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
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Enjoy the holidays and the “Say It Ain’t Say’s” Sweet Potato Pie contest at Mosaic Templars today

MTCCSayJoin the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center for a festive and fun day full of holiday cheer! The fun runs from 2pm util 5pm.

This year’s event will feature the 4th annual “Say It Ain’t Say’s” sweet potato pie contest, in honor of Little Rock’s black Santa, Robert “Say” McIntosh.We’ll have live entertainment by the Gloryland Pastor’s Choir, the Lorenzo Smith Band Camp and the Horace Mann Middle School Dance Ensemble. Activities include a kids’ craft station and the opportunity to browse our current exhibits, “Freedom! Oh, Freedom!” and the 2015 Creativity Arkansas Collection.

Guests and a panel of celebrity judges will determine who has the best sweet potato pie in Central Arkansas. Celebrity judges include Power 92 FM’s Broadway Joe, food and travel writer Kat Robinson, AY magazine food columnist Pamela Smith, and Kelli Marks, owner of Sweet Love Bakery.

Enjoy refreshments provided by RSVP Catering.

This year, a trolley will be available to take guests to two other Department of Arkansas Heritage Museums located in downtown Little Rock: Old State House Museum and Historic Arkansas Museum. The trolley route will also include the Governor’s Mansion Open House.

For more information call 501-683-3620 or email Tameka@arkansasheritage.org.

Busy Saturday at the Arkansas Literary Festival

AR Lit Fest 2014Today is the busiest day of the 11th annual Arkansas Literary Festival. Unless otherwise specified the events are free.

Highlights for today are:

10:00 am

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Other People’s Secrets” – Mona Simpson (Casebook) and Curtis Sittenfeld (Sisterland) with moderator Eliza Borné.
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Love or Hate a Cowboy” – Joe Nick Patoski (The Dallas Cowboys) with moderator Tim Jackson
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: Workshop – “Get the Reference”
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Ecotone” – Kevin Brockmeier (A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip), Cary Holladay (Horse People) and Rebecca Makkai (Astoria to Zion) with moderator Kyran Pittman.
  • Cox Creative Center: “Fantasy & Fangs” – Colleen Doran (Vampire Diaries series, A Distant Soil) with moderator Randy Duncan
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Eat, Prey, Love” – Cindy Grisham (A Savory History of Arkansas Delta Food) and Kat Robinson (Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and Arkansas River Valley) with moderator Rex Nelson
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Peace” – Lisa Leitz (Fighting for Peace) with moderator Alex Vernon
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “A Piece of the Extraordinary” – Alan Lightman (The Accidental Universe) with moderator Lance Turner

11:30 am

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Canal Voyage” – Mary Roach (Gulp) with moderator T. Glenn Pait.
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Modern Parenthood” – Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun) with moderator Amy Bradley-Hole
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: Workshop – “Literacy Action”
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: Workshop – “Wonder-Filled Work” with Jeff VanderMeer (Wonderbook)
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Fever & Fatherhood” – Mary Beth Keane (Fever) and Wiley Cash (The Dark Road to Mercy) with moderator Susan Moneyhon.
  •  Cox Creative Center: “Dream Navigators” – Dylan Tuccillo (A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming) with moderator Michael Hibblen
  •  Historic Arkansas Museum: “Hattie!” – Nancy Hendricks (Senator Hattie Caraway) with moderator Tricia Spione
  •  MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Veterans Write Their Lives” – with moderator Sherry F. Clements
  •  Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Dino-Might” – Brian Switek (My Beloved Brontosaurus) with moderator Kevin Delaney

 

