A Taste Of Oklahoma: The Homemade Touch That Gives Gambill's Pastaria Something Extra

In this week's Taste of Oklahoma, News On 6s' Kristen Weaver into the kitchen to meet Hunter Gambill the man behind Gambill's Pastaria, Jewish Deli, distillery, and upcoming taco spots. He gives us a look at the magic behind all those flavors, and how he found himself in the restaurant business.

Wednesday, January 10th 2024, 4:52 pm

A Tulsa restaurant owner has turned years of cooking and traveling into several different restaurant concepts scattered across Green Country.

Hunter Gambill is the Gambill behind the pastaria, Jewish Deli, distillery, and incoming taco spots.

The pepperoni is sliced, romaine leaves chopped, and fresh pasta cut. These are the sounds of morning preparation at Gambill’s Pastaria, a mom-and-pop pasta shop at 21st and Harvard where nearly every single thing is made from scratch.

“One of the big differences with the Pastaria is we do only fresh pasta we made in-house," said Hunter Gambill. 

“Semolina, salt and water, that's the only ingredients.”

Pasta is the star, but their pizza oven and homemade dough make for a pretty popular pie.

"We use a really old deck oven," he said. "It's about 30 years old.”

Gambill’s has sauces made in-house, homemade dressings, a full Italian grocery, and an approachable, kid-friendly atmosphere.

“My first job was in an Italian restaurant when I was 14.”

Hunter Gambill studied hospitality and has traveled the world.

Now back in Oklahoma, he is taking over Tulsa with his several, and very different, restaurant concepts that somehow all work together.

“I said I wouldn't open a restaurant and then I did.”

He owns several now.

Right next door to the pastaria, he has plans to open a taco spot with homemade Mexican beer.

“Doing authentic al pastor and blue corn tortillas," Gambill said.

He’s also opening another taco bar and brewery at 7th and Utica with an outdoor music space this spring, and about six months ago he opened Gambill’s Jewish Deli at 11th and Lewis.

Head baker Jeff Kirkland uses the pastaria kitchen to bake for the deli.

 “I got into baking and fell into a good couple spots," Kirkland said.

Jeff is self-taught and has mastered the perfect New York bagel which gets a dip in boiling water.

 “Now we make a lot of bagels."

He’s also perfected the very popular black-and-white cookie.

“These are iconic New York cookies, there's a whole Seinfeld episode about them," Kirkland said. 

All these baked goods are on display at Gambill’s Jewish deli, where you can also get a fresh sandwich or a cup of Spanish coffee. roasted in-house.

Back at the Pastaria, general manager James Clifford is cooking up fettuccine Bolognese and pesto alfredo. The fresh pasta gets a two-and-a-half-minute dip to cook. 

As customers line up when the doors open, Hunter said he will continue to dream big to serve his community.

People who he says have offered nothing but continual support, and an appreciation for the heart and soul that is put into everything scratch-made.

“We're going to keep doing food and projects we’re excited to do and passionate about," Gambill said. 

We're looking for unique, hole-in-the-wall restaurants all over Green Country. 

If you know of a restaurant we should feature please send Kristen an email to kristen.weaver@griffin.news


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