Book Signing, Art Exhibit celebrating “Winston the Pony” book tonight at CALS Hillary Clinton Children’s Library

Image result for winston the pony goes to a partyThe CALS Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center is hosting an exhibit opening and book signing this evening from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

It features Nancy Pruitt and Morgan Herndon, Pruitt is the author of Winston the Pony Goes to a Party. Herndon illustrated the book.

As Pruitt writes, “Winston is a little rescue pony who came to live with us on a snowy January day. It did not take long for him to turn our farm upside down and find his way into our hearts. His big personality and barnyard antics have led to his first book, Winston the Pony Goes to a Party.”

Refreshments will be crafted by Leave It To Liz.

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Block, Beer & Bourbon 2019 – supporting KUAR and KLRE

Image may contain: textThe Friends of KLRE/KUAR are hosting Block, Beer & Bourbon, tonight (Saturday, January 12th), at the Albert Pike Masonic Center, 712 Scott Street in Little Rock.  The event starts at 7pm.

Guests will enjoy tastings of carefully selected beers and bourbons from O’Looney’s Wine and Liquor, cocktail buffet from the Pantry, and fabulous tunes from the Rodney Block Collective.

Tickets can be reserved here.  There is also a VIP ticket for exclusive tastes of rare bourbon and beer at the pre-party reception.

2nd Friday Art Night – Historic Arkansas Museum offers Dave Miller and Rocktown Revival

There may not be a Nog Off this month, but 2nd Friday Art Night at HAM still offers a lot of fun!

Historic Arkansas Museum is kicking off the first 2nd Friday Art Night of 2019 with Little Rock’s Dave Miller and Rocktown Revival!

Miller is a musical storyteller, evoking images of places and relationships in the Sotuh and who “entertains audiences with his ready wit and warm expression of a kind of Ozark-bred joy and wonder.”

The Water Buffalo and Buffalo Brewing Company will be serving up the brew for the evening.

Exhibits at the museum include:

  • Face to Face: Contemporary Portraits
  • More or Less: Liz Smith & Katherine Strause
  • History in Color: The Spectrum of Daily Life in Early America

2019 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Finalists announced

The 2019 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame finalists were announced today (January 10) at the Department of Arkansas Heritage headquarters.

This year, the Hall of Fame’s third, over 600 nominations were received in the five categories.  (The first year there were 300 nominations received and last year 450 nominations were submitted.)

As Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst noted, “The number of nominations confirms that people are indeed opinionated about their food.”  She continued, “Food is woven into our culture and our heritage.”

The 2019 Arkansas Food of the Year is Catfish. Not only is it a staple in many restaurants throughout the state, it is also a major contributor to the state’s economy.

The finalists in four of the five categories were announced. The fifth, the People’s Choice Award, goes to the entity that received the most nomination submittals. It will be announced, along with the winners in the other categories, at the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame ceremony on Monday, February 25 at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

The finalists in the other four categories are:

Food Hall of Fame
AQ Chicken House (Springdale)
4-Dice Restaurant (Fordyce)
Bruno’s Little Italy (Little Rock)
Burge’s Restaurant (Lewisville)
Craig Brothers Cafe aka Craig’s (De Valls Bluff)
Doe’s Eat Place (Little Rock)
Keeney’s Food Market (Malvern)
Kream Kastle (Blytheville)
The Ohio Club (Hot Springs)
Star of India (Little Rock)

Proprietor of the Year
Capi Peck, Little Rock (Trio’s)
Loretta Tacker, Marion (Tacker’s Shake Shack)
Peter Brave, Little Rock (Brave New Restaurant)
Sami Lal, Little Rock (Star of India)
Scott McGehee, Little Rock (Yellow Rocket Concepts restaurants)

Food Themed Event
Hope Watermelon Festival
International Greek Food Festival (Little Rock)
Our Lady of the Lake Annual Church Spaghetti Dinner (Lake Village)
Tontitown Grape Festival
World Championship Duck Gumbo Cook Off (Stuttgart)

Gone But Not Forgotten
Klappenbach Baker (Fordyce)
La Scala Italian Restaurant (Little Rock)
Mary Maestri’s Italiano Grillroom (Springdale)
The Shack Barbecue (Little Rock)
Uncle John’s (Crawfordsville)

The members of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Committee are:

  • Paul Austin
  • Swanee Bennett
  • Yvette Brady
  • Chip Culpepper
  • Montine McNulty
  • Dr. Cindy Grisham
  • Tim Horton
  • Rex Nelson
  • Tim Nutt
  • Dr Wendy Richter
  • Kat Robinson
  • Christina Shutt

42 bar and table, Clinton Museum Store remain open during government shutdown

While the government shutdown continues, two spaces inside the Clinton Presidential Center remain open.  Both 42 bar and table as well as the Clinton Museum Store are open.  They have “Shutdown Specials” for the duration of the shutdown.

42 bar and table is open for lunch from 11am to 2pm Mondays through Saturdays. It is open for dinner Thursdays through Saturdays from 5pm through 10pm.  Bar hours are Thursdays through Saturdays from 4:30pm to midnight.

The Clinton Museum Store is open 9am to 5pm Mondays through Saturdays and from 1pm to 5pm on Sundays.

This is also a good time to highlight recent staffing additions at 42 bar and table.