1:00 pm

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “The Fine Art of Suspense” – Catherine Coulter (The Final Cut) with moderator Susan Fleming.
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Class and Character” – Doug Wilson (Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson) with moderator Rod Lorenzen.
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: “Tongues & Virginia” – Cary Holladay (Horse People) and David Jauss (Glossolalia) with moderator Karen Martin
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Poetry I” – Megan Volpert (Only Ride) and Tess Taylor (The Forage House) with moderator Bryan Borland-Pennington
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Stellar Debuts” – Kelly Luce (Three Scenarios in which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail), Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower) and Mario Alberto Zambrano (Loteria) with moderator Angelle Gremillion
  • Cox Creative Center: “Evangelical Adoption Movement” – Kathryn Joyce (The Child Catchers) with moderator Judith Faust
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Southern Journeys” – Mark Nichols (From Azaleas to Zydeco) and Akasha Hull (Neicy) with moderator Paula Morrell
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Western Mythmaking” – Glenn Frankel (The Searchers) with moderator Alex Vernon
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Area X” – Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation) with moderator Ben Fry

 

2:30 pm

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Vanguard” – Doug Dorst (S.) and Victor LaVelle (The Devil in Silver) with moderator Phillip Huddleston
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Real Girlz” – ReShonda Tate Billingsly (Fortune and Fame; Real As It Gets) with moderator Angela Thomas
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Poetry II” – John Bensko (Visitations), Sandy Longhorn (Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths) and Ash Bowen (The Even Years of Marriage) with moderator Hope Coulter.
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Great TV” – Brett Martin (Difficult Men)with moderator Philip Martin
  • Cox Creative Center: “Measuring the World” – Ethan Hauser (The Measures Between Us) and Michael Parker (All I Have in This World) with moderator Jay Jennings
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Storytellers” – Suzanne Hudson (All the Way to Memphis, The Shoe Burnin’) and Joe Formichella (Waffle House Rules, The Shoe Burnin’) with moderator Shari Smith
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Preludes and Memorials” – David Sesser (The Little Rock Arsenal Crisis) and W. Stuart Towns (Arkansas Civil War Heritage) with moderator Mark Christ
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Puma Tale” – Darcy Pattison (Abayomi: The Brazilian Puma) with moderator Mary Ruth Marotte
  • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center: “Mysterious Duo” – Attica Locke (The Cutting Season) and Qiu Xiaolong (Enigma of China) with moderator Sharon Lee

 

4:00 pm

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Wonka Times 2” – Rick & Michael Mast (Mast Brothers Chocolate) with moderator Kevin Shalin
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “7th Grade in Little Rock” – Kevin Brockmeier (A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip) with moderator Nickole Brown
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: Poetry Competition
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Make or Break” – Carla Killough McClafferty (Fourth Down and Inches) with moderator Rhonda Thornton.
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Terrifically Tiny” – Dee Williams (The Big Tiny)with moderator Lyndsey Lewis-Pardue
  • Cox Creative Center: “Badass Presidents” – Daniel O’Brien (How to Fight Presidents) with moderator Joel DiPippa
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Spa City Gangsters” – Orval Albritton (The Mob at the Spa) and Robert K. Raines (Hot Springs: From Capone to Costello) with moderator Liz Robbins
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Photographic History” – Carl Moneyhon (Portraits of Conflict series) with moderator Bobby Roberts
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Go Indie!” – with Darcy Pattison
  • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center: “Illustration” – Kadir Nelson (Baby Bear), Colleen Doran (Vampire Diaries series) and Nate Powell (March: Book One) with moderator Paul A. Crutcher

 

5:00 pm

  • Christ Episcopal Church: “Nourishment” – Fred Bahnson (Soil and Sacrement)

 

7:00 pm

  • Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack: “Pub or Perish”

 

The Cox Creative Center will be having a used book sale on Saturday from 9am to 5pm. In addition there will be a used book sale in the CALS basement from 10am to 4pm.

9th Nog Off, Other Activities at Historic Arkansas Museum tonight and Saturday

9th Ever Nog-off

This Friday
December 13
5 – 8 pm
Free
Plus opening reception for two new exhibits: Dream and Imagery Entailed: Kerrick Hartman and LaToya Hobbs and A Sure Defense: The Bowie Knife in America
Historic Arkansas Museum’s 9th Ever Nog-off is a culinary celebration of a favorite holiday drink, and friendly competition for the best eggnog in town.
 
