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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12th EVER Nog Off at Historic Arkansas Museum Tonight

thnogoff_tstHistoric Arkansas Museum is home to the first ever, original Nog-off, a culinary celebration of a favorite holiday drink, and friendly competition for the best eggnog in town. The 12th Ever Nog-off welcomes old friends and new friends to this tasty and unique contest.

Among the new challengers are Luiggi Uzcategui of Big Orange Midtown, Merrick Fagan of Trio’s Restaurant and Dillon Garcia of Arkansas Mixology Associates. Will they take down last year’s returning champs, Rock City Eats and Stone’s Throw/Marriott Hotel? Or the Capital Hotel who holds 3 wins? Or Bill Worthen, whose family has been making Egg Nog with the same recipe for eight generations? Taste for yourself and make sure your vote gets counted!

Rex Deloney’s Eclectic Color: Diverse Colors for a Diverse World is inspired by the many different thoughts, emotions and people that he has portrayed over the years as a figurative artist.The emotionally driven portraits juxtaposed on colorful abstract backgrounds work together to convey messages of hope, faith and the everyday joys and struggles of life.

This exhibit is curated by the Arkansas Arts Council and continues in the SECOND FLOOR GALLERY through March 5, 2017.

…plus, holiday shopping in the Museum Store

  • Show your love of all things Nog with this t-shirt designed to commemorate our Nog Off, available exclusively online or in our Museum Store.
  • Get a signed book, for yourself or a gift: Rex Nelson, author of Southern Fried: Going Whole Hog in a State of Wonder will be in the store from 5 to 6:30, and Frances Mitchell Ross, will be on hand to sign copies of United States District Courts and Judges of Arkansas, 1836-1960.
  • Shop #ArkansasMade with Little Rock artist Jann Greenland, who will be showcasing her newest jewelry and fused glass work.

Little Rock Look Back: Central & Hall Football at 2-0

lrchs-lrhhsAfter two weeks of prep gridiron (that is high school football to those who don’t write like a 1950s inky wretch), Little Rock Central and Little Rock Hall are both posting records of 2 wins and 0 losses.  This feat has not been achieved in quite a while.

How long?  37 seasons!  It was 1979, the last time that the Tigers and Warriors were both out of the gate at 2-0.

1979

Jimmy Carter was in the White House. Bill Clinton was in his first term as Governor. First Lady Hillary Rodham was several months pregnant with Chelsea. Hall High and Razorback standout Webb Hubbell was Mayor of Little Rock.  The City’s population was in the 150,000s (it would be 159,151 after the 1980 census).  Little Rock had an area of approximately 80 square miles.  (Today it is approximately 200,000 citizens over 122 square miles.)

Lou Holtz was coaching the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Southwest Conference.  Harry Hall was in his first season as Commissioner of the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference.  Rex Nelson was a student at Ouachita.  Paul Eells was in his second year with KATV, while Dave Woodman was finishing his first decade at KARK.  Gary Hogan was anchoring sports for KTHV.  Hogs football games were broadcast on KAAY radio.  While Bob Buice and Jim Elder were ruling the airwaves at KARN, Craig O’Neill was dominating mornings at KLAZ.

Orville Henry, Jim Bailey, and Wadie Moore covered college and high school sports for the Arkansas Gazette.  The Arkansas Democrat had switched to morning delivery and hired John Robert Starr as editor.  Both papers carried ads for Kempners, Golds, M.M. Cohn, Skaggs Albertsons, Minute Man, Union National Bank, Commercial National Bank, Worthen National Bank, and First National Bank.

Metrocentre Mall existed with bricked over streets on Main and Capitol. The Grady Manning Hotel and Hotel Marion still stood (though in their twilight days before their February 1980 date with demolition.)

So a lot has changed since Central and Hall previously achieved this.  In the interval, Central has been 2-0 a dozen times and Hall has achieved that a brace. But the schools never managed it during the same season.  Three times the schools both managed 1-1 seasons and seven times they each started at 0-2.

The 1979 Warriors were helmed by C. W. Keopple, who would lead the team from the 1960s into the 1980s winning four conference/state titles. (When your conference is statewide, winning one got you the other.)  Bernie Cox was in his fifth season as the Tigers’ mentor, with two state championships already under his belt, five more would be in his future.

