Friday, September 9, 2016

Arkansas starts Food Hall of Fame

Posted By on Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 2:09 PM

HALL OF FAME WORTHY: Sims ribs.
  • HALL OF FAME WORTHY: Sims ribs.
HALL OF FAMER: Sims' ribs are a winner, no matter how the voting turns out.
  • HALL OF FAMER: Sims' ribs are a winner, no matter how the voting turns out.

The Arkansas Heritage Department has announced creation of an Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.

A spring ceremony will induct restaurants (they must be at least 25 years old) and honor a proprietor or chef of the year, a top food-themed event and a "people's choice" restaurant/food truck award winner. Winners must be Arkansas-owned and national chains are excluded.

A committee will choose winners, except for the people's choice. 

More information at this website, as well as a nomination form. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 9.

Note to Heritage Department Director Stacy Hurst: You should add a media category and choose Arkansas Times publisher Alan Leveritt by acclamation for the first award. He started the state's first serious, systematic effort to review restaurants more than 40 years ago (long before I got here). That included an annual statewide awards competition that continues to this day. Coverage of food, from farm to table, has always been an important part of the emphasis of the Arkansas Times from its 18 years as a magazine to its 24 years as a weekly newspaper. What's more, he started Arkansas Food and Farm, a magazine devoted to home-grown and expertly-cooked food. And what's still more, he's a  food producer himself. His world-class heirloom tomatoes are the centerpiece in season at several of the state's best restaurants and he's added lamb to the artisanal products he nurtures on his farm in northern Pulaski County.  What's still more, the nominating committee includes Kat Robinson, whose burgeoning career as a food blogger/author was propelled by contributions to the Arkansas Times.

I can't see any possible disqualification. Well except maybe the politics of some of his employees.

As for restaurants: Start with Trio's, Franke's and Sims.

Where to begin? Chicken enchiladas, Peck Special Salad, peanut butter pie, eggplant casserole, Karo nut pie, ribs, slaw and a cold 40.

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Speaking of Arkansas Food Hall Of Fame

  • Jones Bar-B-Q, Lassis Inn, Rhoda's Tamales are Hall of Famers

    March 1, 2017
    The 12 judges in the competition for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame have made their choices, with the restaurant wins going to long-time eateries Jones Bar-B-Q of Marianna, Lassis Inn in Little Rock and Rhoda's Famous Hot Tamales of Lake Village. That covers barbecue, catfish and hot tamales, a good representation of favorite Arkansas cuisine. /more/
  • Food Hall of Fame finalists named

    February 16, 2017
    Twelve restaurants, four proprietors and six food events have been chosen from nearly 300 nominations as finalists for the first Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Awards. Four awards will be presented, for the winner of the categories mentioned above and for a People’s Choice Award, to be announced at the induction ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at The Ron Robinson Theater. /more/
  • Nominate restaurants for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame

    November 3, 2016
    Governor Hutchinson and Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst announced today the creation of a 13-member committee to name honorees for a new Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. You, too, can nominate the restaurants you would like to see included in the Food Hall of Fame: Vote through Nov. 9 by going to arkfoodhof.com. To be named to the Hall of Fame, restaurants must be Arkansas-owned, in business for 25 years or more and can't be a national chain. There are other categories as well for chefs, food-themed events and a People's Choice Award. The committee will have no input in the People's Choice Award. Food trucks are included. /more/
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