Food briefs: Beer Summit, chocolate tasting and more

Outside Hillbilly PoBoy's (Gazette file)

Outside Hillbilly PoBoy’s (Gazette file)

Cajun closure

After three years in business, Hillbilly’s has closed.

Hillbilly Po-Boys and Oysters, 1 NW Ninth St., was opened in 2013 by Shannon Roper and Bryan Neel — the S and B of the popular S&B’s Burger Joint chain. The eatery was rebranded as simply Hillbilly’s in 2015 to focus less on its Cajun menu and more on its unique comfort food and relaxed atmosphere.

Roper said business was fine, but landlord Steve Mason made him an offer to cut short the lease that was too good to pass up.

Closing wasn’t an easy decision, he said, but it was made easier because he found all Hillbilly’s employees jobs within the company, which includes multiple metro S&B’s locations and Sunnyside Diner, 916 NW Sixth St.

Though Hillbilly’s closed Dec. 29, it’s not the end of the restaurant’s menu, Roper said. The bread pudding and brunch menu’s bread pudding french toast will be served at Sunnyside Diner, and other recipes will be used in S&B’s specials.

“We loved the concept and we had a ton of fun with it, but it takes a lot of energy to run a restaurant,” Roper said. “We have enough else to focus on.”

Chocolate tasting

Whether you’re buying chocolates for a Valentine’s Day gift or just because it’s delicious, Cocoaphilia’s chocolate tasting event is a must.

Owner Alicia Helsley prepares six truffles 6-8 p.m. Saturday at the shop, 1878 Church Ave., in Harrah, and Luther’s Wildhorse Canyon Farms will be on-site doing wine tastings.

“I’ll probably do my most popular truffles; salted caramel, raspberry beret, dark chocolate orange and some other ones,” Helsley said.

She said she hopes the tasting helps more chocolate lovers find her shop. She first rose to prominence in 2009 when her confections were featured in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine.

Helsley’s creations are made in small batches.

“So customers can be sure it hasn’t been sitting around in a package for weeks, waiting for people to buy it,” she said.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at http://www.cocoaphiliaokc.com. Call 405-323-1787 for more information.

Beer Summit

Beer nerds and policy wonks alike will attend the 2nd Annual Oklahoma Craft Beer Summit 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday in the Plaza District.

The summit is Craft Brewers Association of Oklahoma Inc.’s (CBAO) main annual fundraiser. The nonprofit partnered with Oak & Ore, 1732 NW 16th St., to create the event.

CBAO’s mission is to educate, promote and raise awareness of craft brewing industry issues among consumers, regulators and legislators across the state.

After a big year for craft brewers in the state, including passage of laws allowing taprooms to sell full-strength beer and cold, strong beer and wine to be sold in grocery stores in 2018, industry members will meet to discuss what comes next and how to continue growing Oklahoma’s craft beer scene.

The summit features 10 educational seminars, including how to start a brewery, beer tastings from 19 Oklahoma breweries and a keynote address by Bernardo Alatorre, Boulder, Colorado-based Avery Brewing Co.’s head production manager. Other speakers will be District 22 State Sen. Stephanie Bice and Krebs Brewing Co. president Zach Prichard.

The event concludes with the 2017 State of the Brewnion address at 3:45 p.m. Saturday at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, 1727 NW 16th St.

Tickets are $75 and are available at oklahomacraftbeersummit.com. They include tastings, tours, specialty glassware and entry to all sessions.

Greg is the Gazette's full-time food writer and reviewer. He goes to restaurants a lot. He orders three entrees and gets funny looks and then takes out his camera and people are like, "Ugh. This guy." Greg is writing this right now and it feels weird to keep referring to myself in the third person. On Twitter and Instagram: @Elwelleats

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