Arkansas has dozens of inherited food dishes or entrees that are commonly prepared and eaten by Arkansans and even shared around the world, but none bear a name associated with Arkansas or a city/municipality within its borders.
After awarding 5 recipients as “Legend Among Us” before an enthusiastic audience at the Arkansas Heritage Celebration of Black History Month, author Jason Irby announced his pledging of the first $500.00 to establish a contest that would create a signature Arkansas food dish.
Irby is an author, and founding chairman of Jason IRBY INNOVATION Foundation (JIIF). Secretary/Treasurer, Tiffaney Lewis also pledged a matching $500.00 in prize money.
Irby first revealed the initiative to establish a the Arkansas Signature Food Dish Contest after reading IT’S OFFICIAL! The Real Stories Behind Arkansas’s State Symbols, by Arkansas Capital Historian David Ware.
The Butler Center of Arkansas Studies recently released “It’s Official! The Real Stories Behind Arkansas’s State Symbols,” authored by David Ware, a historian of the Arkansas State Capitol. It’s Official is a volume of essays that examine each of Arkansas’ officially designed symbols, outlining their beginnings, their significance at the time of their adoption, and their place in modern Arkansas.