OKC Food Scene
Chef Kurt Fleischfresser
Kurt had a love for cooking and started in the kitchen at an early age at Sullivan’s on Reno. During that time, Kurt was honored to receive an apprenticeship with Bernard Cretier at Le Vichyssois where he spent two and a half years at this location just outside of Chicago. From there, Jean Banchet connected Kurt with the team at Vincent on Camelback in Scottsdale where he spent time before becoming a Saucier at Enjolie at The Mandalay 4 Seasons and later at The French Room at The Adolphus.
Kurt was recruited back to open Vincent’s on Camelback’s new restaurant and on to become the Chef at the Registry Resort and then the Chef de Cuisine of The Park Avenue Room inside the Skirvin Hotel.
In 1989 and 1991, Kurt was selected as one of twelve Chefs to represent the United States at the international competition – The Bocuse d’ Or.
Kurt spent time at The Coach House where he trained more than 45 Chefs through a European-style apprenticeship program of which many of these young talents have gone on to become Executive Chefs and even own their own restaurants. The Coach House was in partnership with Chris Lower and they also opened several other concepts in the Oklahoma City metro including The Metro, Portobello, The Iguana Lounge, Earl’s Rib Palaces, Ground Floor Cafés, Museum Café, Irma’s Burger Shacks and The Deep Fork Grill.
Kurt was also instrumental in helping to celebrate Oklahoma’s Centennial in 2007 at Disney World’s renowned Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. He did this through cooking demos and dinners highlighting Oklahoma products and cuisine. Later Kurt became the Director of Operations of Vast Restaurant in 2014 for Coury
Hospitality. Working alongside the Coury Hospitality team, Kurt helped elevate Vast to receive top honors from OpenTable and AAA and is currently the only AAA Four Diamond Restaurant in Oklahoma City.
In 2017 Kurt became partners with Carl Milam and opened several more concepts – Sushi Neko, Musashi’s, The Lobby Bar and Will Roger’s Theater. He also transformed The Coach House alongside his son and partner Kyle into what it is today – The Hutch.
A few other highlights of Kurt’s career that have taken him internationally:
Singapore at the Westin Stamford Hotel – Crafted menu featuring SUSTA
products at their restaurant on the 70th floor of the hotel
Germany – Highlighted Chef at events in Berlin, Kolin, Stuttgart, Munich, and Dusseldorf
Paris – Featured in exhibition café for a multi-day event
Hong Kong and Mainland China – Led culinary classes, food demos, videos and
press promotions focusing on Western-style food
The Hage, Netherlands – Led Chef demos at the U.S. Ambassador
Chile – Guest speaker at the Santiago Culinary School
The Andes – Men u take over at Termas de Cauquene
Dave Cathey has been Food Editor for The Oklahoman since 2008. Since that time he’s written the award-winning Food Dude column and blog, and hosted “Open Flame,” “Chefs Recipe Challenge” and the “Community Table” podcast for oklahoman.com.
Cathey has a Bachelor’s Degree from Oklahoma Christian University, a Masters from the University of Central Oklahoma and has worked at The Oklahoman since December of 1990. He has written two books on food: A Culinary History of Pittsburg County: Little Italy, Choctaw Beer and Lamb Fries (2012) and Classic Restaurants of Oklahoma City (2016).
Jabee is a rapper from Oklahoma City whose music, according to Chuck D. from Public Enemy, “has the potential to change the world.”
His new album is Black Future, released in August 2016 with a 4,000-seat sold out show at The Criterion in Oklahoma City. The album reached #25 on iTunes. “Monument,” a track from the album feat. Chuck D., premiered on Billboard, and another track, “By Any Means,” premiered on Mass Appeal.
Jabee has toured with Run the Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P) and Murs, and has been featured on Sway in the Morning, MTV, XXL, Complex, The Source and Vibe. He has also performed at Kevin Durant’s celebrity basketball game and Russell Westbrook’s celebrity comedy show.
He released his first full-length album, Blood is the New Black, in 2008, co-produced by DJ Vadim, and the following year linked with DJs Mick Boogie and Terry Urban to record a mixtape called Must Be Nice. In 2011, Jabee partnered with DJBooth.net and IMKING clothing to produce the Lucky Me EP, featuring Carlitta Durand.
In 2013, his second full-length album, Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, recorded under the guidance of hip-hop legend Murs debuted at #50 on iTunes. A track from the album, “Stephanie (Super Ugly),” was produced by El-P.
Jabee received the Oklahoma Gazette’s Woody Award for Best Hip Hop in 2007 and 2009, the Oklahoma Street Music Award for Album of the Year (Blood is the New Black) in 2009, and in 2010 was recognized by URB magazine as an Artist to Watch.
In 2014, Jabee collaborated with Oklahoma City-based marketing agency Funnel Design Group to create, “What If?” a television commercial promoting Science Museum Oklahoma. The video won an Emmy for commercial writing and performance.
Jabee had the opportunity to tour Europe in 2015 with Swedish hip hop group Looptroop Rockers.
Chair of the Day/ Moderator
Farooq Karim is a Vice President and serves as Design Director. He has a passion for working collaboratively with clients to develop creative solutions for their projects. As both an architect and interior designer, Farooq has the ability to work with you to develop holistic and integrated design solutions for your project. Farooq is very involved in the community and participates in organizations such as Leadership Oklahoma, Leadership Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Arts Council, Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and many others. Farooq has been with REES for more than 23 years. He also holds the distinction of being the most committed college football fan in the office, having not missed a home football game for his favorite team since 1975.