Scott Parton and I sit down at Flyway Brewing Company to discuss the new radio show Tap Time, airing its debut episode on 103.7 The Buzz. Scott and I talk about the show and what listeners can expect from the one-hour program. We also discuss Little Rock’s beer scene, how the city fits in with the national craft beer movement and our picks for the best beers released in 2015.
Three Fold Noodles & Dumplings Co. owner and head chef Lisa Zhang talks with the Foodcast about her authentic Chinese restaurant, including stories behind the menu and how she came to start a restaurant in the first place. We discuss the differences between Chinese and American cultures, how to improve the food we eat, and the single most important ingredients that go into the best cuisines.
The Foodcast crosses state lines for the first time to talk with Jeff Schrag, owner of Mother’s Brewing Company in Springfield, Missouri. We talk about making craft beer in a state dominated by Budweiser, how Mother’s fits in to the national craft beer scene and go over in detail a few of the beers Mother’s offers. Plus, Schrag talks about Little Rock’s impact on his brewery and how Mother’s has inspired and challenged Arkansas brewmakers to put out a quality product.
I sit down in the dining room of the famed Capital Bar and Grill to talk with chef de cuisine Arturo Solis. We discuss his early life in Miami and how that’s affected his cooking style, how he blends French and Southern techniques, and what his plans are for future menus at the storied restaurant at The Capital Hotel.
The Little Rock Foodcast returns from its hiatus with Anthony Valinoti, chef and owner of Deluca’s in Hot Springs. We talk about what makes his critically acclaimed pizza so special, including the importance of trial and error and sourcing his ingredients. We also discuss why he moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, in the first place; his passion for his customers; and why he considers it so important to have a life outside of the restaurant.
Back from Japan to visit his home state, Ben Bell stops to chat with the Foodcast about training to brew sake. We discuss how Bell left the United States to seek the best training and his plans for bringing a sake brewery to Hot Springs. We also talk about how sake is made, its social importance to Japan and what to look for when you’re buying a bottle of sake at the liquor store.
In a special episode of the Foodcast, I head to Leslie, Arkansas, to chat with Cody Hopkins, general manager of Falling Sky Farm. We sit on his front porch and talk about raising pigs, chickens and cows; what a day in the life of a farmer is like; the challenges facing modern farmers in Arkansas; and how the farming community has banded together to help one another succeed.
Chef Shuttle owner and founder Ryan Herget stops by to chat about his hugely popular restaurant delivery business. Herget discusses how restaurants sign up, how Chef Shuttle helps bring them new customers and how his business model actually works. We also talk about his expansion into Northwest Arkansas and Tennessee, and why restaurant delivery isn’t all Herget has his eye on.
Ryan Merritt-McGehee discusses The Clean Eatery at Stratton’s, the food truck concept that is now in a permanent kitchen at Stratton’s Market next to Dugan’s Pub in downtown Little Rock. We talk about healthy eating, making meal plans for hundreds of people, growing a business from truck to restaurant in just a few months, and how he got started in the world of food by first losing more than 100 pounds.
Christina Basham, owner of Boulevard Bread Company, joins the Foodcast to discuss the history of Boulevard and why she decided to open a bakery and sandwich shop back in 2000. We also discuss the new Boulevard Bistro and such dishes as the Baked Pimento Cheese and the Bialy Breakfast Sandwich, and we take a look at what the future holds for Boulevard.