Award-winning hospitality group’s seventh unique concept translates building’s scale into flavorful menu
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (May 24, 2016) – 21c Museum Hotels, the award-winning boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and restaurant group, has opened its seventh restaurant Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge. Led by executive chef and 21c veteran Jason Campbell, Mary Eddy’s showcases Campbell’s bold and eclectic take on New American cuisine.
Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge is housed within 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City, a historic rehabilitation project that transformed the Oklahoma City Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant into a 135-room boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and chef-driven restaurant, designed by New York-based Deborah Berke Partners. The hotel is set to open on June 7.
Executive chef Jason Campbell’s point of view has been shaped by a variety of influences. Campbell trained at Le Cordon Bleu, then worked his way through several Orlando restaurants before moving on to Cask + Larder and The Ravenous Pig. Working under the direction of James Beard nominated chefs James and Julie Petrakis, Campbell developed an appreciation for local, seasonal produce and modern sensibility. In 2014, he moved to Cincinnati, where he served as chef de cuisine for another21c restaurant, Metropole, working with executive chef Jared Bennett to create boundary-pushing, seasonally driven dishes utilizing the restaurant’s wood-burning hearth.
“I’m so inspired by this building – its history and scale – and I’m excited to translate that to the plate,” said Campbell. “As chefs, using local and sustainable foods is our responsibility. Our focus is on knowing our farmers, butchers and other purveyors. It’s that connection to the ingredients that translates to an exceptional meal for our guests.”
Chef Campbell’s offerings are decidedly New American, combining unexpected flavors and influences from both his past and present. Guests can start with For the Table starters like Campbell’s new school take on an old school favorite, Roasted Shallot Dip, served with crispy house made salt and vinegar chips. Campbell’s knack for bold flavors show up in Mains like the savory rotisserie-roasted Porchetta, brightened with stone fruit and fennel salad, ramp soubise and cracklings; and the Red Drum, with charred corn, spicy swiss chard and house made cornbread. Summer Panzanellaincludes baby kale, a bevy of local vegetables and torn croutons, tossed lemon-thyme dressing and is heaped on a smear of whipped ricotta. Campbell puts the stone hearth pizza oven to work with crispy crusted pies like the earthy Shrooms, with roasted oyster mushrooms and asparagus, topped with creminis, ricotta and thyme. Campbell’s Florida roots pop up throughout the menu, even through dessert, with the cool, creamy Key Lime Semifredo, with graham cracker crust and almonds.
“Jason Campbell is endlessly curious about food,” said Sarah Robbins, Chief Hospitality Officer at 21c Museum Hotels. “He has a knack for creating big flavor, without sacrificing balance, technique and impeccable execution.”
21c is defined by the element of discovery and that carries through to the beverage program at Mary Eddy’s. The cocktail menu symbolizes the frontier spirit of self-reliance with approachable components and an emphasis on local, regional and American craft spirits. The Shift Change is a bright and crisp, seasonal take on the traditional Cosmopolitan. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, St. Germaine elderflower liqueur and vodka, make for a balanced, floral and refreshing cocktail. The Woozy Manhattan, named after 21c Oklahoma City art installation Woozy Blossom, is a lighter take on its namesake cocktail. Rye whiskey and sweet vermouth are touched off with the pleasant anise of Peychaud’s bitters, making it as familiar as it is intriguing.
A generous wine list focuses on North and South American wines, highlighting a comfortable mix of familiar styles and labels, complemented by more unexpected options from up and coming producers, regions and varietals. Tapping into a bevy of local options, the beer list covers a broad range of styles.
Mary Eddy’s dedicated entrance on Main Street welcomes guests into the building’s original Model T showroom space, which has been repurposed as Mary Eddy’s bar and lounge. Guests are greeted by the assembly-line inspired River of Time, a site specific commissioned artwork by New York-based artist James Clar featuring semi-transparent acrylic panels that move along conveyor belt paths like an animated river, flowing up and over a large clock that displays the current time. Mixing digital technology and mechanical components, it animates the movement of time and the transformation of the built and natural world.
Albert Kahn’s original design, typical of assembly plant typography, has been reimagined by Deborah Berke Partners. Historic elements such as the terrazzo flooring in the original showroom have been preserved. Finishes and custom furnishings are inspired by the assembly line and technology of the automotive industry reflecting a contemporary interpretation of the building’s industrial heritage. Traces of the building’s industrial past are reflected in the material palette which includes highly finished metals, complemented by reclaimed pine and a mix of textured and plush textiles.
In the dining room, the design takes full advantage of the scale and openness of the original building, resulting in a light-filled and sculpturally expressive space. A large dining bar offers an up close view of the Mary Eddy’s rotisserie and stone hearth pizza oven, which gives way to a wide-open kitchen; a large communal table provides views into glass-front refrigerators, where the fresh local produce, meats and pantry staples are on display. Windows in the private dining room give guests a scene of their own – enjoying views of both chefs working in the pastry kitchen and of guests’ responses to Clar’s River of Time. The outdoor dining area, where once stood the original train shed that received deliveries of Model T car kits, will welcome revelers with a dedicated full service bar, two ping pong tables, communal seating options in the form of picnic tables, and more intimate café tables when it opens early this summer.
Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge provides catering and in-room dining for guests of 21c Oklahoma City, bringing the same genuine hospitality offered at all 21c Museum Hotels and Restaurants. The restaurant and lounge opens daily at 5 p.m. Extended hours, breakfast, brunch and lunch will start in the coming weeks.
About River of Time
James Clar (American), River of Time, 2016.
Mixed media, including conveyor belts, motors, acrylic panels, LEDs.
Inspired by the history of assembly-line production, River of Time uses conveyor belts whose top surfaces are replaced with semi-transparent colored sheets of acrylic to create moving panels that flow along the conveyor paths like an animated river. The ‘river’ flows up and over the center of the installation like a waterfall. Behind the waterfall is a large clock that shows the current time through LED lights that shine through the panels of acrylic as they pass in front.
The conveyor belts provide a material link to the building’s history as an assembly plant, while creating a dynamic visual installation that displays the current time. The installation mixes digital technology and mechanical components to create a dynamic sculpture of a flowing river, animating the movement of time and the transformation of the built and natural world, throughout the past, present, and future.
New York-based artist James Clar uses technology as a medium to critique the dis-associative effects of technology itself. In today’s media-saturated and technologically integrated world, the separation between real and computer-generated is increasingly blurred. His work uses controlled, artificial light as a sculptural medium with a computer-minimalist aesthetic. However, his subject matter offsets these data-driven techniques by engaging with natural phenomena, human emotions, or current socio-political conditions.
About 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City
21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City is a combination boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and chef-driven restaurant. Building on its mission of engaging the public with contemporary art and supporting the revitalization of American downtowns, 21c rehabilitated the historic Ford Motor Company Manufacturing Building on the western edge of Oklahoma City’s Film Row. The 135-room property features 14,000 square feet of exhibition, meeting and event space and presents rotating curated exhibitions, interactive site-specific art installations and a full roster of cultural programming. Exhibition space is open to the public free of charge. The property features a unique round Main Gallery, a spa, and a gracious, 3,000-square-foot suite, which occupies the original penthouse, featuring a rooftop terrace, two bedrooms, living and dining rooms. 21cOklahoma City is home to Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge, led by chef Jason Campbell, with a restaurant and bar menu focused on bold and flavorful dishes and drinks.
Holly Weyler McKnight
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