Blue Plate Special Event Highlights City’s Best Eats

Hope you didn’t skip breakfast because this is about to make you hungry.

Blue Plate Special (formerly known as the Governor’s Culinary Challenge) is coming to the Capital Hotel in downtown Little Rock to showcase some of the metro’s most talented chefs and mixologists, all in the name of deliciousness. Even better is the fact that Blue Plate Special serves as a fundraiser for the Thea Foundation scholarship program for students interested in the arts.

Longtime friend of the Thea Foundation Chef Matt Bell of South on Main is chairing the event.

“As a former musician in high school and college, I believe that practicing an art form can make our lives fuller and better,” Bell said in a press release. “The discipline, dedication and creativity I learned from 10 years of playing music helps me today as a business owner and a chef. By fighting for arts in education, the Thea Foundation is not only providing our students with a well-rounded education, they’re laying the groundwork for the betterment of these children’s future.”

The revamped event is set for Monday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m., where guests will get a taste of the best dishes and drinks, as well as the musical stylings of Dr. Danny Fletcher and Company

So who’s competing this year? The lineup includes:


  • Brian Kearns – Simply the Best Catering
  • Capi Peck -Trio’s Restaurant
  • Gilbert Alaquinez – Forty Two
  • Jeff Owen – Ciao Baci
  • Marc Guizol – Capital Bar and Grill
  • Matt Bell – South on Main
  • Payne Harding – Cache Restaurant
  • Shiem Swift – The Veg LLC
  • Stephen Burrow -Skye’s Little Bistro at Stratton Market
  • Zara Abbasi Wilkerson – private pastry chef/dessert consultant


  • David Burnette – South on Main
  • Luiggi Uzcategui – Big Orange Midtown

Helping the experts will be various special guests including fashion designer Korto Momolu, KATV’s Chris Kane, B98.5’s Lisa Fischer, The House of Art founder Chris James and more.

To get your tickets to the first-ever Blue Plate Special, click here or call (501) 379-9512.


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