Kitchen | Fields Table Tour Kicks Off

by Michael Wilkey ([email protected]) 147 views 

A program to help promote soy-based foods around the state gets its start this month with restaurants around Arkansas participating.

“They approached us and asked us to do it. We jumped at the chance,” Lisa Godsey, general manager and executive chef at J-Town’s Grill in Jonesboro said of the Kitchen|Fields Table Tour.

The restaurant is one of only four in the state to participate in the program, including South on Main in Little Rock, the Hive in Bentonville and the Southern Gourmasian in Little Rock.

The tour is sponsored by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.

Under the program, chefs at each restaurant have to develop a dish to be featured on their menus for three months.

The dish can be a soy food or a food like chicken, pork or beef that consumes soybean meal, officials said.

The program will launch at South on Main in Little Rock with a farm-to-table dinner and conversations about how Arkansas soybeans are used in the food industry.

South on Main will also be the first feature restaurant and will serve a Striped Bass with soybeans, corn mash and chow chow.

That dish will be available through the end of September.

When diners visit the restaurant and order the dish, they’ll receive a card that tells them how soybeans are included.

Godsey said J-Town’s Grill will make a Greek flatbread with soybean Hummis as well as a chicken dish because soybeans are used as feed.

The restaurant on Johnson Avenue, across the street from Arkansas State University, opened Aug. 1, 2014.

Godsey said the restaurant has seen a lot of customers, including college students. In addition to the Greek flatbread, the restaurant also sells hamburgers, tuna wraps and salads among other items on a three-page menu.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and is closed on Sunday.

An official with the state soybean board said the program will help to educate people about soybeans, which are grown around the state.

“We are excited to partner with restaurants across the state for this program,” Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board Chairman West Higginbothom said. “This is an opportunity for Arkansans to learn about soybeans grown by family farmers in our state and the many soy foods and soy products available to consumers. Many Arkansans are already eating soy products, but may not realize it. That is what makes this program so important.”