Lamb Producer-Top Chef Partner to Create Lamb Masterpiece

‘American Grill’ Lamb Extravaganza Dinner Silvertop Farm & Vineyards’ Mary Steichen and Ponca City Public Schools Director of Child Nutrition Jeff Denton have joined forces at their new T S Fork Restaurant, 100 West Grand, Tonkawa. “When the restaurant officially opens around the first part of September — hopefully the 6th and 7th, we will offer ‘Common Plate Cuisine for an Uncommon Experience,’” Jeff explains. “Common Plate means we serve our 5-course meals in group portions, which are placed on the table at a fixed price per person. We will offer an entire dining experience featuring a variety of meats from around our area, including beef, pork, lamb, poultry and dairy; as well as locally grown produce when possible.” To kick-start the restaurant, they are featuring the Silvertop Lamb Extravaganza with TS Fork Executive Chef Jeff Denton showcasing Silvertop lamb with a series of three gourmet dinners. Beginning in July, the first in the series American Grill Lamb Dinner, is featured in today’s column; with two more dinners: Greek/Italian Lamb Dinner, Sept. 5; and Latin Lamb Dinner, Oct. 6. As a special attraction, a different winery from around Oklahoma will be featured for each dining experience. In July, we were treated to the wines from Jenny Lewis’ winery, Indian Creek Village, located outside of Enid in Ringwood. If every winery chosen for each dinner is this good, I say Cheers! During our dining experience, Sam Peart was the featured entertainment, as he will continue to be, along with special appearances by Madi Denton and a few other local musical talents. All in all, Tom and I had a deliciously pleasant evening. The food was quite good (I’m a huge fan of lamb – has always been my birthday request), and Chef Jeff did it beautifully – tender and savory. The Silvertop Lamb Extravaganza dinner proceeds benefit the sheep programs through the Joe C. Steichen Memorial Scholarship Fund at Oklahoma State University and Northern Oklahoma College. The cost of each meal in the series is $60 per person all inclusive. Call Megan McMillen Cartlidge at 580-304-4599 or email or visit for more information and to RSVP. Grilled Lamb ChopsExecutive Chef Jeff DentonTS Fork Restaurant Tonkawa, OK When I asked Jeff how to grill tender, flavorful lamb chops, he explained “Grilling lamb chops is very simple. Overcooking the chops is usually the cause of the meat becoming tough. “For the ‘American Grill Lamb Dinner,’ I seasoned the lamb with a special seasoning I made just for lamb. It is called ‘Silvertop 10’ – it is 10 ingredients combined to bring out the flavor of the lamb. Some of the ingredients are rosemary, thyme, garlic, coarse salt, pepper and several other spices. The chops cook fairly fast. I do two minutes on each side with a medium flame, depending on the thickness of the chop. Medium rare is by far the best way to grill lamb.” Jeff says that since lamb contains little marbling, it is necessary to alter the cooking method. “When grilling, lamb is much better when cooked over hot coals — not kissed by the flame — wait until the flame burns out.”

Published in the Ponca City News on July 23, 2013


TS Fork Restaurant, Pioneer Tech
Are Partnering in Unique Program

Published in the Ponca City News, August 6, 2013

    TONKAWA — The new TS Fork Restaurant located in Tonkawa’s business incubator will partner with Pioneer Technology Center (PTC) to train new entrepreneurs in owning or managing their own restaurant. The collaborative partnership hopes to provide adult students with a balance of business and hospitality training so they can have a better understanding of what it’s like in the real world of restaurant ownership and management.

Students will have theory sessions once a week covering topics such as kitchen and dining room design, staffing and payroll, taxes, permits, codes and licenses, marketing, start-up budgets and more. On weekends, participants will work directly in the TS Fork Restaurant and role-play as general manager, kitchen manager, service manager and promotions manager.

Instructing and managing the TS Fork Restaurant is Chef Jeff Denton, who will also be the instructor of the collaborative course offered at PTC.

“I’m very excited about this partnership and look forward to training future restaurant owners and managers during the course of this class,” remarked Denton.

The TS Fork located in downtown Tonkawa is housed in the business incubator space provided by First National Bank of Tonkawa. The entire menu, features locally sourced, fresh ingredients and is crafted by Denton each evening. This one-of-a-kind dining experience will be available by reservation only on Friday and Saturday nights.

Visitors to the TS Fork may sit with other guests while enjoying the tasty cuisine.

The menu boasts original and local flavors; guests will have their food brought to the tables in serving dishes that will be passed around.

Although there will be common plate cuisine the experience will be uncommon for those that are dining.

Mike Boon, Executive Director of the Business and Industry Services, says, “This partnership with Chef Jeff and the TS Fork Restaurant is something special that CareerTech does not get to do every day.

I’m eager to see the possibilities that can occur from the partnership.”

Enrollment begins August 12th, space will be limited for students, so interested individuals should contact the Adult Training and Development office at Pioneer Tech, 580-718-4296 or email Founded in 1973, Pioneer Tech celebrates 40 years of assisting students and businesses in Kay County