An award-winning Bentonville restaurant has landed a new executive chef.
Starting in mid-December, Neal Gray will be taking over the kitchen at The Preacher’s Son in downtown Bentonville. Gray aims to craft a “casual environment…while paying homage to, and celebrating the bountiful seasons in Arkansas,” as the new executive chef, according to a news release.
A Malvern native, Gray has experience working under some of the most notable names in the culinary world. He has served under Patrick O’Connell at the Inn at Little Washington, under Thomas Keller at The French Laundry, and under Dan Barber at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Most recently, he was the chef de cuisine at Simon and The Whale in New York City.
“After 20 years cooking professionally, I’m looking forward to returning to my home state of Arkansas and joining the team at The Preacher’s Son. I’m excited to have this opportunity to mentor a new generation of young professionals, contribute meaningfully to our community’s rapidly evolving dining scene and ultimately serve excellent food in a warm environment. My family and I look forward to meeting our neighbors and experiencing all the culture, arts and recreation our town has to offer,” Gray said in a statement.
Gray will succeed Chef Matthew Cooper who is slated to leave the restaurant after his final service on Sunday, Dec. 12. According to an earlier news release, Cooper is departing to pursue new projects in Northwest Arkansas.
The Preacher’s Son is part of Ropeswing Hospitality Group. The hospitality group has seven other Bentonville businesses in its portfolio, including Pressroom, Undercroft, Record, The Holler, Louise, Blake St., and Co-op.