Picture this: 40 chefs; their food spread out under tents on the Great Lawn of Pratt Place Inn & Barn in Fayetteville, Arkansas. VIP guests sampling new creations and some restaurant favorites on the lawn, while drinks and cocktails are offered in the barn. Food and food lovers mingling and food dreams either coming true or being born.
The barn and surrounding field were the scene of the kickoff for the Fayetteville Roots Festival in Northwest Arkansas. The barn has been recognized by Martha Stewart Weddings as the premier wedding venue in Arkansas. The surrounding property features a seven-room luxury inn surrounded by 140 acres of gardens and field, enclosed by statuesque trees. The perfect setting for an evening of food and drink, serenaded by the music of the Del McCoury Band, the Charlie Hunter Trio and Flaco Jiménez.
The Fayetteville Roots Festival is spread over various locations, featuring food and music, including demonstrations by renowned chefs—many who also taught Master Classes at nearby Brightwater, A Center for the Study of Food, part of Northwest Arkansas Community College.
For this grand-opening reception, there were 44 chefs serving food at more than 25 stations spread across the lawn of Pratt Place, with many of the visiting chefs paired with local favorites. Celebrity Chef Edward Lee was paried with Chef John Lupton from Wood Stone Pizza in Rogers, Arkansas, who served a Bourbon Whisky Roasted Pork Belly with Asparagus & Apple Salad.
Nashville Chef Tandy Wilson paired with Matthew McClure, Executive Chef at The Hive, located in the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, to offer an amazing Braised Lamb with pear confit.
At the “Sweets Things” tent, individuals were featured including Chef Anne Carroll of Farmer’s Table in Fayetteville, who served a delightful Blueberry Rosemary Mousse. Chef Lori Rae of of Fork & Crust in Rogers, Ark., served the Southern favorite Pecan Pie.
Then there was a Jalapeño Blueberry Bread Pudding. Grilled Potatoes with Brown Butter and Parsley. Pulled Pork with Pickled Mustard Seed and Pepper Jelly. Pie. Cream Puffs (in flavors such as pistachio, boozy citrus, and cardamom cherry coulis). And so much more.
Maybe we should just let the pictures tell the story. Click the Roots Festival logo photo to initiate the gallery.
This is part of The Food Channel‘s On Location series at The Fayetteville Roots Festival. For other stories in the series, click here. You’ll find links at the end of that article that go live as new articles and videos are posted.
Photos by Paul K. Logsdon.