Tuesday, April 7, 2009

People You Should Know......

I've waited long enough to share my excitement with all of you here at Real Food Tulsa! Before I explain why I'm so ecstatic, I'd like to officially introduce you to a very dear friend of mine, Geoffrey van Glabbeek. In Tulsa, Geoffrey is known as Chef Geoff and although he is rather humble about his many accolades, I'd like to share a bit of Geoff's impressive background.

Geoff's passion for food began some years ago while he was working a summer position cooking with Chef Jacques Lisonnet at the Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Tulsa. This passion continued to be fueled by his work at both Bodean Fish Market and Biga in which he learned the importance of using the freshest ingredients. His reportoire further expanded as he learned to make breads and create seasonal menus at Utica Square's esteemed Stonehorse Café.

By this time Geoff's passion for creating amazing food was set. Geoff left Tulsa to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York's Hyde Park, where he worked closely with the professional chef instructors in the classroom, commercial kitchen and in catering numerous and impressive events. After graduation, Geoff returned to Tulsa and immediately took the position of Pastry Chef for Montereau and then was promoted to the position of Executive Sous Chef.

Geoff later became the Chef de Cuisine at the Palace Café where he wrote seasonal menus and developed relationships with local farms and their organic growers. This is really where Geoff's love of organic, fresh, ripe and local fruits and vegetables took flight and became an essential part of his creative, delicious and beautifully presented dishes.

In 2006, Geoff became the Executive Chef and General Manager of Lava Noshery, chosen as Best New Restaurant of 2007 by the Tulsa World. This past July, Geoff was named Tulsa’s most Exuberantly Inventive Chef in Tulsa People magazine’s Food Lover’s Guide. Geoff was then offered a position as the Chef de Cuisine at Soleil in the Colcord Hotel, which moved him to the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. Although I was sad to see Geoff leave Tulsa, I recognized this move as a positive step in his already very successful career.

It was not by coincidence that Matthew Kenney happened to be staying at the Colcord Hotel several months ago. I happened to mention that one of my dear friends was the chef de cuisine in the hotel's restaurant and that's when the synchronicities began. After a series of meetings and interviews, Chef Geoff has been hired for the position of Chef de Cuisine at Oklahoma City's (perhaps the world's) most ambitious raw food project, 105degress. To learn more about this epic restaurant, culinary institute and lifestyle store, see Matthew Kenney's online magazine, Matthew Kenney Lifestyle.I couldn't be anymore delighted by the way this is all unfolding in such a magical, exciting way. 105degrees is scheduled to be open in mid September with the grand opening celebration in early October. Be sure to let me know when you plan to visit 105degrees so I can tell Chef Geoff you're coming!!

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