Ever wonder what other foodies are thinking? Me too. Special thanks to Chef Matt Bell of South on Main for his answers!
1. How many years have you lived in Little Rock? I moved here in 2005 from Austin, TX after culinary school.
2. Where was your first Little Rock dining experience? I ate at Franke’s Cafeteria. I really love this place and I can’t get enough of the eggplant casserole.
3. When you do find time to cook at home, what is one of your favorite dishes to prepare? I make a lot of Mexican food at home, mainly enchiladas. My favorite dish is whatever my wife is making when she cooks. She is an amazing cook, especially when I don’t bother her with advice on proper technique.
4. What are a few of your guilty food pleasure items? I don’t tell people this, but I love a gas station burrito. I really cannot explain it.
5. Are you a beer or cocktail guy? Or both? I am a cocktail guy and if you have ever had Dave Burnette make you a drink, I think everyone would be a cocktail drinker.
6. Where is your favorite place to eat pizza? And what do you usually order? I think my favorite place would have to be Pizza Cafe. This is something I don’t go and eat a lot because my wife makes great pizza at home. She uses her grandma’s recipe and I love it.
7. You have to put together a 3-course meal (app, entree, and dessert) from three different Little Rock restaurants (and you can’t pick yours). What would be your choices to create this ideal meal? I would start at Maddie’s Place and get grilled oysters, next I would go see Alexis Jones at Natchez and let her choose whatever she wanted, then I would be really happy with some double vanilla from Loblolly. I could probably write seven or eight variations on this depending on my particular cravings that week.
8. If you could jump in a plane this very second…where would you go and what would you eat? I would fly back to my home town of Missoula, MT and go right to The Shack. I worked there for seven years and go back every time I am in town. Doak Morrow, the breakfast cook, makes the best omelets I have ever eaten. I get the Farmers omelet; it comes with bacon, broccoli, cabbage, red peppers, and cheddar cheese. My wife Amy would have an avocado, bacon and cheddar omelet.
9. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten? My first year in Arkansas I cooked the raccoon at Marion Berry’s house for the Gillette Coon Supper. I have eaten all pigs parts that are edible and love offal, but I still think raccoon is an exotic meal. I have to say it is not bad.
10. What food celebrity would you like to have dinner with? I would love to name many celebrity chefs and food personalities like, Sean Brock, David Chang, Hugh Acheson, and many others but I think the dinner my wife and I had with Chris Hastings and his wife might be one of the best dinners I have had. I would not have picked Chris before I met him, but he and his wife are the kindest most genuine people I have ever had the chance to know. I would break bread with Chris anytime.
Editor’s Note: If you haven’t checked out South on Main, I highly recommend you pay them a visit. You can read a little more about them here.