The Department of Arkansas Heritage has announced the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame winners. Maybe this is a trip we should plan some time in the near future?

Winners have been announced for the 2018 class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.

According to the Press Release, the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was launched by the Department of Arkansas Heritage in 2016 to recognize Arkansas’s legendary restaurants, proprietors and food-themed events across the state. Nominations were accepted from the public in five categories: Food Hall of Fame, Proprietor of the Year, Food-Themed Event, Gone But Not Forgotten and People’s Choice.

The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Committee chose the finalists in each category and the winners were announced at a reception and induction ceremony at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock on March 6.

Winners are as follows:

  • Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
    Franke’s Cafeteria of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
    McClard’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant of Hot Springs (Garland County)
    The Venesian Inn of Tontitown (Washington County)
  • The Proprietor of the Year
    Mary Beth Ringgold (Pulaski County)
    Food-Themed Events
    Gillett Coon Supper (Arkansas County)
  • Gone But Not Forgotten
    Cotham’s Mercantile in Scott (Pulaski County)
  • People’s Choice
    JJ’s Lakeside Café in Lake Village (Chicot County)

450 nominations were received for the second class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.

“We are so pleased to see the increasing response from the public in this conversation on Arkansas food and food culture. This is just the beginning of a program that will celebrate this special part of our heritage for years to come,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

The 11-member selection committee includes Paul S. Austin, Evette Brady, C.C. (Chip) Culpepper, Cindy Grisham, Stacy Hurst, Montine McNulty, Tim Morton, Rex Nelson, Tim Nutt, Kat Robinson and Christina Shutt.

About the Department of Arkansas Heritage:

The mission of the Department of Arkansas Heritage is to identify Arkansas’s heritage and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors by the discovery, preservation and presentation of the state’s natural, cultural and historic resources. This is accomplished through the work of its eight divisions: Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum.