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Food Briefs: Cally Johnson, The Watch-Out Forum and Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma gala

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Cally Johnson, general manager and executive chef, poses for a photo at J. Bruner's in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Cally Johnson, general manager and executive chef, poses for a photo at J. Bruner's in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

J(ohnson) Bruner’s

Cally Johnson, Big Truck Tacos co-founder and former Boulevard Steakhouse and Park House chef, takes on a new assignment as general manager and executive chef at J. Bruner’s at The Haunted House, 7107 Miramar Blvd.

A classic metro-area restaurant, The Haunted House was purchased at auction last year by Patrick Boylan, owner of J. Bruner’s Steakhouse in Osage Beach, Missouri, and event planning company PDC Productions in Norman.

The reopened venue was met with excitement, but also mixed reviews, which is where Johnson enters the picture. First, the chef and general manager is adjusting menu prices and firming up her kitchen team.

“I have a great crew in the kitchen,” she said.

They will continue serving the current menu until Johnson has perfected new dishes, she said. She’s also revamping the wine list and restaurant promotions.

“The grounds are looking beautiful, too,” she said. “I want to do croquet and lawn bowling when it gets cooler.”

Johnson said she is excited about the new job.

“I truly believe I have the staff to turn things around,” she said.

Alcohol forum

Those seeking more information on the ramifications of November’s State Question 792 can read Oklahoma Gazette’s story on page 15 and attend an Aug. 23 forum by nonprofit Oklahoma Watch.

The Watch-Out Forum: The Alcohol Question is a public question-and-answer event with State Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, who authored Senate Bill 383 and co-authored SQ 792, and Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma president Bryan Kerr to discuss proposed changes to the state’s alcohol sales and distribution laws. Oklahoma Watch executive editor David Fritze will moderate the discussion.

Bice said she looks forward to a spirited debate with Kerr and explaining the upcoming state question to voters.

The event is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma.

The forum is 6-7 p.m. Aug. 23 at Kamp’s 1910 Café, 10 NE 10th St. Pre-registration is recommended at eventbrite.com.

Scouting supper

Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma holds its third Juliette Low Leadership Society Celebrity Chef Dinner black-tie affair Saturday in Lawton.

Fund development manager Holly Johns Rowland said the event is a chance to honor Girl Scouts founder Juliette Low and those who give to the organization with a gala dinner.

“Our guest chef this year is a former Girl Scout and a former Gold Award recipient,” she said.

Susan Wolfla, executive chef at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, is the first female executive chef on the Las Vegas strip.

“She’s really paving the way for female chefs in Las Vegas,” Rowland said. “It’s a difficult industry to break out and stand out in for women.”

Wolfla designed a menu including watermelon and heirloom tomato salad, slow-braised short ribs with a Parmesan and roasted garlic polenta and an Irish butterscotch and Trefoil pie. She will deliver a message of female empowerment to the audience.

The dinner is 6-11 p.m. Saturday at Hilton Garden Inn & Lawton Convention Center, 135 NW Second St., in Lawton.

Tickets are $75. Those who join the Juliette Low Leadership Society for $200 receive a free ticket with the remaining $125 going to fund Girl Scout membership for someone in need.

Register at gswestok.org/jlls.

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