ACAC Dining with the Stars 9-23-10

The Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative hosted Dining with the Stars last night.  Guests enjoyed a 3-course dinner from Simply the Best with a working celebrity artist at every table. Each artist donated some of their work for a silent auction, and after dinner several gave a short performance. The celebrity guest list included:

Korto Momolu (Runner-up, “Project Runway”), Ray McKinnon (Oscar-Winner, “The Accountant”), Lawrence Hamilton (Broadway star), Graham Gordy (screenwriter, “War Eagle,” “Love Guru”), Robert Baker (actor, “Grey’s Anatomy”), Emily Galusha (model, painter, Ark. Times “Artist of the Year”) … and several more of staggering skill and prestige.

ACAC new space located at 608 Main St.

One of the celebrity artists Bonnie Montgomery

Chef Jason served Tomato Braised Chicken with Parmesan Risotto and Grilled Zucchini & Peppers

Kim Henderson with Robert Baker

NLR Chamber of Commerce's 17th Annual Taste of the Town

The 17th Annual Taste of the Town was held on yesterday at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. Presented by Pulaski Technical College and in partnership with The Hughes Agency, Taste of the Town gave the business community an opportunity to sample the “Tastes” that our region has to offer. Taste of the Town has become one of the area’s leading business networking events with more than 30 local restaurants, caterers and drink distributors participating and over 1,200 attendees.

A "Taste" of Simply the Best - Mini Reubens

Along with Sweet Corn Dip & Chips

Another look at our booth!

AHA Iron Chef Competition September 22 & 23

The AHA Iron Chef Competition provides an opportunity for chefs to display their amazing culinary techniques and skills, with the opportunity to earn bragging rights and build their reputations as top talent in the state.  The competition is open to eight eligible chefs from restaurants, country clubs or catering businesses that are members of the Arkansas Hospitality Association.  As part of the Iron Chef challenge, contestants must use a "mystery protein" announced at the competition that truly showcases the contestants creativity.

This is the line up.  Simply the Best Chef Jason Godwin along with Sous Chef Joel Carr competed in Heat 3.

The mystery protein was Top Sirloin.  Here is Joel deciding how to break down the meat and which part to use.

Jason working on the other components to be cooked with the sirloin.

The competitor's final product
Chef Tung Nguyen of Southland Gaming & Racing along with Sous Chef Howard Austion

Heat 3 winning plate by Simply the Best!
Deconstructed Braised Sirloin

From left to right:
Shane Henderson, Rob Best, Jason Godwin & Joel Carr

Meet the judges (from left to right):
Vince Pianalto, Chrissy Sanderson & Lee Richardson

The mystery protein for the Semi Finals on Thursday was Pork Loin Roast.
Jason & Joel prepared a Bone In Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions, Bacon Cheddar Grits & Chunky BBQ Sauce.

The winning plate by Chef Rob Nelson of River Grille with Sous Chef James Rose


7th Annual Arkansas Culinary Classic 9-22-10

Ready, Set, Cook and WIN.  The Arkansas Hospitality Association is hosted its seventh annual culinary competition to showcase Arkansas' Chefs.  Chefs competed in four categories: Soup/Salad, Dessert, Entree, or Appetizer.  Each chef provided a presentation plate, three judging plates, and 250 tastings of each entry for the culinary dinner. Winners will receive Medals and CASH prizes! 1st place-$500.00 per category, 2nd place-$300.00 per category, 3rd place-$200.00 per category.

Simply the Best Chef Jason Godwin entered 2 categories:
Dessert: Buttermilk Tartlet with Pecan Pie Ice Cream (pictured above)
Soup/Salad: Celery Root Soup with Smoked Bacon & Cayenne Oil

Simply the Best Sous Chef Joel Carr entered 2 categories:
Appetizer: Pulled Pork on Brown Butter Toast with Bacon Mayo & Fried Eggs Sunny Side Up (pictured above)
Entree: Porcini Encrusted Sea Bass with Crushed Blueberries

Our Display for Tastings

Chef Jason placed 3rd for his dessert!

50th Birthday Bash 9-18-10

"Cat" turns 50 and celebrates with his closest friends!

Event was designed & coordinated by Todd Bagwell

Lounge Furniture by Trendstyle Events

Grilled Oysters by Chef Jason, Joel & Neal

Chateaubriand Carving Station served with crusty French rolls, Horseradish Aioli, Bearnaise & Bordelaise Sauce

Honey Roasted Peanut Goat Cheese on Chocolate Cherry Toast

Whiskey Cheddar with Rosemary & Blackberry Compote

Prosciutto & Melon with Green Apple Strain & Balsamic Reduction

Top: Salmon Mousse on Bagel Crisps
Bottom: Baby Waffle topped with Fried Chicken & Sorghum Drizzle

Charcuterie Display

Lighting by Chris Pritchard with CWP Productions

Cakes & Desserts by Lisa's Cake Boutique

Kelly + Jason 9-18-10

Kelly & Jason said "I do" at Pulaski Heights Methodist Church.  The reception followed at the Arkansas Arts Center Atrium.

Kelly's beautiful cake by Lisa's Cake Boutique

In lieu of a groom's cake, we prepared bread pudding with a bourbon sauce.

Heavy hors d'oeuvres were served buffet style and included:
Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates, Brie with Fig Chutney, Apples & Pears, Shrimp Cocktail, Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms and Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Ground Mustard Sauce

Fresh Fruit

Fresh Veggies

Floral arrangements by Little Black Dress Brigade

Guest Seating

Political Fundraiser 9-9-10

The guest of honor, Shane Broadway, who is running for Lieutenant Governor.

A brunch was held for Shane to raise funds for his campaign.

Hors d'oeuvres were passed with orange juice, champagne and mimosas as guests arrived.  Pictured above are Grit Fritters with Grilled Shrimp and Proscuitto, Feta & Glazed Fig on Grilled Crostini.

For brunch we served Eggs Benedict with Lemon Basil Hollandaise, Fresh Asparagus, Gingered Cantaloupe with Honey.  The meal was accompanied by house made angel biscuits and blueberry muffins with butter, jams & honey.

Chef Jason Godwin

A special appearance was made by our 42nd President!

Beth + Scott 9-4-10

Beth & Scott had their wedding ceremony and reception in the Lower Lobby & Courtyard at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Fresh fruit was served with gourmet cheeses, mini desserts and wedding cake by Community Bakery.

Lemon Curd Tartlets were served with Mini Mocha Fudge Cakes with Cabernet Poached Pears (pictured below).

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