A native of Montana, chef Matthew Bell received his training at Austin, Texas’ Le Cordon Bleu before moving to Little Rock and working at local dining mainstays including Ristorante Capeo and Capital Hotel. Since it opened in 2013, Bell has been based at South on Main, where he has made a name for himself with his sophisticated ‘refined Southern’ cuisine. When he isn’t cooking up tempting eats like pig trotters with fried yard egg or pan-seared catfish with cornmeal pancake, Bell can be found participating in charitable programs like No Kid Hungry.
South on Main, 1304 Main Street, Little Rock, AR, USA, +1 501 244 9660
Chef Jerrmy Gawthrop, alongside co-owner Clayton Suttle, is the mind behind Greenhouse Grille, a Fayetteville dining favorite opened in 2006 that focuses on ‘conscious cuisine’ crafted from organic, locally sourced produce. In 2013, Gawthrop scooped the US Foods Next Top Product Award for his healthy, vegetarian black bean slider, winning the opportunity to have his recipe distributed to restaurants across the USA. In the summer of 2014, he teamed with Suttle again to open Wood Stone Craft Pizza, bringing a dining experience centered on artisan pizzas, cocktails and local craft beers to south Fayetteville.
After graduating from Portland’s Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Matthew Cooper cut his teeth working at some of the city’s top restaurants before returning to his native Arkansas to work as executive sous chef at Little Rock’s Chenal Country Club. A two-time winner of Iron Chef Arkansas, a competition that pits the state’s top culinary talents against each other, Cooper recently departed his role as executive chef at Little Rock’s chic Cache, and is currently concentrating other projects including Dandelion, a specialty herb and spice store he opened with his wife Priscilla Fincher.
RopeSwing, 301 Northeast Blake Street, Bentonville, AR, USA, +1 512 468 2248
Born and raised in Little Rock, chef Matthew McClure later moved to Boston where he studied under acclaimed chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch, before returning home to work with award-winning chef Lee Richardson at the Capital Hotel. In his current role as executive chef at The Hive in Bentonville’s 21c Museum Hotel, McClure crafts a menu that showcases Arkansas’ unique culinary heritage and offers his signature ‘refined country cuisine’. His unique cuisine (think crispy pig tails with pickled vegetables and seared diver scallops with black eyed peas) has earned him both James Beard Best Chef South and Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef nominations.
The Hive, 200 Northeast A Street, Bentonville, AR, USA, +1 479 286 6575