The teams stayed tied through the fourth week. But in the fifth week, while Central won, Hall lost to Parkview by a score of 7-0.  The following week, the Warriors rebounded, while the Tigers settled for a 0 to 0 tie with Ole Main.  Weeks seven through ten saw both teams notching another win each week.  This set up a Thanksgiving Day classic with the state’s top two teams facing off.  Central was slightly favored, but season records seldom carried any weight when the two cross-town rivals played on Thanksgiving afternoon.  In an upset, Hall bested Central by a score of 17 to 0.

From 1987 to 1990, the second game of the season was the Hall-Central matchup, which meant that it would have been impossible to both start with a 2-0 record.  This second week matchup was made necessary by the fact that not only could the two teams no longer face off on Thanksgiving after 1982, but the two schools were not in the same conference from 1983 through 2000. So the faceoff was early in the season, during the non-conference portion.

Due to subsequent restructurings by the Arkansas Activities Association, the two schools have not played a football game since 2005.  The bell from the “Battle of the Bell” which was supposed to replace the pageantry and intense rivalry of the Thanksgiving Day matchups, sat forlornly and largely forgotten in the trophy case at Central following the 2005 edition which Central won by a score of 24 to 7.  (That season Central started at 0-2 on the way to a 5-5 record and Hall started at 1-1 on the way to a 3-7 record.)  UPDATE: As noted in a comment on this piece, the Bell has now been refurbished and sits proudly at Quigley Stadium.  Thank you Belinda Stilwell for the information!

Who knows how the 2016 season will turn out for these two teams?  In the past 2-0 has led both to State Championships and to a 6-4 record.  But for two schools that have struggled in the past few seasons, to start with a 2-0 record is quite an accomplishment. For both to start with that record is remarkable.

 

While the blog hiatus and a restructuring continue, this was a bit of history that needed mentioning.

Historic Preservationists Honored by HPAA

hpaa awardsLast Friday, the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas presented the 2014 Arkansas Preservation Awards.

Ruth Hawkins, Ph.D. of Jonesboro received the Parker Westbrook Award for Lifetime Achievement.  Named in honor of the Alliance’s Founding President, the Parker Westbrook Award recognizes significant individual achievement in historic preservation. It is the Alliance’s only award for achievement in preservation over a period of years. The award may be presented to an individual, organization, business or public agency whose activity may be of local, statewide or regional importance.

As director of the Arkansas Heritage Sites program at ASU, Dr. Hawkins has the  responsibility for development of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center at Piggott, the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum at Tyronza, the Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village and the Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash.   She also is executive director of Arkansas Delta Byways, Inc., a tourism promotion association serving 15 counties in Eastern Arkansas. The association manages and promotes two National Scenic Byways in the region:  the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway and the Arkansas segment of The Great River Road.

Other awards were:

Excellence in Preservation through Rehabilitation 

  • William F. Laman Public Library, North Little Rock
  • Dempsey Bakery, Little Rock

 

Excellence in Preservation through Restoration

  • Beth El Heritage Hall, Helena

Ned Shank Award for Outstanding Preservation Publication

  • Architects of Little Rock: 1833-1950 by Gordon Wittenberg and Charles Witsell. Published by University of Arkansas Press

 

Outstanding Achievement in Preservation Advocacy

  • Scott Darwin, Jonesboro. For the V.C. Kays House.

 

Outstanding Achievement in Preservation Education

  • Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail

 

Outstanding Service in Neighborhood Preservation

  • Jennifer Carman and Donna Thomas, Little Rock. Rehabilitation projects in the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District.

 

Outstanding Work by a Craftsperson

  • Clancy McMahon. A. R. Carrol Drugstore, Canehill

 

Outstanding Preservation Reporting in the Media

  • Rex Nelson, Little Rock. Coverage of the historic Majestic Hotel and downtown Hot Springs

 

The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas works to build stronger communities by reconnecting Arkansans to our heritage and empowering Arkansans to save and rehabilitate historic places.
As Arkansas’s only statewide nonprofit organization focused on preserving Arkansas’ architectural and cultural resources, the Alliance has been educating,
advocating and assisting preservation efforts across Arkansas since 1981. From educating lawmakers to assisting individual property owners, the Alliance
is committed to protecting the many valuable heritage resources that make our state unique. The Alliance’s numerous educational programs include the
quarterly Arkansas Preservation Digest, the annual Arkansas Preservation Conference and the Ramble tours of historic sites. The Alliance has effectively
advocated for public sources of preservation funding and incentives, such as the Real Estate Transfer Tax and the Arkansas Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit.

