Tulsa

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Hot Stuff

Rt. 66 is on fire, thanks in part to a local Incubator

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A "hot" new company is growing in Tulsa. Born at the Kitchen 66 incubator, Baby D's Bee Sting is the spicy new venture of Dillon "Baby D" and Ashley Hargrave. I have known the Hargraves for many years, and long known him to be involved non-profit organizations, while Ashley was usually the one posting culinary creations on social media. I was delighted when I heard that they had decided to combine their passions to create a project that would benefit both lovers of all things spicy, and eventually the community. Dillon, who serves as Literacy Director for Neighbors Along the Line, hopes to create a company large enough to employ former students who have completed the GED program that he oversees.

The Hargraves' new line of hot sauces has been spreading quickly throughout the community. Not only is the popularity growing through their list retail outlets, but through word-of-mouth by enthusiasts who regularly share their favorite uses for the 5 varieties of sauce, which is delivered via a pipette dropper. The recipe is delightfully simple, using pepper mash, cider vinegar, onions, garlic, and salt. There's even a handy little "Bee-sting Rating" on the bottle, which lets you know how hot they are, based on an 8-bee rating scale.

Currently, the 5-sauce lineup includes:

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Original - This is the HOT one. A blend of red peppers, combined with the salt, vegetables, and cider vinegar come together to pack a punch. Fortunately, the sauce is dispensed via a dropper, so you can control just how much you get and where it goes. According to the Bee-sting scale, this comes in at 7 bees, so I'll be curious to see what Baby D comes up with that will reach the top of the scale.

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Jalahellño - For those who love the flavor of chile peppers, but don't love the burn as much, this one's for you. Still relying on the 5 basic ingredients in the original, a milder green pepper blend replaces the hotter red chiles to offer a sauce any palate can handle. Jalahellño rates 2 of 8 on the Sting scale.

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Yellow Jacket - I'm not going to lie, this is where I start playing favorites. I love all of the Baby D's sauces, but if I was moving to a desert island, this is the one I'd be packing. While this pretty yellow sauce does have some heat to it, it's really all about balance, which lets the flavor of the chiles shine. I put this on everything. Really, sometimes even in drinks. Yellow Jacket rates at 4 of 8 bee stings.

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Okie Sunset - Love the flavor of the Yellow Jacket, but want just a bit more fire? This one is for you. A combination of the peppers in the Original and the Yellow Jacket, this is a great compromise between heat and flavor. I'm all about this one on eggs. Okie Sunset sits right in between its two contributing sauces, at 5 of 8 bees.

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Sweet Stang - The newest in the line, Sweet Stang is basically a hot honey, with just a little dash of cider vinegar. It is a blend of local honey, infused with Jalapeño and Habanero peppers, and finished with ground Carolina Reaper chiles. To me, this screams "COCKTAIL!" Of course, it also says things like "blue cheese" and "ice cream" as well. Sweet Stang only sports one bee on the heat label, but the flavor is all there.


All 5 of the Baby D's products can be found on their website, and are also available in Tulsa at Barn 66, Bodean Seafood Market, Chimera CafeKitchen 66 and Mr. Nice guys. In OKC, I carry them at my shop inside The Rustic Pearl Galleria at 3031 NW 23rd St.


Click here for Wenchy recipes using the Baby D's Bee Sting Products!

Dining Out

The Reserve at Grogg's Green Barn: A Preview

Delicious things are blooming

Sometimes being a Cheese Wench has its perks. Getting to check out new restaurants before they open is one of them. On a lovely spring evening, a group of food junkies and media types gathered to get a sneak peek at the new garden-to-table dining room at Grogg's Green Barn. Called "The Reserve," it isn't a typical "restaurant," but the pre-ticketed series of dinners that I wrote about last week.

As I predicted, chef Matt Owen's first seasonal menu did not disappoint. The Reserve opens to the public for its first dinner event on Friday, April 7th.

Grogg's Green Barn, located at  10105 E 61st , Tulsa, OK 74133

Grogg's Green Barn, located at 10105 E 61st , Tulsa, OK 74133

We took a pre-dinner garden tour, and enjoyed a beer from Cascade Brewing Barrel House in the Grogg's Green Barn garden. Noyeaux is a Northwest-style sour beer, aged with raspberries and apricot kernels.

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The evening's menu featured local honey and produce, as well as chicken from 413 Farm, and local beer from Prairie Ales.
 

Spring lettuces and herbs from the Grogg's garden, with walnut oil, elderflower vinegar, garden blossoms, radishes, and seeds

Smoked cream of asparagus soup with tarragon, sorrel, and browned butter

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Herbed dumplings with a ragout of 413 Farm chicken leg, with wild onions and crispy chicken skin.

Lermon verbena cake with honeycomb candy and strawberry semifreddo. Just sweet enough for the end of the meal, but not too sweet for a girl who eats cheese for dessert!

 

This kitchen is a 2-man operation, and is open to the 40-seat dining room. Custom, locally made farmhouse tables allow diners to enjoy family-style seating.

This kitchen is a 2-man operation, and is open to the 40-seat dining room. Custom, locally made farmhouse tables allow diners to enjoy family-style seating.

Hungry yet?

Check out the schedule of upcoming dinners, and purchase your tickets before they sell out. I have a feeling they will.