Department of Arkansas Heritage announces Arkansas Food Hall of Fame winners

Winners have been announced for the 2017 class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. 

The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was launched by the Department of Arkansas Heritage in September to recognize Arkansas’s legendary restaurants, proprietors and food-themed events across the state. Nominations were accepted from the public in four categories: Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, Proprietor of the Year, Food-Themed Event and People’s Choice.

A 12-person 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 February 28.

Winners are as follows:

Arkansas Food Hall of Fame

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner of Marianna (Lee County)
Lassis Inn of Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales of Lake Village (Chicot County)

Proprietor of the Year
Paul Bash, Ed Moore, Louis Petit and Denis Seyer in the Continental Cuisine partnership of Little Rock (Pulaski County)

Food-Themed Events

Cave City Watermelon Festival (Sharp County)

People’s Choice

Grotto Wood Fired Grill and Wine Cave (Carroll County)

Nearly 300 nominations were received for the inaugural class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.

“We’re so pleased with the overwhelming response from the public. This is just the beginning of a program that will celebrate Arkansas food and culture for years to come,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

The 12-member selection committee included Paul S. Austin, Evette Brady, C.C. (Chip) Culpepper, Cindy Grisham, Stacy Hurst, Montine McNulty, Tim Morton, Rex Nelson, Tim Nutt, Kat Robinson, Christina Shutt and Lisa Speer.