, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

May 11, 2014

Quapaw farm program supplies casino fare

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — When guests dine at the Red Oak Steakhouse in Quapaw, the tomatoes on the salad are grown across the street from the Downstream Casino Resort at one of the tribe’s four new greenhouses. Soon, the steaks will come from the tribe’s cattle herd and the salad dressing will be made from its beehives.

The national trend of a farm-to-table concept is taking hold at the restaurant thanks to the Quapaw Tribe Agriculture Program, a new venture to create jobs and offer healthy food to casino guests and tribal members.

“We’re just trying to diversify our economy of the tribe, and we want to be able to provide our own restaurants with beef that we control from birth to the plate and make sure it’s real good-quality stuff,” Quapaw Tribe Chairman John Berrey said.

The four greenhouses were built earlier this year to grow a variety of vegetables and herbs for the restaurant, Downstream Casino spokesman Sean Harrison said. The tribe added 140 head of cattle in April that will be weaned and fattened before slaughter, Berrey said. The tribe also has a herd of bison and plans to get about 40 more in October from Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

Four people have been hired to work at the greenhouses and additional workers will be hired to take care of the cattle and beehives, Harrison said.

Earl “Duke” Walter, the steakhouse’s manager, said the locally produced products help set the restaurant, which opened along with the casino in 2008, apart from others in the area. It also helps the chef create new menu items to draw in customers, he said.

The tomatoes have been used to make a tomato gin soup, Walter said, and honey from beehives the tribe will soon add could be used for a variety of purposes, including salad dressings and sauces.

Restaurants leave a carbon footprint, Walter said, so making it sustainable is important. He said he would eventually like to be able to produce 90 to 95 percent of the restaurant menu locally, including eggs, chicken and pork.

Text Only
Oklahoma News
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.