Chocolate gravy. Purple hull peas. Fried pickles. Cheese dip. Have you ever wondered why Arkansans eat the things we do? How and where did these food traditions get their start, and why have they persisted over time? You’ll soon have an opportunity to learn about Arkansas foodways and sample some traditional Arkansas foods prepared by up-and-coming area chefs.
On May 17, the Arkansas History Commission will host “Everything Old is New Again: The Arkansas Foodways Movement,” a half-day seminar featuring a line-up of speakers who are experts on the subject of Arkansas foodways and food history. The seminar, which is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be held at the state-of-the-art Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute on the campus of Pulaski Technical College, located just off I-30, Little Rock-South.
Seminar speakers will include Jody Hardin, founder of the Argenta Market and leader in the state’s farm-to-table agriculture movement; Culinary Institute Chef Suzanne Campbell, who will talk about food traditions and demonstrate food preservation techniques in the Institute’s Celebrity Chef Theater; Tim Nutt, Director of Special Collections at the University of Arkansas, which publishes Arkansauce, a journal of Arkansas foodways; and Kat Robinson, travel and food writer and author of several books on Arkansas foods. Robinson will talk about her latest publication, Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and the Arkansas River Valley, and will sign copies of her book, which will be for sale at the event. The workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with check-in for registered participants starting at 9:00 a.m. Teachers who attend the workshop can receive up to four hours of professional development credit from the ADE for this event.
An Arkansas foods-themed lunch will be created for seminar participants by the chefs-in-training at the Culinary Institute, and served in the Institute’s restaurant, Le Culinaire.
The deadline for registering for this seminar is May 5. There is a $10 fee for lunch, which is payable at the time of registration. Registration for the seminar is limited; so make your reservations while you can as this is sure to be a popular event. Who doesn’t love talking about and eating foods that remind us of home! For more information or to register for the workshop, please call us at 501-682-6891 or email us at email@example.com.