Folks who have kept up with my pork-worshipping self over the years may find this surprising, but I was a vegetarian for several years. And even though I backslid back into the life carnivorous, I’ve still got a soft spot for those who promote the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle.

Last year, Sol Food Catering (a vegan catering company) founded the Little Rock Urban Raw Festival to support healthy, sustainable living — and while the majority of us might not be full time vegetarians, there’s certainly a lot we can learn from folks like Sol Food about ways to look at food pathways. The second annual festival is coming up in September, so mark your calendars. From the press release: 


The 2nd Annual Urban Raw Festival is a unique day-long festival that seeks to nurture our creative potential by bringing people together to celebrate sustainable and cruelty-free living.

Food demos (vegan and living), artisans, dynamic workshop presentations, free yoga instruction, film screenings of the original dramatic series produced and shot in Little Rock, Makeda’s Nido, local musicians and vegetarian food options will all be a part of this day-long festival in SOMA on Main Street between 13th and 16th.
Guests scheduled to perform include, Jessica Lauren as JLR; 9th Scientist; Crystal C. Mercer, DJ Sick Numbles; Laura Lee, Out Loud Artistry dance troupe and Todd Belin. The festivities begin at 9am and conclude at 9pm.

Proceeds from the festival will go to fund N.A.T.U.R.E.’s Workshop (Nurturing Arkansas Treasures in an Urban Raw Environment). N.A.T.U.R.E.’s Workshop is a sustainable cultural arts complex and a living history facility that seeks to explore the fundamental connection between food, art and the healing process, while providing active, ongoing support to communities and individuals.

For more information on the Urban Raw Festival contact Marie Amaya at 901-231-7416 or email

From past experience, I can tell you that no neighborhood in Little Rock throws a party quite like SoMa, so this one is sure to be a highlight of the culinary year. See you there!