Matthew Kenney OKC and His Living Cuisine (Formerly 105 Degrees)
5820 N. Classen Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
A month or so ago, I was invited to go to the spring tasting menu of 105 Degrees. Rather, skeptical but always intrigued about healthy food, I played along. The place was packed and I received less then half of the offerings of the promised menu that night, but the two bites I did receive of the cuisine left me yearning for more.
It’s been a busy week at the Wonderful household. Both my girls moved back home from college for the summer. I may need to rent storage space in my garage for the summer for dorm decor to be stored in. My daughter Tori graduated from college (magna cum laude!YAY!), my folks arrived from Michigan, and we were busy bustling around town all week. It was nice to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere of the cafe, which is very serene, and blissfully peaceful.
Need to unwind after a crazy day? The spa-like table settings help…and are quite the contrast from their high-tech neighbor Rebublic Gastropub across the parking lot.
Feel like dining al fresco in the open air? Matthew Kenney has an equally serene patio outside to suit your needs.
Matthew Kenney OKC is a raw food eatery. As of May 15th, the name has changed (from 105 Degrees), after the culinary master of this cuisine in Oklahoma City who also boasts several raw food cookbooks and was named as one of Forbes best new restaurants in May of 2011. Matthew was an award winning chef in New York City of many restaurants before giving in to his guilt over cooking butter laden foods in his restaurants there. After a string of restaurant closings in New York City, he brought 105 Degrees in 2009 to Oklahoma City along with a culinary academy for students to learn his art. He’s been here ever since.
You may be wondering, what is raw food? Raw food is the process of changing your diet to foods that are mostly raw, or those that are cooked below 105 degrees. Cooking above that temperature begins to deplete food of nature’s nutrients and enzymes and Matthew Kenney OKC through science, dehydration and some clever recipes on the part of the chef manage to make some delicious offerings that make you feel like you’re not missing out on the temperature or the meat in your meal. I should mention that you won’t find meat on the menu at Matthew Kenney as the vegan menu (no animal proteins or products) also uses nuts, soy and other sources for protein in their recipes.
In January, 2011, 105 Degrees released press stating that they would expand their cooking to heated cooking using a stove and oven and perhaps this is what is behind the new name change. The culinary academy will also be named for its mentor, who, by the way, is the walking billboard for his trade. The man is mid-40’s and looks like he’s 12 or tops – 18.
Let’s head into the restaurant shall we?
As you enter the restaurant you will pass by a large oval juice and wine bar.
Complete with high-powered juicers and Vitamix machines, you can get fresh organic squeezed juices or blended smoothies, wine (even organic wine), or mixed drinks like an organic Mimosa. We saw folks filtering in and out of the seats at the bar over the course of our dinner.
So, on to the food! I was dining tonight with my younger daughter, who loves vegetables and trying just about anything that her Mom will.
We decided to order something from the “Firsts” on the menu, or the appetizers. We chose the Guac and Chips ($7.00).
Avocado chunks mixed withfresh tomatoes and served a top a smear of mole were finished off with a side of cacao corn chips that were so thin and shatteringly crisp it was best to dollop a little of the guac on them instead of dipping them for fear of them cracking. There was something a little sweet in one of the sauces, that I didn’t care for, but the perfect freshness of the avocado and other ingredients were delicious.
Everyone should know by know how obsessed I am with Thai food, so it should come as no surprise that I ordered the Green Curry Noodles ($14.00). (Please note, that while the food may seem expensive, the process of creating this food along with using the finest organic ingredients does justify the cost).
While these noodles may look similar to Asian “glass noodles”, they were made from kelp and topped with a delicious green curry sauce and surrounded by vegetables from Peach Crest farm, and chunks of almonds. The texture of the noodles was a bit unfamiliar but once I got over that, I completely enjoyed this.
Kayla, who might have an even bigger mushroom fettish than I, ordered the Avocado Ranch Portabella Slider.
This was an open-faced slider with the bottom “bun” made of cashew cheese, topped with a portabella mushroom, some delicious ranch dressing and sprouts and avocados. Alongside of this slider were some additionaltoppings of tomatoes, pickles and lettuce. You know I had to sneak a bite, and it was yummy. You just can’t go wrong with mushrooms and avocado.
Now for the dessert.
We ordered the Gianduja, or, as I see on the new menu has been renamed to Chocolate Hazelnut Tasting.
Folks, I really don’t know how to explain this, but we got this healthy chocolate/hazelnut dish and it was not lacking in flavor in the least.
Starting at the top left of the picture was a chocolate hazelnut layer cake that was rich and creamy. To the right of it – the budino (or chocolate pudding). This pudding had a chocolate intensity that was amazing. In the center of the plate was a hazelnut butternut ice cream.. The bottom right was a semi-fredo that was reminescent of sneaking a bite raw creamy brownie dough out of a mixing bowl and the bottom left was a hard shell of chocolate that upon cracking it open oozed out halzelnut creme.
I’m serious, the two of us couldn’t finish it for the richness of the chocolate (especially the pudding, oh MY!)
This ice cream, is made with soaked nuts and I believe, aguave nectar or something but I was so pleased by it, I would eat this anytime.
My daughter and I finally pushed the plate away unable to handle anymore chocolate. That’s how rich it was.
I know I made the comment that if I could dine here each day, I would be a whole new healthy me. You walk away from this experience feeling filled up but not full, like you just replenished your body, soul and mind with goodness and nutrition.
And I for one, did not feel lacking in anything.
If you’re a strapping big guy who has to have meat at a meal, this may not be the place for you. I know for sure two of my grown kids would rather chew their arm off than go here with me. But I am interested in feeding my body good stuff and what I walked away with is a desire to incorporate more raw food into my diet, or at least make a percentage of my food intake raw.
Because like Matthew Kenney, I desire to be healthy, fit and feel better.
It just makes sense to live a little bit “raw”.