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Benefits With Friends: Ozark cuisine, local chef featured at benefit

by Carin Schoppmeyer | August 26, 2021 at 6:55 a.m.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Chef Erin Rowe chops strawberries in her personal space, Thursday, February 8, 2018 at her home in Bella Vista.

James Beard semi-finalist Chef Rob Connoley's Bulrush restaurant will offer a one-night-only pop-up dinner today at 7 p.m. at the College at Cane Hill near Lincoln.

Bulrush is a contemporary tasting menu restaurant in St. Louis that uses early 19th century archival research to define the origins of Ozark foods from the Osage, settlers and the enslaved. Their archival work spins off into numerous secondary projects such as an 1841 seed store inventory, which drives the restaurant's menu. The restaurant has been featured in numerous publications including Smithsonian magazine, Civil Eats, BBC Travel, and the Julia Child Foundation's Inside Julia's Kitchen.

"From the beginning one of my primary goals has been to give Ozark food the credit it deserves," says Connoley. "Hunting, foraging, food preservation are all part of what makes the Ozark region great. That was true in the past, and it is true now. My job is to be a student of the past and to point those roots to a new future through contemporary cooking techniques and styles."

This meal is a fundraiser for "A Taste of History," a PBS show with 15 Emmy awards and more than 2 million views on Amazon Prime per episode. The "Taste of History" production crew is dedicating the entire episode to Ozark foods. "The reason I'm taking my show on the road to Northwest Arkansas is to highlight the work of the College at Cane Hill, and chef and author Erin Rowe. Both are continuing the work of the early Ozark residents and are crucial in telling the story of Ozark foods," Connoley continues.

The dinner will feature a seven-course tasting menu. Tickets are $100, which includes tax and tip. Organizers say the dinner will be held indoors at Cane Hill College, but total capacity for the venue will be at 25% for the event, and tables will be spaced out. Masks will be required for entry and any time diners are out of their seats and moving about the space.

Tickets can be purchased at:


[email protected]

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Bulrush restaurant pop-up dinner

Who: Chef Rob Connoley, Chef Erin Rowe

What: Benefit featuring seven-course tasting menu

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: College at Cane Hill in Lincoln

Tickets: $100, includes tax and tip

Information: (479) 824-5339 or

Print Headline: Ozark cuisine, local chef featured at benefit


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