Meet The Chefs

Justin Thompson

Justin Thompson

Proprietor of the Justin Thompson Restaurant Group

Chef Justin Thompson is the proprietor of the Justin Thompson Restaurant Group, co-owner of Farrell Family Bakery and author of “Trial & Error: Recipes and Lessons Learned by a Chef & Restaurateur.” Since Justin began his culinary career in 2002, he’s created an empire of restaurants under his name: Juniper, PRHYME and 624 Catering and Events. Throughout his career, Justin has been named best chef in Tulsa by notable local magazines, received numerous awards and recognition from the Chaine des Rotisseurs, and served as guest chef at the James Beard House in New York City. The first dish he ever cooked? Chicken marsala.

Chef Justin talks about how he came to own restaurants in downtown Tulsa.
Watch Justin make Ribeye Steak
Kurt Fleischfresser

Kurt Fleischfresser

Co-founder of the Western Concepts Restaurant Group

Kurt Fleischfresser, widely renowned chef and restaurateur, began his culinary career over 30 years ago, cooking at Oklahoma State University. He first trained under fine-dining French master Chef Bernard Cretier at Le Vichyssois in Chicago. Throughout his tenure, he’s helped transform the Oklahoma City food scene as the director of operations at Vast, owner of The Hutch and co-founder of the Western Concepts Restaurant Group. Kurt’s been twice invited to the James Beard House in New York City as part of the Great Regional Chefs Program and is a two-time finalist in the prestigious American Culinary Gold Cup Competition. In 2009, he was also awarded the Medaille de Merite by L’Academie de Gastronomie Brillat-Savarin for his contributions to culinary arts education. One of his most popular dishes is the rack of lamb.

Chef Kurt goes back to the beginning, when he first started running restaurants in Oklahoma City.
Watch Kurt make Pork Chops
Tiffany Tisdale-Braxton

Tiffany Tisdale-Braxton

Owner of Tisdale23 Catering and Event Planning

Chef Tiffany Tisdale-Braxton is a mother of three, wife and culinary influencer. As owner of Tisdale23 Catering and Event Planning, Tiffany has over nine years’ experience in the Oklahoma culinary scene. Her impressive resumé details high profile clientele and nationally recognized brands such as the Washington Football Team, AT&T, the National Basketball Association, Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Chef Tiffany is also the author of her newest e-book, “Work Mom's Guide to Surviving Weeknight Meals.” Her favorite types of food to cook also happen to be her favorite types to eat: Southern soul, Asian and Mediterranean.

Chef Tiffany shares her passion for cooking and how she got her culinary start.
Watch Tiffany make Shrimp and Grits
Melissa Aust

Melissa Aust

Former Executive Chef of Stella Modern Italian Cuisine

California native Melissa Aust is the former executive chef of Stella Modern Italian Cuisine. Her love for cooking began when she took over the family cooking duties as a teenager. Fast forward to 1990, when her culinary career took off. Graduating at the top of her class in culinary school, Melissa worked two seasons on Martha’s Vineyard. Shortly after, she took a detour to Oklahoma City to visit a friend and found her new home. During her time at Stella, Melissa’s drive and passion brought a modern leap into the world of Italian cuisine. Because everything at the restaurant is special, she ran "additions" instead of "specials," giving diners a variety of innovative dishes to experience, like a revamped favorite — chicken and corn risotto.

Chef Melissa reveals the inspiration behind the unique fare at Stella Modern Italian Cuisine.
Watch Melissa make Chicken and Waffles