Attention Little Rock foodies, if you are not on Twitter, you are missing out on some of the most tantalizing and engaging food related goings-on in this city. It’s that simple. Why Twitter? Oh, you are already on Facebook? Perhaps it’s a personal preference, but I feel Twitter gives the user a more intimate look into the life of the food industry—its chefs, its patrons, its owners. Surprisingly, this insight is expressed in the very limited confines of 140 characters. But I firmly believe that a food scene that has learned to embrace Twitter, exploiting it for all it can be, will propel itself forward at a rate exponentially faster than a city that doesn’t. I want to see where you are eating. I want to know exactly what you are cramming down your throat in real time. I want to know what evil science experiments the Little Rock food labs are cooking up at the moment. I want to see dinner specials and dessert menus. If you own a restaurant, and you aren’t using Twitter, I can truly not fathom why you are neglecting such a valuable (and free!) marketing tool. Oh look! My friend is eating lasagna at The Pantry…geez, I better get over there and follow his lead. It works, folks.
For all you Tweeters, and non-Tweeters who we can hopefully convince to join our happy throng, here is our list of the greatest and most important food related Twitter feeds to follow in Central Arkansas. This list represents individuals, businesses, and chefs…a hodge-podge of ne’er-do-wells, ragamuffins, sweethearts, and quasi-geniuses, all working together to support and enhance the Arkansas food scene. #StartFollowingTheseFolks
Kevin Shalin (@TheMightyRib): Kevin is no stranger to the Eat Arkansas family, but in the relatively short time since he moved to Little Rock, there is probably no one that has been more enthusiastic about and instrumental in helping build and shape our food community. Clever, kind, honest, and witty, his tweets are always a treat. He’s also pioneered some incredible foodie meet-ups (such as The Pantry pig roast and a coffee cupping at Guillermo’s). He also has a pretty wicked beard—the ladies love it.
Zara Abbasi (@Zara1024): Incredibly sweet and chock full of food related knowledge; the girl clearly has good taste. Also, she may or may not be forming an underground cake business (more on that in the near future).
Joel DiPippa (@Joel_DiPippa): If you’ve lived in Arkansas for, say, more than 2 hours, you probably already know Joel, so he likely needs no introduction. But the man is simply a wealth of information. And while his brilliance is certainly not limited to food, cooking, and cocktails, in these his knowledge is truly unparalleled. I’ve also considered hiring him as my personal stylist, should I ever find myself on a red carpet of some sort in the future. His loving new wife, Amanda (@al_dipippa) ain't just arm candy either. The girl knows her grub as well, making the two of them a near-supernatural power couple within the Little Rock food scene. But please refrain from referring to them as "JoeManda."
The Local Lime/Big Orange/ZAZA empire (@LocalLime, @BigOrangeBurger, @zaza_pizza): not only do they produce some of the finest food in the state—with a slew of awards to prove it—these folks also run one of the most powerful PR campaigns in Central Arkansas. Led by the talented Amber Brewer (@ambirdLR), their tweets are undeniably effective in stimulating salivary glands and getting people in the doors of their restaurants. Truly a model unto any other business looking to do Twitter right.
Thanh Rasico (@ThanhRasico): She may be relatively new to the Twitterverse, but she’s certainly no stranger to fine dining. In conjunction with her excellent food blog, Red Kitchen Recipes, Thanh has proven numerous times that in the kitchen, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Erin Robinson (@Erin_in_AR): A woman who has shown herself to be both well-traveled and well-versed in all things food in Little Rock and beyond. Clearly, a person with a generous number of dining experiences under her belt, her suggestions, tweets, and musings on the Central Arkansas food scene should not be ignored.
The Pantry (@LRPantry): Frankly, there are not enough local restaurants on Twitter, and many who are do not tweet nearly enough. The Pantry, however, is a notable exception. Always excellent at promoting drool-worthy specials—meatloaf, mussels, and jager schnitzel come to mind. Follow closely and you’ll occasionally catch their “buzzword” of the day, which can help you score some free appetizers or desserts.
Brown Sugar Bakery (@BrownSugarLR): Always imagining up the most twisted and tantalizing sweet treats, this downtown bakeshop has become famous for their elaborate twists on cupcakes, cookies, and pies. Their boozy, cocktail-inspired cupcakes keep customers lining up out the door on a daily basis, and their Twitter feed is one of the finest ways to keep up to snuff on what’s coming out of their oven.
Christie Ison/Fancy Pants Foodie (@ARFoodie): Seasoned chef and dedicated blogger, Christie has been a key player in the Central Arkansas food scene for some time. Lovable, talented, and caring, she’s definitely worth a follow. Also, an invaluable resource for all things gluten-free.
Erika Gee (@erikagee): Lawyer by day, foodie by lunch. Erika’s proven to be a respectable and experienced diner within the Central Arkansas community. Would I ever argue with her on where to find the best eggs benedict? Of course not, I’m not nearly as talented a rhetorician.
Jess Roberts (@jesshmiller88): Also known as Michael Roberts better half, this lovely, kind-hearted woman is the talented eye behind many of the fabulous food photos seen here on Eat. Be warned, she has been known to occasionally post photos of her cat…which I strongly encourage.
Donnie Ferneau (@chefferneau): Again, there aren’t nearly enough chefs tweeting in our town, but Donnie is definitely one of the best. Quick to proudly advertise the latest of his culinary creations: chicken livers with braised cabbage, chili grilled pineapple and tequila cocktails, or seered flank steak with blueberries and Brussels. Always entertaining and worth keeping an eye on.
Sweet Love Bakery (@sweetlovebakes): Kelli Marks is the most prolific tweeters of any bakery in Little Rock. Her tweets are nearly always filled with whatever gorgeous confectionary creation she’s focused on at the time. From wedding cakes to macarons, you’ll never run out of ideas on how best to curb your sweet tooth when you follow her feed.
Lastly, a little shameless self-promotion:
Follow Eat Arkansas (@EatArkansas) to keep abreast of all we’re rambling about on the blog, in The Times’ print reviews, and beyond. Michael and I do most of the tweeting, but sometimes we just stick the keyboard in a hamster cage with our blog mascot, Furry Frankie, and just wait to see what comes out.
Of course, we humbly invite you to follow our personal feeds as well.
P.S. Please, if you are on Twitter, or if you’re creating a new account, we’d love to follow you. Leave your username below in the comments, we’ll be sure to catch up with you. Likewise, if you feel there’s someone we’ve missed, be sure to give them a shout-out below.