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Chow Chat

Carol Smaglinski February 23rd, 2011

Emilio Lorenzo Salinas, 43, is the owner of Pepe Delgado’s, 786 Asp in Norman. The restaurant has 80 seats inside and a patio. Before opening the business in 1992, Salinas was a tour guide in Mexico.

Family: “Wife, Sheeron, and children Jeremy, 22, and Bianca, 9.”

Famous person you sound like? “George Lopez.”

Special feature: “I am short, only 5 foot 1.”

Biggest vice: “Working — 12 hours a day, except Sunday, when we are closed.”

When hiring, I want: “People who are clean-cut, very motivated with good social skills.”

Most difficult thing you’ve ever done: “Nothing — I just do it. My work is more like entertainment to me and my customers. It’s fun.”

Day off stuff: “Make repairs in the restaurant.”

Who is Pepe Delgado’s named after? “No one; we made it up.”

Your own kitchen at Pepe Delgado’s: “(It) is not very big, but very efficient. I just need a good knife, saucepan, grill and a good cold box (refrigeration unit) for salads and meat. Plus onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, avocado, banana leaves and black beans.”

Listen to: “NPR.” 

Special talent? “Talking. I like communicating with others. And I am consulting with a new restaurant that is opening in Edmond.”

You die and come back as: “Myself. I don’t idolize anyone.”

Qualities admired in friends: “Good cooking skills, a good social life, and I like someone who is driven.”

Pet peeve: “People who use cell phones when dining with friends.”

If you had an hour to burn: “I’d watch a foreign film.”

People don’t know: “That I am a good swimmer. I grew up in south Acapulco and I hunt deer, wild boar and iguana.”

Brothers and sisters? “My father married three times, and it’s kind of hard to count them all. I don’t even know some of their names.”


STEPPING INTO A NEW ROLE
Andrew Black, executive chef and the mastermind behind the kitchen service at the Skirvin Hilton in downtown Oklahoma City, is leaving. He will be joining John Williams, former manager at the Skirvin, who recently stepped in as head of the Colcord Hotel, which is owned by Devon Energy.

Black, just in his early 30s, will be heading up the team at the new facility as vice president of culinary operations, which includes not just the Colcord restaurant (which is in the process of changing from La Baguette to a new venture), but also the food options at the Devon Energy tower. As the top toque in charge, diners in the proposed restaurants can expect an intriguing menu.

Black is also writing a book with Steve Lackmeyer that details his journey from life in his native Jamaica to Paris, and then to Oklahoma City.

Black, whose chef’s table dinners at the Skirvin were quite popular, said above all, he is happy to be able to stay in OKC.

AWARDS GIVEN BY ORA

More than 200 restaurant and hospitality professionals gathered recently at the Civic Center Music Hall for the Oklahoma Restaurant Association annual meeting, which included the Culinary Excellence Awards.

Awards included the Hall of Fame award for the member business in operation for 25 or more years. That went to: The Coach House; Clanton’s Cafe, Vinita; Jimmy’s Egg; Taco Mayo Franchise Systems.

The Hall of Fame award for an individual with 50 or more years in foodservice included: Leon Sherrer of Sherrer’s Restaurant, Durant; Don Moore of Don’s Alley Restaurant, Del City; Wayne Curtis, Oklahoma City. The ORA Membership Recruiter of the Year was Jennifer Gilchrest of Heartland Payment Systems.

The ORA also recognized six Hot New Concept awards, which were presented to member nominees who developed and implemented a successful new concept during 2010. Those awards were given to: Kamp’s 1910 Cafe; Cosmo Cafe, Tulsa; Republic Gastropub; Upper Crust; The Cow Calf-Hay, Edmond; and Go West Restaurant & Saloon, Tulsa.

CLOSING

Maker’s Cigar & Piano Lounge, 25 S. Oklahoma in Bricktown, has closed. It was known as the “Quiet Place in Bricktown.” Now it’s going to be really quiet, but just until someone else comes in and takes over the site. —Carol Smaglinski

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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