In November 42 bar and table, the full-service restaurant located inside the Clinton Presidential Center, announced new additions to its culinary team. André Poirot has assumed the role of executive chef over restaurant, banquet, and catering operations; Jeremy Pittman joins the team as a pastry chef; and Jason Morell will serve as the new chef de cuisine at 42 bar and table.

“We are thrilled to welcome these talented team members to the Clinton Presidential Center and look forward to working together to continue to provide our guests with excellent cuisine and spectacular service,” said Chef Michael Selig, director of Food, Beverage, and Events. “Our staff is already top shelf; these additions will further enhance the presidential experience that our guests have come to expect from us.”

Chef André Poirot was born and raised in France and received his culinary diploma in 1977. He then began his traditional European apprenticeships, serving as a commis at the Ets Blache restaurant in Remiremont, France, and in the kitchens of The Savoy on the Strand in London. In 1989, Poirot began a 14-year career at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans as gourmet chef at the celebrated Begue’s restaurant. In 2004, The Peabody Hotel Little Rock recruited him to serve as executive chef to supervise food and beverage operations at the hotel and at the Statehouse Convention Center. In 2013, when The Peabody Hotel rebranded to a Marriott property, Poirot was asked to join the food and beverage team at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Little Rock and then the Capital Hotel.

Poirot won the title of Arkansas Iron Chef at the 2006 and 2009 Arkansas Hospitality Association celebrity Iron Chef competitions; gold (2009), silver (2010), bronze (2011), and people’s choice award (2011) medals at the Culinary Classic competition; and was awarded first place at the Little Rock Regional Chamber’s Taste of the Rock four years in a row (2008-2010). He was the recipient of the Arkansas Hospitality Association’s Salut au Restaurateur award in 2011 and mentor of the year in 2012. The American Culinary Federation also recognized him as a leading advisor to young people starting in the culinary profession.

Jeremy Pittman joins the staff as a pastry chef. He was the co-owner and chef of Pizzeria in the Heights and previously owned Palette Catering and Gourmet To Go. Pittman is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Jason Morell is the new restaurant chef at 42 bar and table. He was the chef and owner of Starving Artists Café from 2006 to 2014 and was previously chef at Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Simply the Best Catering, and Philander Smith College. Morell graduated from the Florida Culinary Institute.

14th EVER Nog Off results. And the winners are….

Historic Arkansas Museum has announced the winners of last Friday’s 14th ever Nog Off!
Taster’s Choice Award
Eggnog Ice Cream by Loblolly Creamery
“BAE!”
“Love this play on the traditional nog. I think this may be my new favorite ice cream and as it melts it turns into nog and stays cold.”
“Wanted to eat my weight in it!”

People’s Choice Award
Pioneer’s “Nog on a Log” Eggnog by Arkansas Pioneer’s Association
“I love this, and I am now snockered.”
“So well-balanced; yummy!”
“Great mouthful, lovely alcoholy aftertaste.”

Not Your Great, Great, Great Grandfather’s Eggnog
Citrus Capital Eggnog by Matias de Matthaeis at the Capital Hotel
“Lemon meringue pie goodness.”
“Christmassy, very inventive.”
“Amazing presentation. It was like opening a present – first a raft of beautiful citrus custard and candied orange peel, and then the most other worldly beverage underneath.”

Congratulations to our winners! And thank you all so much for being such great partners in this much-beloved, community event! Here are some comments on the other nogs:

Nicholas Peay’s Eggnog (Rachel Worthen and Bill Worthen): “Bourbon cake batter.” “Good Scottish kick in the pants.” “This is like a nog cloud – reminds me of a sabayon – so light and fun to drink.”

Keg Nog (Stone’s Throw Brewing and The Pizzeria): “Yummo.” “Surprising.”” Fun and effervescent.”

Hollisopp & Chapple Nog (Allsopp and Chapple Restaurant and Bar): “Soooo drinkable.” “So friendly and delicious.” “Savory undertones – nice kick.” “This is one I could sip all night long!”

BootlEgg Nog (South on Main): “Whiskey was perfect.” “Love it. Love the people.” “Goldilocks – just right.”

“’Tis the Reason” Eggnog and Bread (Old Mill Bread and E.J.s Eats & Drinks): “Smooth.” “This is what the holidays are all about!”

Big Orange Eggnog (Big Orange: Mid-Town): “Great vanilla notes, cinnamon and smooth.” “Christmas in your mouth.” “Gingerbread cookie.” “This has notes of cotton candy!” “Enjoyed the tantalizing quality of the spiciness.”

Until next time. Happy Nogging!

Nexus Nooks opens inside CALS Main Library in Library Square

The Nexus Nook located on the 1st floor of the Main Library, 100 Rock Street in Library Square opens today.

It offers a menu of coffee, espresso drinks, and teas along with some bakery items. The location features a seating area with electrical outlets for charging mobile devices, digital signage, and displays of featured library materials selected by both Nexus and CALS staff.  Free wifi is available throughout the library.

Many libraries around the country now feature cafes and coffee shops. CALS wants to provide a “third place” for our patrons that encourages them to build social connections with friends and the community. Nexus Coffee shares a commitment to the library’s mission and vision to engage and empower the community.

The Nexus Nook menu will soon be available at www.cals.org.

The hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00-4:00 p.m.