The Arkansas Chef’s Culinary Classic Once Again Delights

Tuesday night’s Arkansas Chef’s Culinary Classic, an annual competition between Arkansas chefs, was once again held at The Statehouse Convention Center (in Hall IV). Chefs were allowed to compete in four categories: Soup/Salad, Dessert, Entrée, or Appetizer, while providing tastings for each entry guest to sample. But before the guests arrived, dishes were judged by a panel of individuals. I was fortunate enough to participate in this part of the event, as I got to critique entries in the Soup/Salad category.

Competition was fierce, as many of the dishes were quite tasty. Here are the results for the evening.

Soup/Salad
1st Jason Godwin, Acxiom – Sopa Azteca
2nd Jason Knapp, Green Leaf Grill – Thai Spiced Sweet Potato Soup
3rd Adam Hanry, Camp Mitchell – Purple Pea Soup

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Appetizer
1st Micheal Mayer, LR Marriott – Crab and Smoked Gouda Stuffed Tempura Shrimp
2nd Jason Knapp, Green Leaf Grill – Three Sea Seared Salmon
3rd Matthew Cooper, Cache – Dungeness Crab Cakes

Entrée
1st Arturo Solis, The Capital Hotel – Sweet Breads
2nd Stephen Burrow, Clinton Presidential Center – Korean BBQ Veal Ribs
3rd Jason Knapp, Green Leaf Grill – Pan Seared Filet of Beef

Dessert
1st Jason Godwin, Acxiom – Curry Roasted Fruit Tart
2nd Adam Hanry, Camp Mitchell – Animal Crackers
3rd Lauren Creel, LR Marriott – Deconstructed Peanut Butter and Jelly

People’s Choice
Adam Hanry, Purple Pea Soup

Best of Beef
Stephen Burrow, Korean BBQ Veal Ribs

Hiland Pride Award
Matthew Cooper, Dungeness Crab Cakes

Keep an eye out on the Arkansas Hospitality Association website for details on next year’s event. Tickets this year were $45, an excellent value for such a well-organized event that allows you to sample some of the culinary creations from many of our area chefs.

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The Arkansas Chef’s Culinary Classic Once Again Delights