New chef joins oui3
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Restaurant Critic
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 4:39 AM
California chef Joshua Roberts said he recently felt a need to spend some time with his father, a military veteran living near Mannford.
After a short time here, he also felt an itch to get back into a kitchen and submitted his resume "at a number of the better-known places."
It just so happened that Allison Goss and Ouida Merrifield, the lively granddaughter-grandmother duo at oui3, were looking for a chef at the same time.
"I don't know if I can say this without crying, but I was praying that God would show me a sign because we needed some help," Merrifield said. "Joshua showed up the next morning. He came at a totally good time."
Roberts said he was immediately attracted to the Brookside restaurant that opened last summer.
"I came in to oui3 and talked to Allison and Ouida, and we hit it off," Roberts said. "Their artistic approach to American cuisine is what I was trained in on the West Coast."
Among his stops in California were Contigo in San Francisco, where he worked under chef Brett Emerson; Quince, a high-end Italian restaurant where he worked with chef Michael Tusk, and at Casa Laguna Inn in Laguna Beach, where Roberts was executive chef.
Roberts said in the past three weeks he has changed "probably 65 percent" of the menu.
"I will put in two to three specials a week, and I probably will change up the dinner menu about every two weeks," he said. "We have a farm-to-table approach, so we will be looking for the freshest ingredients."
Among dishes Roberts has installed on the menu are polenta fritters, pan-roasted Alaskan halibut, pan-seared Atlantic salmon, grilled tenderloin, apple and endive salad, and fried green tomatoes with basil goat cheese, pickled onions and arugula.
Appetizers are $5 to $12, and entrees are $13 to $29 with half of them less than $20.
Roberts said he agreed to at least a nine-month stay at oui3.
"Eventually I probably will make my way to the East Coast and then back again," Roberts said. "I just turned 28 and have my Camaro and my night bag. We'll see where things lead."
Original Print Headline: Perfect timing
California native Joshua Roberts is the new executive chef at oui3. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World