UPDATE: Because of the nasty weather earlier today, the event has been pushed back until Jan. 20 at 5 p.m.
Travis McConnell, sous chef at the Capital Hotel Bar & Grill, plans to open Butcher and Public, his own brick and mortar space in Little Rock at some point down the road. At 5 p.m. Jan. 13, he's hosting an event at the Dunbar Community Garden Project to show off his vision — a whole roasted local pig party.
The event is donations-only and not ticketed. McConnell plans to offer a full meal that's cooked over the fire. He'll roast a pig from Freckle Face Farms on a spit that he and his dad recently built; use produce from Little Rock Urban Farming, Armstead Farms and others, and serve beer from Diamond Bear and Vino's. He said the menu is a reflection of his cooking philosophy: whole butchered animals and fixin's, locally and regionally sourced.
McConnell first worked as sous chef at the Capital Bar from 2007 until 2009, before departing for Revival Bar and Kitchen in Berkley for three years. He returned to the Capital in September after vacationing Italy, where he got to spend a few days studying under Dario Cecchini, who Anthony Bourdain has called "the most famous and respected butcher in Italy and, maybe, the world." McConnell has posted a few shots of Cecchini's butcher shop, Antica Macelleria Cecchini, on the Butcher and Public Facebook page as an example of what he wants Butcher and Public to be.
It's pronounced "cash," I asked the executive chef about it a month or so ago.
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