Arkansas Heritage announced the winners for the 2021 class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame on Monday (Feb. 22).
The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame was launched by Arkansas Heritage in 2016 to recognize Arkansas’s iconic restaurants, proprietors and food-themed events. Nominations were accepted from the public in five categories: Food Hall of Fame, Proprietor of the Year, Food-Themed Event, Gone But Not Forgotten and People’s Choice.
The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Committee chose the finalists in each category and the winners announced are as follows:
Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
Feltner’s Whatta-Burger, Russellville (Pope County)
Monte Ne Inn Chicken, Rogers (Benton County)
Star of India, Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Proprietor of the Year
Matt McClure, Bentonville (Benton County)
Gone But Not Forgotten
Roy Fisher’s Steak House, North Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Bistro Bar & Grill, Helena-West Helena (Phillips County)
Arkansas Heritage also declared corn as the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Food of the Year for 2021.
The fifth class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame received more than 2,000 submissions from all 75 Arkansas counties, marking a nearly 40% increase year-over-year.
“Each year we take pride in honoring some of the incredible restaurants and industry stakeholders within our state, but something felt extra special this year,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “Celebrating Arkansas food is a great way for all of us to enjoy our state’s heritage and share it with others, especially during uncertain times. We are thankful for each person across the state for getting involved.”
The selection committee was composed of several different Arkansans representing various industries including Paul S. Austin, Jimmy Bryant, Chip Culpepper, Cindy Grisham, Stacy Hurst, Montine McNulty, Rex Nelson, Tim Nutt, Kat Robinson, Christina Shutt, Donna Uptigrove, David Ware and Stanley Young.