The Alliance assists local governments and historic downtown communities through administration of the federal Preserve America program in Arkansas
and participation in the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program’s Main Street Arkansas program—programs which promote historic preservation and heritage
tourism as economic development tools. We hope that you will support the Alliance in these efforts by becoming a member and staying informed of our
many programs and events which enhance the sustainability and quality of life in Arkansas.

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.

UALR Public Radio welcomes Frank Deford

book3-maggyThe Friends of KLRE/KUAR will host a fundraiser featuring an evening with legendary sportswriter and public radio commentator Frank Deford on Thursday, September 19, at 7 p.m.

Admission to the event at Embassy Suites in Little Rock is $100, and tickets can be purchased online or by calling us at 501-569-8485.

$50 of the ticket amount is a tax-deductible donation to your non-profit public radio stations.

“Sports: The Hype and The Hypocrisy” will be the theme, and the event will include a dinner, talk and book signing with Deford.

Arkadelphia native and Southern Fried blogger Rex Nelson will be the master of ceremonies. A cash bar will precede the dinner in the foyer of the Embassy Suites ballroom.

“We are very excited to welcome Frank Deford to Little Rock,” says Katherine Lu, board president of the Friends of KLRE/KUAR. “He’s more than just an NPR personality. He’s a writer of great fiction and a national sports icon,” she says of the Baltimore native whose work appears regularly in Sports Illustrated, on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and on National Public Radio.

Deford is the author of 18 books, nine of them novels, and was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Obama on July 10. His Wednesday morning sports commentaries are broadcast on KUAR FM 89 at 7:50.

Rex Nelson will be introducing Deford and conducting a question-and-answer session at the end of Deford’s presentation. Nelson is a regular political commentator on KUAR news, head of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges & Universities association, and a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His career started as broadcaster and sportswriter covering the Ouachita Baptist Tigers.

“Nelson is going to be a great host because he’s an expert on Arkansas culture with a background in politics, sports, and writing,” says Lu. “We hope that this event will help public radio reach a new segment of our listeners and get to know some of our more occasional listeners better.”

klre_logoImportance of the Fundraiser
The top priority is replacing the stations’ aging audio control boards used to broadcast programming and record local content.

“The equipment is more than 15 years old and starting to fail,” says General Manager Ben Fry, “and some of the parts for these control boards are getting hard to replace because they are no longer available.”

“Reporters, producers, and board operators are having technical problems. It’s time to update,” says Fry.

KUARAbout The Friends of KLRE/KUAR
The Friends of KLRE/KUAR is a non-profit organization that financially supports the two stations of UALR Public Radio.

With public radio, “members” of the Friends of KLRE/KUAR make financial contributions to support the stations’ annual operating budgets.

“Hundreds of listeners participate in our semi-annual fund drives and become members of UALR Public Radio,” says Development Director Mary Waldo. “But it’s been several years since we’ve hosted a major fundraiser,” she says. “This year our focus is to improve the equipment for KUAR FM 89 and KLRE Classical 90.5. We do rely on the support of our listeners and members to serve central Arkansas.”

About KUAR FM 89.1 and KLRE Classical 90.5
KLRE FM 90.5, Little Rock’s first public radio station, went live in 1973 and became a member of National Public Radio in 1984. KUAR FM 89.1 went on the air in 1986. Today, the two stations serve a third of the state’s population and even more people through live streaming on the internet. KUAR broadcasts news and information programming, including daily newsmagazines from NPR and local news. KLRE broadcasts classical music 24 hours a day.

Tales from the South pays tribute to Randy Tardy

talesfromsouthTonight, “Tales from the South” pays tribute to a longtime Arkansas writer.
Randy Tardy is the retired transportation and business writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock. He covered railroads, airlines and river traffic from 1976 until 2001. Randy, who is now in hospice, would like to share his stories with the world, so they will be read by his close friends.Randy’s stories will be read by Walter Walker, Rex Nelson, and Harvey Joe Sanner. Live music will be provided by The Salty Dogs and blues guitarist Mark Simpson.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host, in conjunction with Temenos Publishing Company. The show is taped live on Tuesday nights at Starving Artist Cafe’in the Argenta Arts District of North Little Rock, Arkansas.

The program offers dinner and a show, and shows are $7.50 admission and open to the public. 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.

Doors open at 5:00pm. Dinner is served from 5:00 to 6:30pm (dinner price not included in admission charge).  The program starts at 7:00pm.  Advance reservations are required.