The Noggers: The Honorable Mark Stodola; David Burnette, South on Main; Darryl Downs, Capital Hotel Bar and Grill; Bridget Fennell Farris; Laurie Harrison, Le Pops; Sally Mengel, Loblolly Creamery; Copper Grill
 
The Celebrity Judges: Darla Huie, Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro; P. Allen Smith; Amanda Hoelzeman, Arkansas Business
 
Shop for your holiday gifts in the Museum Store. During the Nog-off we’ll have:
Jann Greenland with her jewelry and fused glass stars
Jane F. Hankins signing copies of her book, The Thirty-Foot Elvis
Thomas Hankins making crystal ornaments and jewelry
Kat Robinson signing copies of her book, Ozark Eateries
 

 

Dream and Imagery Entailed

Kerrick Hartman and LaToya Hobbs
Trinity Gallery for Arkansas Artists
December 13 through February 9, 2014
 

Stuttgart artist Kerrick Hartman focuses on stone, wood and metal sculpture using the Arkansas landscape as inspiration for his work. He says, “To take a stone or other lifeless, stationary material and convey a sense of spiraling, undulating motion to an object is at its core a testimonial of hope and celebration of life’s design.”

North Little Rock native LaToya Hobbs, printmaker and painter, works with figurative imagery that addresses the ideas of beauty and spirituality. Her work is an investigation of how past influences, expectations and preferences resonate with women of color in the 21st century and are expressed through the canvases of our bodies.


46th Annual Christmas Frolic

This Saturday
December 14
10 am – 4 pm
Frolicking in the  Grog Shop from 1 to 4 pm
Free
 
Keep your family tradition going, or make a new one and join hundreds of others who have danced their first Virginia Reel in the Hinderliter Grog Shop, the oldest house in Little Rock. It’s always fun to watch your kids sashay down the line for the first time, or to brush up on your own steps.

From sack races to stilts, from fiddling to frolicking, this favorite seasonal event charms one and all with old fashioned fun. Bring the whole family out and enjoy live music, crafts, carols, pioneer games and our famous hot cider and ginger cake.

 
*Bowie Knife opening weekend activities happening simultaneously. See below. All free and open to the public.*

 

A Sure Defense: The Bowie Knife in America

The largest and most important exhibit ever done on America’s iconic contribution to the world of blades
 
Horace C. Cabe Gallery
December 13 through June 22, 2014
Opening reception during the 9th Ever Nog-off
 

A Sure Defense: The Bowie Knife in America will trace the history of this country’s most famous knife from just before its birth in a rough melee on a sandbar above Natchez, Mississippi in 1827, to the skilled craftsmen who keep the classic blade alive to this day in the form of hand crafted reproductions and modernized versions.

The exhibit of more than 200 knives includes knife designs associated with Alamo martyr James Bowie and his less famous brother Rezin, as well as bowie knives once owned by such historic figures as Davy Crockett, Theodore Roosevelt, General Winfield Scott and John Fox “Bowie Knife” Potter. The role of the bowie knife in the Antebellum era is explored along with the Civil War and the opening of the west, and there’s a special focus on the role bowie knives played in the events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

 

Bowie Knife Symposium on Friday

This Friday
12:30 to 4:30 pm
Museum’s Ottenheimer Theater
Free

12:30    Mark Zalesky, Guest Curator and Editor of Knife World
                “Samuel Bell, The Tiffany of Texas and Tennessee”
1:30        Bill Worthen, Historic Arkansas Museum Director
                “James Black and the Bowie Knife”
2:30        Josh Phillips, Co-Author of Confederate Bowie Knives
                “Identifying Counterfeit Bowie Knives”
3:30        Garry Zalesky, ABKA Life Member and lender to the exhibit
                “Folding Bowie and Folding Dirk Knives”

Bowie Knife Opening Weekend Activities

This Saturday
December 14
Free
 
Bladesmithing in the Blacksmith Shop
With Master Bladesmith Lin Rhea
10 am – Noon; 1 – 4 pm
 
Gallery Talks
With Guest Curator Mark Zalesky and Museum Director Bill Worthen
Throughout the day
 
Jim Bowie Live!
Catch Jack Edmondson’s portrayal of Jim Bowie.
 
