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Design Appétit 2018


I Ate Oklahoma is brought to you in part by:

Food fundraisers are pretty cool. You get to eat and drink and help out a local organization. We can all get behind that.

But there’s something special about Design Appétit. I got to judge the event one year and it was beyond amazing. Rather than setting up booths to serve small bites to wandering herds of guests, Design Appétit’s chefs create a multi-course meal for 8-10 guests at specially designed tables.

Everybody likes to eat at a pretty table

As a concept, it’s dazzling. But as a fundraiser, it really hits home. Design Appétit brings in money for Focus on Home, a charitable organization that provides furniture and household goods to families coming out of homelessness.

This year’s food event is May 10 at The Criterion (500 E. Sheridan Ave.) and you should absolutely attend if you get the chance. Tickets are $125 and the experience is one-of-a-kind.

That said, the event that really matters is May 11. The Slumber Bash invites 50 children in need to enjoy milk and cookies, watch movies, play and see their new beds.

Yep. 50 kids are getting new beds.

Think about how excited you would be as an adult to get a new bed. Now imagine you’ve been homeless. Now imagine someone is giving you a bed that you’re going to sleep in every night.

Chills, guys. Non-ironic, tears-welling-in-my-eyes chills.

The list of chefs cooking at Design Appétit this year are next-level stupid. Vast is sending three chefs, including OKC’s current culinary heavyweight champ, Kurt Fleischfresser. Past judges’ choice winner Jonathan Krell from Patrono will be there. Top Chef alum Josh Valentine will be there. Mitchell Dunzy from Esca Vitae, Jonas Favela from MMR Prime Steakhouse, Patrick “Beave” Clark from The Red Cup, Jacque Babb Methvin of Scratch Kitchen in Norman, Ned Shadid of Ned’s Catering and Michael Paske from Cafe 7 will be there.

Freaking John Bennett is the honorary Chef de Cuisine. If you’ve enjoyed a meal in Oklahoma City in the last forever, you can thank John Bennett.

Guests eat a multi-course meal at an elegantly designed table

This is the third year for Design Appétit and I’m having trouble thinking of an annual event I’m more excited to see continue. Tickets are $125 each (and extremely limited), but for a $500 sponsorship you can get two tickets and you will personally be responsible for buying a bed for a kid in need. You even get to meet the kid the next night. That’s awesome and you know it’s awesome. 

Focus on Home founder Joli Sanders said it was important to bring the event full circle, so at the end of the night, bed sponsors get to make the beds for the kids to find the next night. That might sound like a chore at your house, but I can't imagine anything but joy at the thought of making a bed for one of these children.

More info is available here or call Nicole Thomas with Epic Events at (405) 706-7484 for tickets.

All proceeds from Design Appétit benefit Focus on Home, which works with partner agencies to identify families living in sub-standard environments or transitioning out of homelessness and helps them with furniture, furnishings, cookware and more based on their specific needs. Focus on Home also works with the community to collect and repurpose gently used furniture and housewares in the creation of the family’s home. The program goes far beyond filling furniture gaps, Focus on Home helps families create comfortable, dignified homes where they can live, love and grow strong, allowing parents to devote their time and resources into creating positive futures for their children. Visit FocusOnHome.org to learn more.

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.