by Kat Robinson
North of the river is where you'll find the largest cultural culinary convention in the U.S. this year come September. MERA's 2010 International Convention will be held in North Little Rock September 27-29 at the Wyndham Riverfront, Pulaski Technical College, and Arkansas Governor's Mansion (yes, I'm aware the Mansion's not in North Little Rock). Some 250-300 Mexican restaurant owners and operators from across the U.S. and internationally will attend. This year's theme, "The Mexican Restaurant: Celebrating Mexico's Independence and Revolution, 200 Years of Independence, 100 Years of Revolution" coincides with the bi-centennial of Mexico's independence from Spain and the 100th anniversary of its revolution. Seminars will cover Mexican history, how to incorporate local foods into menus, how to harness the Internet and of course food demonstrations and discussions. More information available at the MERA website.