Celebrity Chef Cooking At Tulsa Tough

Saturday, June 11th 2011, 10:20 pm
By: News On 6

Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- You could call it the Tour de Tulsa, but only one bicyclist can claim to be Tulsa Tough this weekend. The two-wheel trek through downtown is being called a success by some of the biggest names in cycling.

Tulsa's got cycling fever. And the only prescription? You guessed it! More cowbell.

"People that I don't even know, they're like, 'Oh, you can do it!'" said cyclist Jorge Gracia.

But someone else says in the sizzling heat. The only thing that keeps you fueled is carbs -- lots and lots and lots of them.

"This is our pasta we did today for everyone. its fresh orzo, fresh spinach and basil leaves," said Consulting Chef Biju Thomas.

Chef Biju Thomas calls the biggest names in cycling his clients.

"I've got a handful but there's a Mr. Lance Armstrong that people have heard of," he said.

This weekend, those Armstrong-approved recipes are served Tulsa Tough.

"There's really no mystery food or no trick food. A lot of people think, there's gotta be some weird food they need to be eating. It's just normal food - it's just a lot of it," Thomas said.

Thomas is used to professional riders chowing down on a pound of pasta three times a day! One thing Tulsa's got on France -- it's easier to find the best ingredients.

"The guys that are working those - it gets really hard to source the fresh stuff all the time. Whereas here it's really easy. Everywhere you go there are local markets and stores and stuff," Thomas said.

So how else does Tulsa Tough compare? Thomas noticed what these riders have known all along. Spectators are flocking to the Brady District and spending money along the way.

"I saw people in the streets and the restaurants," Gracia said. "I think it brings business to the city."

Tulsa Tough won't hit the brakes until Sunday so if you want to cheer on the riders, bring your cowbell.