Fayetteville Roots Festival Brings Top Chefs to NWA

What is a culinary festival without quality chefs? Thankfully it is not a question you will have to worry about with this year’s Fayetteville Roots Festival. The 29 chefs featured in this year’s event next week represent some of the top talent locally, regionally, and across the country.
All of the chefs participate across a wide variety of programing, some still with tickets remaining. This year’s lineup really marks the transition of Roots being the top annual culinary event in Arkansas and one of the best in the surrounding region.
The national names will get a lot of attention, and rightfully so. Chef Pecko Zantilaveevan of the famous Four Seasons in New York operates the most well known restaurant of the bunch. Chef Maricel Presilla of Cucharamama in New Jersey paved the way for Latin American women chefs with multiple James Beard Nominations and awards under her belt.
The best of these may be Chef Digby Stridiron out of the US Virgin Islands. Digby recently transitioned to a new position at an upcoming restaurant, Parcel 32, in Charleston, SC. The move stateside will likely allow this already fantastic chef to make a huge name for himself in a food forward city. It is a great chance to get to know one of the biggest up and coming chefs.
Joining them are Chef Justin Carlisle of Ardent in Milwaukee and Chef Sachin Chopra of All Spice in San Mateo, CA. Both are excellent chefs with multiple awards and nominations under their belts.
On the regional side, Chef Matt Bell of South on Main and Chef Scott Rains of Table 28 are both on their way up from Little Rock. The two are some of the most well renown chefs in Little Rock.
The local chef lineup is sort of the best of the best in NWA. A full list is below, but some highlights are Chef Jason Paul who, in my opinion, is one of the best and most innovative chefs in the country. Michael Robertshaw is another extremely talented chef who has spent time in Portland Maine and Seattle before settling into the NWA food scene.
Chefs Chrissy Sanderson of Mockingbird in Fayetteville, Maudie Schmidt of Cafe Rue Orleans, Bill Lyle of Eleven at Crystal Bridges, Rob Nelson of Tusk and Trotter, and Justus Moll of River Grill are all part of the group that represents the long term establishment in the NWA food scene.
Then there are the chefs making a big splash and continuing to bring new ideas and concepts to the area. Chefs Von Tyguen of Sai Wok, Luke Wetzel of Oven and Tap, Keith Burmylo of Bocca, Travis McConnell of Butcher and Pint, Kurt Plankenhorn of 28 Springs, and William McCormick of MOD will all help shake things up and add extra spice to the culinary events.
The full culinary lineup is below. Fayetteville Roots has culinary program going on daily from August 23-27th in and around the Fayetteville Square.
Chef Pecko Zantilaveevan
Chef Maricel Presilla
Chef Digby Stratton
Chef Justin Carlisle
Chef Sachin Chopra
Chef Matt Bell (South on Main, Little Rock)
Chef Scott Rains (Table 28, Little Rock)
Chef Matt McLure, The Hive, Bentonville, AR
Chef Jason Paul, Heirloom, Rogers, AR
Chef Michael Robertshaw, Rogers, AR
Chef Patrick Lane, Arsagas Depot, Fayetteville, AR
Chef John Lupton, Wood Stone Pizza, Fayetteville, AR
Chef Rob Nelson, Tusk & Trotter, Bentonville, AR
Chef William Lyle, Eleven at Crystal Bridges, Bentonville, AR
Chef Jerrmy Gawthrop, Greenhouse Grille, Fayetteville, AR
Chef Chrissy Sanderson, Mockingbird Kitchen, Fayetteville, AR
Chef Justus Moll, River Grille, Bentonville, AR
Chef Darwin Beyer, Meiji, Fayetteville, AR
Chef Von Tyguen, Sai Wok, Rogers, AR
Chef Anne Carroll, Farmer’s Table Cafe, Fayetteville, AR
Chef William McCormick, MOD, Bentonville, AR
Chef Luke Wetzel, Oven & Tap, Bentonville, AR
Chef Keith Burmylo, Bocca, Fayetteville, AR
Chef Matt Barclay, Bordino’s, Fayetteville, AR
Chef Kurt Plankenhorn, 28 Springs, Siloam Springs, AR
Chef Cody Johnson, Apple Blossom Brewing Company, Fayetteville, AR
Chef Maudie Schmidt, Cafe Rue, Fayetteville, AR
Chef Travis McConnell, Butcher & Pint, Bentonville, AR
Chef Steven Brooks, Cook with Brooks, Bella Vista, AR

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