If you’ve heard of et al., you’re probably a foodie.
This culinary collaboration, featuring specialty food concept pop-ups at Foolish Things Coffee Co., is for people who care about what they eat and who cooks it.
It’s not a place where a lot of people come; most people are familiar with the innovations happening at et al. through social media or word of mouth. It’s a manifestation if you know, you know of the Tulsa food scene.
But if you don’t know, no worries. We’ll give you all the details so you can have fun.
For starters, et al. is a collection of six dining concepts, plus catering, each led by a different chef. Taqueria et al. is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Dumpling Night is 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesdays. Japanese breakfast is at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays. Butter Bar is monthly. Bischix is four times a year. And the et al. the dinner series – most recently a Peruvian concept called En La Masa – is seasonal.
In practical terms, this means that the next free Tuesday night you have, you have to experience the incredible tacos, made with hand-pressed field corn tortillas, at Taqueria et al. And the next free Wednesday night you have, you should savor the handmade dumplings and Japanese fried chicken at Dumpling Night. Other concepts require a reservation, so check online for reservation information. Butter Bar et al.’s dessert tasting menu concept, for example, is selling out quickly.
Pan-fried pork nira meatballs with gyoza sauce
Marco Herrera and Colin Sato are the masterminds behind et al. It was their passion to provide genuine, authentic food while paving the way for a fair food industry that started the concept. And their vision sold the idea to other chefs and creators in Tulsa.
Herrera and Sato are both Teach for America alumni. Herrera was an elementary school teacher and administrator, which plays a role in both how he manages et al. and also his vision of collaborative work. Equal to his passion for education was his love of cooking.
Sato is known for cooking at high-end, state-of-the-art restaurants, including Nonesuch in Oklahoma City and Oren in Tulsa. He and Herrera also worked together in the kitchen of downtown’s Vintage Wine Bar.
It was at the start of the pandemic when Herrera and Sato launched “Food for the Screwed” to help those in the restaurant industry struggling to cope. Industry workers, whether chefs, bartenders, dishwashers or waiters, paid what they could for good food prepared by Herrera, Sato and others.
This idea of building a community is part of what inspired et al., where everyone from chefs to dishwashers gets paid the same. Herrera says that the values of Herrera et al. include the idea that “there are no differences in the distribution of profits within the team, regardless of experience. We believe that all work is valuable.
Some of the people behind et al. concept are Sam Luna, Josh Knorr, Chloe Butler, Aaron Loud, Parker Owen and Peter Greve.
But you don’t have to share a profit distribution interest to buy what people are really there for – and that’s food.
The quality of each dish is of utmost importance to Herrera and Sato. Take Taqueria et al., where tortillas can simply be ordered from a food distributor, but are instead made in what is an 20-hour labor of love.
The cooking, soaking and grinding process of Mexico’s heirloom field corn is intense. But the result is the best tortilla of your life. Herrera manufactures three types: yellow, blue and red. Each comes from a different region of Mexico. These aromatic tortillas are the perfect base for all the fillings created by Herrera. But knowing the creative process makes them even better. (All tacos and tostadas are $4.50.)
Dumpling Night’s dumplings are the best you’ll find in town. Each dumpling is folded by hand with approximately 10 pleats. Toppings include pork and chives, using local pork from Prairie Creek Farms, or mushrooms and bamboo. They are even better topped with Szechuan pepper oil. (Six for $9; 10 for $14; combination available.)
But beyond the dumplings, Wednesday night is also the time to come for the Japanese fried chicken ($9), fries with tonkatsu sauce (condiment commonly served with fried dishes in Japan, similar to Worcestershire sauce) and umami mayo ($7), and ume-oroshi somen, a cold noodle dish with nori, daikon radish and umeboshi (marinated plum condiment) ($8).
One of the most unique dining experiences in Tulsa right now is et al.’s Japanese breakfast, offered on Sundays.
“It’s really fun. Eight dishes of Japanese food that you won’t find around Tulsa,” says Herrera.
The menu changes often but includes foods inspired by Chef Sato’s favorite childhood breakfast, including miso soup, steamed rice, semi-dried salmon, hot spring eggs in dashi, pickles homemade, green tea and more. With a reservation, the cost is $35 per person.
“Overall, everything is rigorous, really cohesive and composed,” says Herrera.
He says diners told him to eat at et al. it feels like eating at someone’s house, both for the warmth and the feeling that not everyone knows about this hidden gem yet.
The best way to keep up with everything happening at et al. is via social media or by signing up for text messages to receive news alerts and to find out when reservations are open for special dinners.
The team members of et al. include Caitlin Woods, Sam Luna, Parker Owen, Garett Lewis, Josh Knorr, Peter Greve, Chloe Butler, Julia Johnson, Alex Koch and Aaron Loud.