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Collective Countdown Part 1: Beth Lyon's The Black Cat


I Ate Oklahoma is brought to you in part by:

Welcome to #CollectiveCountdown. We’ve partnered with the developers of The Collective Kitchens + Cocktails to bring you interviews and info about the 11 chefs and concepts chosen for the soon-to-open Midtown food hall. Major thanks to Okie Pokie and Chick-n-Beer for sponsoring these posts.

When The Collective Kitchens + Cocktails began looking for chefs and concepts to fill the new food hall (coming soon to NW 10th Street and Harvey Avenue in Midtown), they turned to Chef Beth Ann Lyon...to judge.

It’s little wonder they wanted her expertise. Lyon’s been a part of some of Oklahoma City’s most-loved restaurants, graduating from The Coach House apprenticeship program before working at Kitchen No. 324, RePublic Gastropub, The Mule, Anchor Down, Provision Kitchen and, most recently, The Black Cat food truck.

A sampling of Chef Lyon's ayurvedic cooking from her Chakra Dinner

Beth’s reaction?

“F--- that! I want to be up in it!”

The concept, the people, the attitude — it was everything she wanted to be a part of and the perfect stage for a revamped and refocused The Black Cat.

“I love what they’re doing. They’re helping people like me who don’t have the capital to start a brick-and-mortar,” she said. “They believe in the growth of restaurants in the city so much they’re giving you the tools you need to follow through with your dreams.”

And while she’s intent on making The Black Cat as successful as can be, she’s also approaching it from the role of a mentor.

“I’m in it to help and give knowledge to anybody who’s in there,” she said.

The Food

“I have this vision of what The Black Cat is,” she said. “It’s the culmination of spiritual eating that can heal people through food.”

That doesn’t mean counting calories or following a diet — both things people hate — but giving every diner foods that nourish the body, the mind and the soul.

If all this sounds a little hippy-dippy woo to you, well, me too. But the great thing about Chef Lyon’s food is that you don’t actually have to believe in chakras, higher powers or anything to enjoy it. Whatever she cooks is going to taste wonderful. I honestly think that.

Beth's "Magic Tea"

“I know my market. I know they want chicken-fried steak. But I want to bridge the gap between that and living in consciousness,” she said. “I want people to know how to align with their bodies and understand what their bodies need to be the healthiest emotionally and physically.”

Lyon plans to serve foods based on ayurvedic medicine, an Indian holistic tradition that dates back thousands of years, to give people dishes they’ll love that also nourishes body and soul.

“I want to take the word ‘healthy’ out of it,” she said. “Nobody wants to be on a diet. This is mindful nourishment. Intuitive eating. Feeding people on this high vibrational level so they experience happiness without hurting their bodies.”

Lyon also knows that no food is a one-size-fits-all solution, nor are all palates the same, so she’s designing a menu that has something for the whole family. For meat eaters, that means her ridiculously delicious blackened meatloaf and chipotle chicken. For vegans, she’ll have kitchari stews, with a blend of lentils and grains, to help cleanse the body.

Grilled peach salad

She’s also leading the way on CBD-infused grab-n-go soups with plant medicines to combat colds and flus, rebalance chakras or fight inflammation. And you know her special Magic Tea blend will be a fixture.

Basically, whatever your lifestyle, your ailment, your philosophy or your hunger, Chef Lyon wants to feed you — mind, body and soul.

Join us again next week for another #CollectiveCountdown, brought to you by Okie Pokie and Chick-n-Beer. And keep an eye on thecollectiveokc.com for more info on the impending opening of this unique concept.

About the Author

Founder and Eater-in-Chief of I Ate Oklahoma, Greg Elwell has been reviewing restaurants and writing about Oklahoma’s food culture for more than a decade. Where a normal person orders one meal, this guy gets three. He is almost certainly going to die young and those who love him most are fairly ambivalent about it. You can email Greg at greg@iateoklahoma.com.