Arkansas Arts Center Sponsor Preview Party 3-30-11

A sponsor preview party for the new Impressionist exhibit was held at the Arkansas Arts Center last night.

Hors d'oeuvres & cocktails were offered to guests as they perused the new exhibit.

Saffron Boiled Shrimp with Red Pepper & Coriander served on a New Potato

Beef Tenderloin Cocktail Sandwiches with Parsley-Bleu Cheese Butter

Seasonal Crudites with Creamy Tarragon Dip

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Figs with Cognac Cream

Goat Cheese with Balsamic Reduction, Manchego with Honeyed Walnuts, Brie with Raspberry Jam, Gruyere & Mimolette Cheese


Rob Best Honored with Award

This year’s recipient of the Formica Ben E. Keith Culinary Community Service Award was
Chef Rob Best.

Here is the speech given by Rusty Mathis of Ben E. Keith

Rob not only agreed with Santo’s stance on giving back to the community & organizations around you; he was right beside Santo on many occasions. He has been in the Central Arkansas culinary field for over 30 years. Rob's legacy will be carried on by the many chefs that have been through his doors, and are now known throughout the community as well. In all likelihood every person in this room has attended an event he has catered. There is no doubt in my mind that he has changed the landscape of the culinary industry in Central Arkansas. He has worked diligently with Todd Gold over the past several years to the see the culinary school established in Little Rock. He has served in any role asked of him in countless organizations – the NLR A&P Commission, the Arkansas Hospitality Association, the Chamber of Commerce on both sides of the river – just to name a few. He has supported efforts to feed the homeless, by not only giving excess food to those in need, but by giving of his time at the Compassion Center, Potluck, and the Gospel Rescue Mission.

Rob is known as the type of person who would literally give you the shirt off his own back. Just a quick glance at the numerous events he has been a part of and you will see his giving spirit. He has been involved in many fundraising events for groups like Make-A-Wish, Easter Seals, Ducks Unlimited, the Arkansas Arts Center, the American Heart Association and Lakewood United Methodist Church.

In 2004, Rob was inducted into the AHA & ACF Central Arkansas Chapter’s Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Salut Au Restaurateur in 2005. He owns and operates both Simply the Best Catering and Best Impressions Restaurant and teaches full time at Pulaski Tech in the culinary department.

Rob will certainly be remembered for these awards and accomplishments, but also for how much he gives back to everyone around him. He has worked diligently to make central Arkansas a better place to live and even better place to eat.


Tabriz 2011

The Fine Arts Club of Arkansas presented Tabriz on Thursday and Saturday, March 3 and 5, 2011, at the Arkansas Arts Center. Chaired by Lisa Baxter, the biennial two-night event raises funds for art acquisitions and educational programs for the Arkansas Arts Center. Since its beginning, Tabriz has raised almost $6 million which has funded the art acquisition for the Arts Center’s world renowned permanent collection and supported the Arts Center’s educational programming.

The Thursday night event was a fun, casual party featuring a sophisticated silent auction full of boutique items. The lighting was provided by Chris Pritchard with CWP Productions.

Party guests were able to watch artists 
from the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School at work.
 Guests enjoyed specialty cocktails, wine, and ales along with classic American fare
while bidding on auction items throughout the Arts Center.
Saturday evening was a lavish black-tie Gala designed by Creative Director Delaney T. Bagwell.

Floral decor by Tipton Hurst

Attendees to this dazzling event were able to peruse a silent auction,
enjoy premium cocktails,
savor an elegant dinner

and bid on must-have items in a live auction.

First Course
Arctic Char with Spicy Tomato Jam, Leek & Fennel Agnalotti, Fragrant Consommé

Second Course
Veal Tenderloin with Braised Cippolini Onions, Brussel Sprouts with Almonds, and Onion Buerre Blanc

Third Course
Manchego Cheese with Quince Paste and a Chive Palmier

Final Course
Opera Cake

New this year, Tabriz included a Studio Party following the Gala. Swanky cocktails and hors d'oeuvres prepared by Pulaski Tech culinary students were offered to guests.

Hors d'oeuvres presentation by Simply the Best Catering
Food & beverages were available in the Lower Lobby (pictured above) and Courtyard

The courtyard was transformed into a club like setting.  Guests danced the night away to the tunes of Big Mike Geier & the Kingsized from Atlanta, GA.


Nichole & Keith 2-19-11

Nichole & Keith's special event marks my 100th blog posting!

The ceremony was held at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church on Saturday, February 19th. The reception followed immediately after the ceremony at the Junior League of Little Rock.

Hors d'oeuvres were presented buffet style to guests in the Foyer.

Fresh Vegetables with Ranch Dip (top)
Boursin Cheese Filled New Potatoes (bottom)

Gourmet Cheese Display garnished with Fresh Berries

Food items not listed above ~ Brown Sugar Pork Loin with Orange & Thyme on Slider Rolls, Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Praline Sauce & Warm Spinach Dip with Pita Chips

Candy favors for the guests & portraits on the stairs

Bride's Cake

Floral, Lighting & Linen provided by Distinctive Designs by Tanarah

Gold Chiavari Chairs provided by Confetti's Party Rental

Food, cocktails & great music - a good time was had by all.
Congratulations Nichole & Keith!


Kristy & Caleb 3-12-11

The wedding ceremony for Kristy & Caleb took place on March 12th at the Arkansas Arts Center. The guests were asked to view the art galleries, and Simply the Best transitioned the Atrium for the reception.

Family & friends waiting to hear the wedding bells!

The centerpiece was added to the buffet after the ceremony.  Hors d'oeuvres not pictured below include: Pulled Beef & Pork on Party Rolls with BBQ Sauce, Southern Fried Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard and Warm Spinach Dip with Pita Chips.

Fresh Fruit with Sweetened Sour Cream and Cubed Cheese with Crackers

New Potateos with Sour Cream, Bacon, Cheese & Chives

Iced Tea, Sparkling Punch & Water were self serve to guests from punch jars.

A friend of the bride & groom made red and white wine with special labels to mark the occasion.

Bride & Groom's cakes by Stephanie Boyd

Brittany & Clark 2-26-11

Brittany & Clark said "I do" at Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church. The reception followed at the historic Rogers House.

An assortment of light hors d'oeuvres were served on the dining room table & downstairs as well. Floral arrangement by About Vase.
Also served (but not pictured below): Fresh Fruit, Chocolate Chip Cookies and AssortedTea Sandwiches (Chicken Salad, Pimento Cheese & Turkey with Cranberry Almond Cream Cheese).

 Cubed Cheese & Goat Cheese Truffles with Crackers

Peanut Butter, Chocolate & Key Lime Tartlets

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes & Ooey Gooey Cake Bars

Beautiful bride's cake by A Cake For You by Tracie

Champagne, Sparkling Punch & Water was offered to guests

A few more photos of the Rogers House...
It's truly a beautiful home and a wonderful place to host your event.

Downstairs home theater

Imagine a tent on the driveway & seating tables on the lawn...this would be a beautiful area of the Rogers House for an outdoor wedding reception!

This would be a great area for a band, bar & dancing!

Contact Todd at 501.690.8125 to reserve the Rogers House for your next event!