Ever wonder what other foodies are thinking? Me too. Special thanks to Zara for their responses!

1. How many years have you lived in Little Rock? I’ve moved around a lot but have been in Little Rock for 16 years now and am really enjoying watching the city grow and take off.

2. What area of town do you generally find yourself dining at? All of Little Rock seems like my back yard & I tend to cover good ground equally in all parts when we eat out. However, I’d say we eat in the Hillcrest/Heights area the most with West Little Rock being a close second.

3. Do you cook/bake often? If so, what are a few of your favorite dishes to prepare? I cook and bake a lot & I’m a fan of braised meats, yeasted doughs, laminated doughs & handmade pasta. But my favorite dishes to prepare are things that make my family happy. My 4 year old loves meatloaf so I’m happy making that for him & my husband loves croque monsieurs. 

4. What is one dish you absolutely despise eating? Cold soups like gazpacho. In my brain, soups need to be hot, so I’ve been know to warm up gazpacho. My mouth, my rules, right?

5. What type of restaurant would you like to see added to the Little Rock dining scene? A tasteful vegetarian restaurant. I, personally, am not but I see many displaced vegetarians who have to order sides or appetizers as meals. For me, I’d love a bigger international scene, so I’d choose Spanish or Ethiopian restaurants.

6. When was the last time you walked out of a Little Rock restaurant with absolute contentment? A few days ago at Big Orange Midtown. I loved the arugula, pecorino, fig jam burger & truffle fries & my vanilla bean Coke float! Scott, Matt, & the rest of the crew just get it. Great burgers, sides, drinks & ambiance; it was like a nostalgic food hug.

7. Who has the best service in town? Ashley’s at The Capital. Sometimes I want to be pampered when I go out & I’ve always had fantastic service there for that purpose. Very attentive & detail orientated staff.

Great food and service at Ashley's.

Great food and service at Ashley’s

8. What’s one item that’s a pain in the butt to cook? My home made lasagna because of all the steps and dirty dishes involved. Handmade pasta, the rolling process, home made marinara & bolognese, home made ricotta, home made bechamel, layering process, baking time & cleaning kitchen. But I still do it because it makes me complete. 

9. What’s your #1 bar in town for a nice drink and relaxing time? Ciao Baci is always a comfortable, not too stuffy spot. Great bites, easy atmosphere and wide selection. Its really hard to go wrong there.

10. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of food? I “imported” ten coffee cakes out of Pakistan!! I had someone drive four hours each way to get these decadent, seriously delicious cakes for me. Then arranged for ten airtight containers to make sure they endured the 22+ hour flight home. Sooooooo worth it!

Zara Abbasi Wilkerson is the new head pastry chef at Natchez, please go follow them on FB, and head to the restaurant for her new creations!

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