Arkansas is represented by a group that includes Mark Abernathy (Loca Luna), Brett Bassett (De Nux Distributors), Matt Bell (South on Main), Rob Nelson (Tusk and Trotter), Scott Baker (Tusk and Trotter), and Scott Rains (Table 28).
The group of chefs will be participating in one high profile event and hosting another. On Thursday night they will take part in an event called Destination Delicious that features a booth from each Southern State. Then, on Saturday morning they will host the VIP Breakfast for the press and special guests.
“Our goal is to a highlight Arkansas’ creative cuisine and keep us in the dialog when it comes to quality dining in the South,” Abernathy says. “We will be featuring Arkansas products including Rocktown Distillery, Petit Jean Meats and War Eagle Mills. Plus some smaller growers and producers.”
In addition to the group events Abernathy, Bassett, Nelson, and Baker will all lead various cooking classes and demonstrations during the event. Abernathy and Bassett will hold a class on Mezcal with some food pairing. They will offer hard to get, native Mezcals and some usual “local” Central Mexican Plateau food twists, like dried crickets and oranges segments dipped in Agave Caterpillar Salt.
The representation at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival is the latests in an increased effort to have strong Arkansas representation at regional and national food events. It is a trend we hope to see continue, it helps solidify Arkansas as a culinary destination, not an afterthought, and increase culinary tourism as a whole to the state.