Stacy Hurst

The Division of Arkansas Heritage virtually announced the 2021 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame finalists in a Facebook Live post today. Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism made the announcements. Nominations were received from all 75 counties, and a total 2,014 nominations came in, a record for this program, Hurst said. Winners will be announced on Feb. 22 in the first ever virtual Arkansas Food Hall of Fame event.

“It’s important we recognize the fact that the past year was particularly hard for everyone in the hospitality industry, including restaurant workers and those who work so hard to create events for the general public to attend. We feel compelled to celebrate them even more this year for their perseverance and dedication,” Hurst said.

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To be eligible for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, restaurants must be Arkansas owned and operated and be at least 25 years old.

The 2021 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame finalists:

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AQ Chicken House, Springdale
Colonial Steak House, Pine Bluff
Dairy King, Portia
Dixie Pig, Blytheville
Feltner’s Whatta-Burger, Russellville
Herman’s Rib House, Fayetteville
K Hall & Sons Produce, Little Rock
Kream Kastle, Blytheville
Monte Ne Inn Chicken, Rogers
Neal’s Cafe, Springdale
Ohio Club, Hot Springs
Star of India, Little Rock
Trio’s, Little Rock

Proprietor of the year:

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Sami Lal, Star of India, Little Rock
Jamie McAfee, Pine Bluff Country Club, Pine Bluff
Matt McClure, The Hive, Bentonville
Capi Peck, Trio’s, Little Rock
Anthony Valinoti, Deluca’s Pizza, Hot Springs

Food-themed event:

Arkansas Cornbread Festival, Little Rock
Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival, Warren
Magnolia Blossom Festival & World Championship Steak Cook-Off, Magnolia
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church Annual Spaghetti Dinner, Lake Village
Tontitown Grape Festival, Tontitown
World Championship Duck Gumbo Cook-Off, Stuttgart

Gone but not forgotten:

Browning’s Mexican Grill, Little Rock
Dairy Hollow House, Eureka Springs
Habib’s Cafe & Delicatessen, Helena-West Helena
Roy Fisher’s Steak House, North Little Rock
Uncle John’s, Crawfordsville

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