.

“I’ve pretty much educated myself as a chef,” said Ben, who started his famous OK Rub food truck in 2014 and co-owns The Meat and Cheese Show with fellow chef Amanda Simcoe. “When I got to the point where people were asking me to take part in charity events, I always agreed, because it was a way for me to work and learn from the many local chefs I liked.

“For me, being a chef is really a continuous learning process, and you always want to learn from the best,” he said. “And with the Odyssey de Culinaire, this process goes both ways, because we’re working with young chefs and trying to pass on some of the knowledge we’ve gained over the years.”

Odyssey de Culinaire is a two-night fundraising dinner presented by the Oklahoma Restaurant Association in partnership with Oklahoma Prostart, as part of the Oklahoma Foundation’s School-to-Job Hospitality Initiative. The first event was held on July 7 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City.

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The Tulsa Odyssey de Culinaire will take place on Tuesday, July 19, at River Spirit Casino Resort, 8330 Riverside Parkway.

Event tickets are $145 per person. For reservations: 405-942-8181,

Funds raised from the event will benefit Oklahoma ProStart, a program designed to introduce juniors and seniors to careers in the food service industry, providing them with opportunities to earn national certifications through classroom activities, internships, and comprehensive exams.

Five chefs in each city pair up with Oklahoma ProStart students to prepare the five-course dinner served at the event. In addition to Bein, the Tulsa dinner will feature chefs Audrey Long and Ben Alexander from McNellie’s Group. Devin Levine, Executive Chef, BOK Center; and Jonathan Mosmiler of Shangri-La Resort.

The theme for 2022 is “The Chef’s Playlist,” with each course inspired by the Chef’s Choice song, accompanied by a wine selection provided by Republic National Distributing.

Bein is working with Sylvana Bateman, a student at Tulsa Technology Center, to create their contribution to the list.

“This year’s music theme made this process so much fun,” Bean said. “Sylvana loves soul music, which is where I love the little things, maybe a little weird. I’m a huge fan of Massive Attack, for example, which might surprise some people.

“So we’re going to make something that looks like a traditional soul food dish, but with a flavor that will surprise people,” he said.

“The Odyssey de Culinaire is an experience like no other,” said Roberta Heelsley, Director of Education for the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and ProStart Coordinator. “Our guests not only get a one-of-a-kind culinary experience prepared by ProStart Oklahoma students, but they support the future of Oklahoma’s hospitality industry by showing up and believing in these the students “.

Bein agrees, saying, “This is my second year to be a part of this event, and both guys I’ve worked with have been really excited about the whole process. They’re like sponges, eager to soak up whatever you want to share. I’ve learned a few things from them.”

Bean said, “If these students are any indication, I’m confident that Oklahoma’s culinary scene has a very bright future.”

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