Lately, though the evolution has felt more like a revolution with the addition of brunch, updates to existing items, and weekly specials. A lot of that huge jump in style and quality can be attributed to chef Georgina Jones Price (Gina). Gina joined in 2017 and has continuously made creative adjustments to the menu, making Flyway a top destination not only for beer but for food also.
Gina grew up in Chicago working in the food industry in a manufacturing setting. She never thought of becoming a chef until moving to Little Rock in 2005.
“When I was in Chicago I worked at the Keebler factory. I never dreamed at the time I would be a chef, even though I always worked in the food industry,” Gina says. “Once you come to a new place and get settled it makes you rethink things and look at everything different. ”
Once moving to Arkansas she found her way into the culinary scene. After working at large production kitchens like the Little Rock Zoo, the Little Rock School District, St. Vincent Hospital, and Northbridge. The mass production was no doubt an easy transition for her into the kitchen, but she quickly fell in love and wanted to do more with her culinary career.
“I moved around from a few places and found I really wanted to go school to formally learn how to cook, but at the time there was not a culinary school in Arkansas,” Gina tells us. “At the time they didn’t have a culinary school in Arkansas. Finally, Pulaski Tech opened their culinary school and I knew I had to go.”
When Pulaski Tech opened their hospitality management program it was only an associate degree, which Jones earned in 2016 while working at Arkansas Burger Company. Now she will be one of the first to complete the newly offered bachelor’s program.
“When I was at Arkansas Burger Company it was a blessing because they allowed me to go to school and they worked around my schedule,” Gina explains. “Now that I am here (at Flyway) it is really allowing me to use what I learned and be creative with the menu.”
Gina has brought a lot of what she learned to the Flyway menu to update existing recipes and develop new ones that match the space.
Some of the Cajun-inspired dishes, like the gumbo and green tomatoes, come from her grandmother who lived in New Orleans. The rest come from matching what she feels like people would expect out of brewery food and what pairs well with different beers. She is also big on cross-utilization when developing the weekly specials and brunch menus that change from week to week.
Naturally working at a brewery, she also tries to incorporate the beers when possible. For the popular brunch monte cristo sandwich she frequently uses different beers in the batter or the fruit reduction, depending on what is seasonal. She also incorporates beer into many of the batters with the fried items, like the pickle planks. “It only makes sense. We have it, why not use it,” Jones-Price says.
She says she would love to try her hand at brewing someday, just to really understand the brewing side and what all goes into it. Flyway has had staff brewed beer releases in the past, so you may see Gina’s beer in the future. She loves Flyway’s Magdalene Tripel above everything else if you want to get a sense of what type of beer to expect.
Gina continues to make a major difference leading the Flyway Kitchen and has positioned it into one of the best places to eat in Little Rock. Expect to see even more fantastic food to come.