Knife Film Festival
In the museum’s Otttenheimer Theater
10 am – The Iron Mistress
12 pm – The Sandbar Duel documentary for Natchez TV
12:30 – The Adventures of Jim Bowie
1:00 – Dirty Work: Arkansas’s Knife Heritage from Bowie to Rambo
1:30 – The Iron Mistress
3:30 – The Sandbar Duel documentary for Natchez TV
 
*Christmas Frolic activities happening simultaneously. See above. All free and open to the public.*

 

 

Tales from the South Tomorrow: Kat Robinson

The first Tuesday of each month, Tales from the South features one person sharing their life story. They call it Tin Roof Project.  November features Kat Robinson. The program will be Tuesday, November 5.

Music is by the Salty Dogs and blues guitarist Mark Simpson.

Kat Robinson is a food and travel writer based in Little Rock.  She travels Arkansas and the South searching for good stories, tall tales and the next great little restaurant.

In addition to Tie Dye Travels, Kat writes and blogs all about pie in the state of Arkansas — at ArkansasPie.com.  Her first book, Arkansas Pie, was released in November 2012 via History Press.

Kat previously wrote  Eat Arkansas, the blog for food loversfor the Arkansas Times.   She has written for Arkansas WildSerious Eats,  Sync Weekly, 2njoy Magazine, Deep South MagazineGreenZine, Savvy KidsLonely PlanetLittle Rock Family Magazine, Living in Arkansas, the Arkansas Times, Forbes Travel Guide, USA Today and Cat Fancy and appeared on KARN Newsradio’s The Dave Elswick’s Show.

Before starting her writing career in 2007, Kat produced and wrote for several Arkansas-based television and radio outlets, including an eight year stint producing Today’s THV This Morning.
Kat lives with her daughter Hunter in her hometown of Little Rock, AR.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

“Tales from the South” is a showcase of writers reading their own true stories. While the show itself is unrehearsed, the literary memoirs have been worked on for weeks leading up to the readings. Stories range from funny to touching, from everyday occurrences to life-altering tragedies.

The program takes place at Starving Artist Café.  Dinner is served from 5pm to 6:30pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $7.50, not including dinner.

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.

Giving Thanks for 2nd Friday Art Night (with HAM and BBQ)

In this month of gratitude, it is a good time to visit some of the stops along the way on 2nd Friday Art Night and be grateful for creative expression which makes life more enjoyable.

Tonight from 5pm to 8pm at various downtown museums and galleries, guests can view art and enjoy live entertainment.  Admission is free.

There are many places participating.  Here are highlights from the Historic Arkansas Museum (HAM).  They will feature two new exhibits, two authors, award winning barbecue and live music.

Beyond the Expected: Norwood Creech, Paulette Palmer and Edward Wade, Jr.
From Northeast Arkansas, Norwood Creech presents a collection of photographs, reflecting the rural, agricultural landscape of Arkansas’s Northeastern Delta region, North of Interstate 40.Mountain View artist Paulette Palmer’s mixed media sculptures evoke fairy tales, memories and children’ stories. Artist Ed Wade, of Marianna, uses watercolor to explore colors and shapes, and their relationship with each other and reflect life in the Delta.

Jared Hogue: Mini Faces
This exhibit of caricatures by Jared Hogue includes work from three categories: Notable Arkansans, In Memoriam, and Pop Culture. Hogue has worked as a freelance artist since 1990, creating illustrations, portraiture and political cartoons, along with caricatures. He lives in Cabot and teaches at the Arkansas School for the Deaf.

In the Museum Store, meet Edmond Davis, author of Pioneering African-American Aviators, and Kat Robinson, author of Arkansas Pie, and Grav Weldon, will have his pie photographs. Jeannie Whayne will have a few copies of her latest book, DELTA EMPIRE on hand. Get your books signed – from 5 to 7 pm, during 2nd Friday Art Night, November 9.