OSU Institute of Technology will welcome Tulsa chef Shannon Smith to the campus for the first Cowboy Chef’s Table of the third season. During the lunch and learn event scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 1, Smith will be sharing a dish inspired from her travels to India.
Chef Smith will work directly with Culinary Arts students to prepare the dish. This gives the chefs an opportunity to teach and demonstrate different techniques from their experience.
After the instruction, guest chefs conduct a live cooking demonstration and present their culinary styles to the luncheon patrons.
“I've been teaching cooking for 19 years, and I absolutely love teaching people of all ages, but particularly college students,” said Chef Smith. “I was the guest chef at OSU Stillwater for their chef event last year, and the enthusiasm of the students was so inspiring. Getting to do an event with OSUIT students is a privilege for me to get to work with college students again.”
Cowboy Chef’s Table gives students the opportunity to work with local chefs and experience ingredients or techniques they may not be aware of or otherwise had a chance to work with during culinary school.
Chef Smith grew up on a small ranch in Oklahoma and now resides in Tulsa with her family. She is an avid traveler with the heart of a chef, exploring the world for the flavors and stories she can bring home to share with others. She has traveled to 45 countries where she often cooks in the kitchens of local chefs and home cooks, learning about indigenous ingredients and recipes.
“My experience teaching and cooking cuisines from around the world will hopefully encourage the OSUIT students to expand their knowledge of dishes that are made in other cultures,” she said. “I'll be teaching the students how to toast and blend spices for Indian food, as well as how to make curry and chutney I learned during my travels to India.”
She hopes this experience will help the students overcome any intimidations of cooking a new cuisine and be curious enough to try other cuisines they may know nothing about.
Chef Smith is involved in micro-finance programs around the world, where loans and savings programs help entrepreneurs in poverty. In Dominican Republic and Rwanda, she teaches cooking skills to women and men who are striving to improve their businesses and provide for their families. She shares many of her stories and recipes on her website beadsandbasil.com.
“I truly look forward to this opportunity to teach and interact with the students and make new friends in our great food community,” she said. “I've been hearing about the culinary program at OSUIT for years, and it keeps getting better and better. Many of my chef friends have gotten to work with the students, and they rave about the program there. I've met several of the students and instructors at events around Oklahoma, and their level of professionalism and enthusiasm is extremely impressive.”
The Cowboy Chef’s Table luncheon, in additional to being a great learning experience for the students, raises scholarship funds for Culinary Arts students. The series’ inaugural year raised close to $10,000 for the Cowboy Chef’s Table Scholarship Fund.
The luncheon begins at noon, and tickets are $20 per person. The luncheons will be held in the State Room on the OSUIT campus.
The series is sponsored by Ben E Keith, US Foods, Maple Leaf Farms and Certified Angus Beef.
For more on the Cowboy Chef’s Table luncheon series, or to make a reservation, go to osuit.edu/chefstable.