2022 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame winners announced

Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, presents the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame award to Laverne and Don Neal on behalf of Neal’s Cafe in Springdale.

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Heritage

The Department of Arkansas Heritage on Monday announced the winners of the 2022 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame during a hybrid ceremony at Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater in downtown Little Rock.

The winners include Neal’s Cafe of Springdale, Colonial Steak House of Pine Bluff, and Dairy King of Portia.

The program, now in its sixth year, recognizes Arkansas restaurants, proprietors, food-themed events, and influential Arkansas restaurants that have since ceased operations.

Others earning spots this year include Capi Peck and Brent Peterson of Trio’s Restaurant in Little Rock (Proprietor of the Year), World Championship Duck Gumbo Cookoff in Stuttgart (Food-Themed Events), Coy’s Steak House in Garland County (Gone But Not Forgotten) and La Casa de Mi Abuelita in Redfield (People’s Choice).

Fayetteville’s Herman’s Ribhouse made the list of finalists for the second year in a row, but once again missed out on the award.

Public nominations are accepted each fall, while finalists and winners in the four main categories are decided by a panel of judges.

More than 2,000 submissions were received for this year’s awards, representing nominees from all 75 Arkansas counties.

This year’s judging panel included Stacy Hurst, Paul S. Austin, Jimmy Bryant, Chip Culpepper, Quantia “Key” Fletcher, Cindy Grisham, Montine McNulty, Rex Nelson, Tim Nutt, Kat Robinson, Stephanie Wade, David Ware and Stanley Young.