Make your vote the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
Top Photo: Homemade apple pies were served to celebrate announcement of the Arkansas Hall of Fame in the Governor Mansion’ kitchen. (left to right) Arkansas First Lady Susan Hutchinson, Stacy Hurst, Executive Director of the Arkansas Department of Heritage; Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Montine McNulty, Executive Director of the Arkansas Hospitality Association. Photo courtesy of Department of Arkansas Heritage.
[dropcap]As[/dropcap] proud Americans, you are encouraged to make your vote count on Tuesday, Nov. 8, as we elect a new president.
As a proud Arkansan, who loves the great food and the preparers of such, Wednesday, Nov. 9, is the deadline for a new election day not to be missed. It is to select the inaugural class for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst have created the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame to celebrate the incredible restaurants, owners and food-themed events across the state.
Hutchinson recently spoke to the importance of honoring Arkansas’ history of food. “This is about remembering our history. You can’t have a history without a connection to food. This is about our history of food and the uniqueness of Arkansas food and our culture.”
A 13-member committee, including Montine McNulty, executive director of the Arkansas Hospitality Association, Little Rock Chefs Evette Brady, formerly of 1620 Restaurant, Tim Morton of Cache and Arkansas food and travel writer Kat Robinson will select honorees.
Nominations are being accepted through Nov. 9 at ArkFoodHOF.com in four categories: Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, Proprietor of the Year, Food-Themed Event, and People’s Choice. The committee will select finalists based on the number of entries and then select honorees in each category.
Honorees and finalists will be recognized at a special reception in the spring.
“The mission of the Department of Arkansas Heritage is to identify Arkansas’ heritage and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors, and while food continues to be a significant aspect of our state’s heritage, there has not been a program to recognize that,” Hurst said.
The distinctions are outlined as follows:
The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame restaurant category recognizes outstanding restaurants that have become legendary attractions in the state. Restaurants nominated for this award must be owned and operated in Arkansas, must have been in business for at least 25 years or more and must not be a chain restaurant. Three honorees will be selected each year for this category.
The Proprietor of the Year award recognizes a chef, cook and/or restaurant owner in the state who has made significant achievements in the food industry. The candidate’s restaurant must be owned and operated in Arkansas, have been in business for at least one year and must not be a chain restaurant. One winner will be selected each year for this category.
The Food-Themed Event of the Year award recognizes unique food festivals and events that give residents a taste of Arkansas foods and hospitality. Festivals or events nominated for this award must be an annual event that has been held for at least five years. One honoree will be selected each year for this category.
The People’s Choice award will be chosen exclusively by the public, without any input from the AFHOF committee. This award allows the public to choose their favorite restaurant or food truck in Arkansas. The restaurant or food truck must be owned and operated in Arkansas, have been in business for at least one year and must not be a chain restaurant. One honoree will be selected each year for this category and will be chosen strictly by the most nominations.
Make your vote count. Visit ArkFoodHOF.com no later than Nov. 9.