Posts Tagged Capi Peck

Vive la Vie’s Dinner Series Kicks Off at Capitol View Studio

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Some of you may know that I co-host a weekly radio show with Alexia Elichiry on KABF 88.3 called Vive la Vie. Each Friday morning Alexia and I gab about all things food and drink … usually with a chef, farmer, rancher, barista, baker or mixologist. The show is a ton of fun, with a nice balance of humor and seriousness that makes the 30 minutes feel like five. In truth, I’m Alexia’s sidekick, someone who chimes in, interjects, and occasionally adds a few coherent thoughts to the program.  She literally runs the show … all with an ease, calmness, and sense of professionalism that never ceases to amaze me.

And Alexia always has great ideas.

Last night, we made one of these ideas a reality. The Vive la Vie Show went off-location to Capitol View Studio for a special, hour-long recorded session with some of the biggest names in Little Rock’s culinary scene: Capi Peck of Trio’s, Matt Bell of South on Main, Ben Brainard of Local Lime and Heights Taco & Tamale, and Jeffrey Owen of Ciao Baci.

We ate, we drank, we asked the most random questions, and we shared our thoughts about everything from Bell’s curry to Brainard’s mentor … all around a potluck-filled dinner table. As a food writer and someone who covers these folks on a routine basis, it proved to be an amazingly unique opportunity to share my true thoughts and feelings. Let’s face it, for as much as I love our local food scene and try to extol its virtues, I still constructively criticize food, service, and, well, just about anything. And at it’s core, what made the night so special for me was that ability to just sit around and be open and honest with each other.

It was a hell of a lot of fun, and at times, quite emotional. But it was absolutely one my most cherished food memories, and it looks like something we might be doing every few months.

Pretty soon, you’ll have the opportunity to listen to the footage. I hope you do.

Special thanks to Mark Colbert for setting up all the audio equipment for the evening, and also to Bryan Frazier, who opened his studio to us and played such a critical role in planning and executing things. And not to forget…thank you to Jordan Crain for that fantastic egg nog.

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Unique Randomness: Stop Your Whining, NLR

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Random thoughts and ramblings on local food and drink…

One complaint I often hear from many NLR readers is how there are no good restaurants in the area. That’s bullshit. Make no mistake, the NLR-area is chalk full of chains, but if you look a little deeper, you’ll find some of the better restaurants in Central Arkansas are right there in Dogtown. Mugs Café, Good Food by Ferneau, and Capeo in the Argenta District are all good. You’ve got Flyway Brewing and Diamond Bear right down the street. Head north and you’ll find Mr. Chengs, Chang Thai, Zaffino’s, and Rosalinda’s. I’ve heard really good things about Scoop Dog, Ira’s Park Hill Grill, and Guadalajara. And these are just a few…there are many more. Hell, you have one of the best donut shops in the country in Mark’s. Could things be better? Yes. Could they be a hell of a lot worse? Absolutely.

Anyone else get a little depressed when you drive by the old Packet House? What a structure…what a location…what potential. I don’t know the logistics on why it just sits there, but I really wish someone would buy the property, lure an awesome chef from a place like Austin, and make it into an elite dining destination.

Eggshells has some really good cooking classes coming up in the very near future, with names like Capi Peck, Scott Rains, and Sarah DeClerk ready to expound on some food knowledge.

You really should be following local pie-maker Honey Pies when you get a free sec. I tried out one of Sharon’s pies at a holiday party and was blown away by her Gingerbread Apple. And this is coming from someone who tends to frown upon eating apple pies. I know…that’s a topic for another day. Anyways, go follow Honey Pies and please consider ordering a pie from Sharon.

Looks like we have ourselves a new food truck. Thanks to Little Rock Soiree for breaking the story on Roxy’s Twisted Sandwiches. Frankly, I know absolutely nothing about this food truck, but I give mad props to the folks for creating something that looks quite unique. Here’s hoping it tastes great as well.

A reader wanted to know if any place(s) in town serve chicken spaghetti. All I could find from my research was that Diane’s Gourmet sells it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any actual restaurants. If you have some suggestions, we’re all ears.

I often wonder how some restaurants stay open in this town. I won’t name names, but I drive by several places all of the time and often see 1-2 cars in front of them, yet the restaurant stays open…for months, hell, years. How is this possible?

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Trio’s Pulls Off Fantastic Dinner Event

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Twenty-nine years is a very long time. In restaurant years, it’s like 150. There’s a reason why Trio’s has been open for 150 restaurant years … actually many reasons.

But it begins and ends with owner Capi Peck. She’s a ball of energy and enthusiasm that bounces around a party room with a sincerity that’s hard to find these days. This town loves Capi and her talents were on full display at our Oaxacan Dinner last Thursday evening.

During the planning stages several weeks ago, we agreed to include 25 guests, 35 at the very most. We ended up with 52. Here’s a paraphrase of how one exchange went down:

Potential Guest: “I’d like 2 tickets to the Oaxacan Dinner.”

Me: “That’s great, but you don’t even know the date.”

Potential Guest: “I don’t care. It’s Capi, please reserve me 2 tickets.”

So here we were, 52 foodies—a mix of close friends, acquaintances, and Capi loyalists—sitting in the banquet room adjacent to Trio’s, ready to partake in dishes Capi conjured up from her summer vacation to Mexico.

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We ate dishes like Ceviche de Atun (ahi tuna with jicama, coconut milk, and serrano chile), Quesadillas con Flor de Calabaza (squash blossoms, huitlachoche, Poblano chile, and Oaxaca cheese), and Tamales de Pollo con Mole Negro de Oaxaca. There were even two desserts, including a Capirotada (bread pudding with pine nuts, raisins, queso penela, and cinnamon whipped cream) and a Tarta de Chocolate Mexicano with Ancho chile pecans. I can honestly say everything tasted great.

There were so many other aspects to the evening that deserve mention, like the flawless, attentive service, along with Capi’s colorful descriptions of each dish while projected pictures from her trip popped on the wall, as well as a bar that cranked out perfectly paired wine and cocktails. Hell, we even had a guac and chips station.

But, to me, the warmth (and I’m not talking temperature) in that room was what made the evening so memorable … and no moment was more indicative of this than when Capi brought out her staff to receive some well-deserved recognition.

It was a perfect ending to a perfect evening. Thank you to Capi and the entire Trio’s staff!

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