Culinary talent from across Arkansas will represent the state at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival May 30-June 2, one of the premiere food and wine events in the U.S. Held each summer, the festival draws media attendees and enthusiasts from across the globe to sip and savor the best food and beverage offerings in the South.
The Arkansas team includes a diverse mix of chefs and mixologists from Little Rock, Bentonville, Hot Springs, El Dorado and Wilson. Sponsors of the venture are Arkansas Tourism, the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau and Visit Bentonville.
Arkansas’s presence at the festival will showcase food and drink offerings in the state and help brand statewide culinary efforts with the tagline “Savor Arkansas.” The goal is to entice media coverage, build relationships with food writers and attract influencers to visit The Natural State and share their experiences, whether on their own or on one of several familiarization tours hosted by tourism partners throughout the year.
A variety of Arkansas culinary talent will participate in the festival to give attendees a proper taste of the Arkansas food and drink scene. The roster includes:
Little Rock – Mark Abernathy of Loca Luna and Red Door; Brett Bassett of Yellow Rocket Concepts; Jonathan Boney of Three Fold Noodles & Dumpling Co. and Haybird; Lynn Darnell of Rock Town Distillery; Jack Sundell of The Root Café and Dos Rocas
Bentonville –Matthew “Matt” Cooper of Preacher’s Son; JaQuintin “Jay” Means of Bike Rack Brewery; Rob Nelson and Scott Baker of Tusk & Trotter; Anna Russell of The Buttered Biscuit
Hot Springs – Ben Bell of Hot Springs Sake Company
El Dorado – Austin Johnson of Griffin Restaurant
Wilson –Shari Haley of The Wilson Café
The Arkansas contingent will also lead several events throughout the festival. At “Destination Delicious,” Boney, Nelson and Sundell will prepare a variety of Southern dishes and Darnell and Means will serve beer and cocktails with an Arkansas focus. “Connoisseur Breakfast: The Arkansas Way” will bring together the Arkansas talent to highlight the distinct flavors of The Natural State. Abernathy, Baker, Darnell, Johnson and Russell will take part in the breakfast.
In another event, “Learning Experience: Savor Arkansas,” attendees will have the opportunity to explore dishes influenced by local spirits and cocktails inspired by local dishes. Food and beverage with deep Southern roots will be provided by Darnell, Haley, and Johnson.
Follow #SavorArkansas on social media to keep up with Arkansas activities and events throughout the festival.
About the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival shines an international spotlight on the rich food and beverage traditions of the South from Texas to D.C. Award-winning chefs, sommeliers, beverage innovators and food and wine lovers from all across the world gather together to sip, sample and savor the South.
For more information, contact:
Leah DiPietro, Communications Manager, Arkansas Tourism, leah.dipietro@
Aaron Mullins, Director of Communications and Marketing, Visit Bentonville, Aaron@VisitBentonville.com, 479-271-9153
Libby Doss Lloyd, Communications Manager, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, Llloyd@LittleRock.com, 501-370-3248
About Arkansas Tourism
Arkansas Tourism, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, strives to expand the economic impact of travel and tourism in the state and enhance the quality of life for all Arkansans. The division manages 14 Arkansas Welcome Centers and employs more than 60 staff members across The Natural State. For more information, visit www.arkansas.com.