Arkansas Sends Culinary Talent to Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Visit Bentonville will partner to attend the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival May 31- June 3.

The partnership’s presence will showcase the food and drink offerings in Arkansas 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: Chef Mark Abernathy of Loca Luna and Red Door; Chef Mary Beth Ringgold of Cajun’s Wharf, Capers and Copper Grill; Lynn Darnell of Rock Town Distillery; Chef Rob Nelson and Sous Chef/Sommelier Katherine O’Leary-Cole of Tusk & Trotter; Scott Baker, mixologist for Tusk & Trotter; Roman Davis of Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food; and Josiah Moody of Bike Rack Brewery.

The Arkansas contingent will also lead several events throughout the festival. At “Destination Delicious,” Abernathy, Nelson (both of whom serve on the festival’s advisory council), and Ringgold will prepare a variety of Southern dishes and Darnell, Moody and Baker 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.

In another event, “Arkansas Bacon: The Ozark Ham,” Scott Baker, Rob Nelson and Katherine O’Leary-Cole will cover Arkansas’s unique variety of charcuterie. Chef Mark Abernathy will present “Bringing it Back: New Age Tamales” for a look at (and taste of) traditional and modern hot tamales.

The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival shines an international spotlight on the rich food and beverage traditions of the South from Texas to DC. 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:

Harrison Maddox - Digital Content Strategist, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism - (501) 682-1925

Kalene Griffith - President, Visit Bentonville - (479) 271-9153

Libby Lloyd - Communications Manager, Little Rock CVB - (501) 370-3248