(Oklahoma City, Okla.; June 11, 2024) — James Beard Award-winning Chef Andrew Black announces Monday, June 24, as the opening date to his latest restaurant, Perle Mesta. The restaurant will be his first concept to open since winning a James Beard award as 2023’s Best Chef Southwest and will be located on the first floor of the historic Skirvin Hotel (One Park Avenue, Oklahoma City), in the same space where chef Black was invited over 15 years ago to open the hotel’s restaurant, Park Avenue Grill.

Following the success of his Oklahoma restaurants: Grey Sweater, Black Walnut, and Gilded Acorn, chef Black will continue to bring Oklahoma City his unique brand of innovative culinary dishes at Perle Mesta, the fourth concept to come from the growing hospitality group Culinary Edge, which he co founded. Perle Mesta will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner service and the cuisine will reflect Chef Black’s continued exploration of what he calls “possibility cuisine,” a concept he attributes to his style of cooking that explores and embraces the endless possibilities of ingredients, flavors, techniques, and cultural influences. In this context, possibility cuisine involves chefs pushing the boundaries of traditional cooking and experimenting with unconventional ingredients, fusion cuisine, molecular gastronomy, or avant-garde techniques. It may involve a sense of creativity, innovation, and openness to exploring new culinary horizons. For instance, okra is not a favorite food for chef Black, so to explore what is possible with the ingredient, he is creating a play on fish & chips where okra is brined, dried, seasoned and battered with a rice flour. It is then fried and tossed with parmesan and truffle oil to become the “chips.”The “fish'' is a candied lamb belly that is marinated, brined and done sous vide overnight before being seasoned and crisped creating the same balance of crispy, salty and a little sweet of the traditional fish & chips, but substituting ingredients for a delightful and surprising twist. Possibility cuisine also emphasizes the potential for food to inspire creativity, spark imagination, and bring people together, while allowing chefs to challenge themselves to create dishes that defy expectations and expand the realm of what is considered possible in the culinary world. Overall, while “possibility cuisine” is not a standard term, for Chef Black it represents a culinary philosophy focused on exploring the vast potential of food and cooking to surprise, delight, and inspire both chefs and diners alike.

The restaurant, named after Mrs. Perle Mesta, daughter of the hotel’s original owner William Skirvin and the American political hostess for whom the phrase “hostess with the mostess” was coined, will honor a beloved Skirvin tradition by offering a modern take on the French style high tea service as well as hosting some of the city’s most exquisite events, and overall will be serving guests an impeccable dining experience. The extensive beverage program will include the cocktail created for and made famous by Perle Mesta - the Black Russian.

The design, created by architect Hana Waugh and interior designer Kelsey Ziara of Robinson Park (RP Studio) in Oklahoma City, blends the known with the new, creating a comfortable and cozy atmosphere designed to complement chef’s cutting-edge creations. The dining room’s white and muted palette is an elegant setting that purposely draws attention to what’s on the plate. With the juxtaposition of the restaurant’s globally inspired design elements like chandeliers from Barcelona and sconces designed to look like Parisienne streetlights, guests will feel transported to a restaurant in Paris or London, but with the warmth and welcoming feel of Oklahoma City. Upon entering, diners will notice historical elements like the original tile flooring installed by the Skirvin in 1911 still intact and historical stained glass from a local church filling up the wall behind a stunningly designed bar. The dining room exudes soft and attractive elements including low seating throughout the room and low-hanging curtains to pull in the warmth and hospitality the Skirvin hotel is known for. For the walls, Chef Black commissioned local artist Julie Gudgel to create two large murals for the dining room incorporating some of his favorite herbs.

Perle Mesta will launch its Sunday’s Best brunch program upon opening featuring a full brunch menu and encouraging guests to come in their “Sunday’s best” attire - a nod to the Skirvin’s heyday of grand parties while looking and feeling their best. Brunch dishes like fried chicken & waffles will be on the menu, but not served the traditional way. Chef Black’s chicken & waffles at Perle Mesta will be created with his “possibility cuisine,” technique, as the fried chicken will include a hot, honey, peach drizzle with cornflakes over the fried chicken, and served over a crispy pancake, rather than a waffle.

Chef Andrew Black, winner of the 2023 James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest, and a 2022 James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Chef, is a chef, restaurateur, and entrepreneur in Oklahoma City. Arriving in OKC 17 years ago after being hired by the historical Skirvin Hotel as its executive chef, Chef Black settled in and has made his home in Oklahoma City as one of its leading small business owners and taste makers with three acclaimed restaurants in the growing hospitality group he co-founded, Culinary Edge Concepts. He has been a trailblazer his whole career, and today is a respected and accomplished restaurateur, philanthropist and community leader.

Reservations for Perle Mesta are available now and can be made here. For more information about Perle Mesta, please visit www.perlemesta.com.