Food Hall of Fame Finalists Announced

The Arkansas Department of Heritage announced the finalist for the Food Hall of Fame program today. The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame honors restaurants and individuals in an overall hall of fame category, proprietor of the year, food themed event, and a gone but not forgotten category that focuses on past restaurants. There is a fourth category of people’s choice pulled from a total number of submissions by individuals and does not traditionally announce a set of finalists ahead of time.
This year the Department of Heritage received 650 submissions covering all 75 Arkansas counties. That is up from 450 submissions last year, showing the event is growing strong each year.
Little Rock area nominees include Brunos Little Italy, Burge’s, Doe’s Eat Place, Ohio Club (Hot Springs), and Star of India in the Hall of Fame category. Capi Peck (Trios), Peter Brave (Brave New), Sami Lal (Star of India) and Scott McGehee (Yellow Rocket Concepts) in the Proprietor of the Year category. The Greek Food Festival in the Food Event Category. La Scala and The Shack in the Gone but Not Forgotten Category.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Monday, February 25th at the Ron Robinson Theater in the Rivermarket.
The full release, finalists, and information below

Finalists have been announced for the 2019 class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. The Department of Arkansas Heritage launched the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame program in 2016 to recognize Arkansas’s legendary restaurants, proprietors and food-themed events across the state.
Nominations were accepted from the public during the month of October in the following five categories:

  • Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
  • Proprietor of the Year
  • Food-Themed Event
  • People’s Choice
  • Gone But Not Forgotten

Winners will be announced at a reception and induction ceremony on Monday, February 25, 2019, at the Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock. The business casual reception will start at 5:30 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony at 6:15 p.m.
Finalists include:
Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
AQ Chicken House of Springdale (Washington County)
4-Dice Restaurant of Fordyce (Dallas County)
Bruno’s Little Italy of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Burge’s Restaurant of Little Rock and Lewisville (Pulaski County and Lafayette County)
The Craig Brothers Cafe DeValls Bluff (Prairie County)
Doe’s Eat Place of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Keeney’s Food Market of Malvern (Hot Spring County)
Kream Kastle of Blytheville (Mississippi County)
The Ohio Club of Hot Springs (Garland County)
Star of India of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
 Proprietor of the Year
Capi Peck of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Loretta Tacker of Marion (Crittenden County)
Peter Brave of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Sami Lal of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Scott McGehee of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Food-Themed Events
Hope Watermelon Festival (Hempstead County)
International Greek Food Festival (Pulaski County)
Our Lady of the Lake Church’s Annual Spaghetti Dinner (Chicot County)
Tontitown Grape Festival (Washington County)
World Championship Duck Gumbo Cookoff (Arkansas County)
Gone But Not Forgotten
Klappenbach Bakery of Fordyce (Dallas County)
Mary Maestri’s Italiano Grillroom of Springdale (Washington County)
La Scala Italian Restaurant of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Uncle John’s of Crawfordsville (Crittenden County)
The Shack Barbecue of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
The People’s Choice Award has been chosen solely based on the number of nominations for a particular restaurant, so there are no finalists and the winner will be announced at the induction ceremony.
A total of 650 submissions were received from all 75 Arkansas counties for the third class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. “This is the first year we’ve heard from every county across the state,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. “We are so pleased to be leading this conversation about food as a special part of Arkansas’s heritage and culture. We look forward to celebrating the flavors of Arkansas for many years to come.”
The public is invited to attend the reception and induction ceremony. Tickets are available for purchase, but space is limited. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at, or by emailing Andrew Vogler at or calling 501-324-9346. Tickets must be reserved no later than February 8, 2019. Payment will also be accepted by cash or check at the February 25 event. For more information about the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, visit
The 13-member selection committee includes Paul S. Austin, Swannee Bennett, Evette Brady, C.C. (Chip) Culpepper, Cindy Grisham, Stacy Hurst, Montine McNulty, Tim Morton, Rex Nelson, Tim Nutt, Dr. Wendy Richter, Kat Robinson and Christina Shutt.

Share on facebook

More Articles