2023 Arkansas Food Hall of Fame winners announced

Mike Mills (left), cabinet secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, presents an Arkansas Food Hall of Fame award to Jerri Todd, co-owner of the Ozark Cafe in Jasper, during a ceremony held at the Ron Robinson Theater in downtown Little Rock on March 6, 2023. (Courtesy photo)

The Department of Arkansas Heritage this month announced the winners of the 2023 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 Ozark Cafe of Jasper, Bulldog Restaurant of Bald Knob and Kream Kastle of Blytheville.

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

Others earning spots this year include Jamie McAfee of the Pine Bluff Country Club (Proprietor of the Year), Magnolia Blossom Festival and World Championship Steak Coof-Off (Food-Themed Events), Bohemia Restaurant of Garland County (Gone But Not Forgotten) and Community Bakery in Little Rock (People’s Choice).

Hugo’s of Fayetteville was the only restaurant in Northwest Arkansas on this year’s list of finalists.

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

Last year’s winners were Neal’s Cafe of Springdale, Colonial Steak House of Pine Bluff, and Dairy King of Portia. Other category winners in 2022 included 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).