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Chef Brooks and Jay Fulbright picking edible flowers.

Chef Talk: Greens and Flowers Galore

We are back from our short break in new shows this season with three new ones to share. Over the next few weeks, you will see some new faces and learn more about what is going on in the food story of Arkansas. I have been traveling around this great state meeting so many great people, I have been so overwhelmed with all of the outpouring of acceptance for what we have done with this program. The entire “Cook with Brooks” team is very proud and look forward to season 2.

First, let me tell you a little bit about our next show. A few months ago, I was lucky enough to take a trip out to Arkansas Natural Produce. I was so overwhelmed with all this guy was growing, I called my crew right afterwards and said, ‘We have got to do a show on this farm.’ After a couple attempts because of the weather, we finally got the chance to find out how Jay Fulbright and family have been growing food for the last 20 years. Even though we didn’t get his wife on camera, she is a big part of this operation and he couldn’t do it without her.

Jay Fulbright on the Tractor

This is high quality, chef-approved fresh produce in Hot Springs County. All the crops are grown using organic practices. He grows all kinds of amazing greens like gourmet spring mix, microgreens, edible flowers, fresh herbs and peppers in one of the largest greenhouse operations in Arkansas. I wanted to find fennel and some tasty and colorful greens.

I loved the hunt through all of these greenhouses and we found the perfect ingredients to travel back to the kitchen for my Fennel and Aragula Chicken Salad. There was so much to pick from, but it’s all worth it to get my hands dirty picking my own. Love my trips out to the farm.  Can’t wait to get out to some more this summer.


UP NEXT: We take you to Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food in Bentonville, Arkansas. Because Chef Brooks teaches there, he give you an experience in the classroom that you won’t forget. Stayed tuned for more details on next weeks show on Facebook. Please keep up with us by following us on there and Instagram. We are always on there letting you know what we are up to. Just had an amazing response to a post about the Pink Tomato Festival. We had 153 shares and almost 30,000 views and we didn’t even boost the post. Sounds like Bradley County is excited about us wanting to come down there and do a show. Can’t wait to get out and experience the rest of Arkansas.


Wide view of Fayetteville Roots Festival

Chef Talk: Roots in Music and Food

When I came to Arkansas in 2000, I was stunned by the beauty of The Natural State.  Northwest Arkansas is a great place to get your Ozark legs! There are so many great things going on here: a growing community filled with transplants from all over that work to support the retails giants; world wide trucking and rail company; the world poultry leader; and lots of educated palates. It helps make the region of the “Ozarks” unique.

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In this episode of “Cook with Brooks,” we enjoyed some fun at the Fayetteville Roots Festival. They had some of the most talented chefs in this area of the country, collaborate for the VIP kick-off party at Garner Farm. It was a night full of music and food. Twelve chefs were paired up to make six delicious dishes that everyone could enjoy. People were sitting at beautiful white tables, standing around and listening to some amazing music. We were so lucky to be apart of it and see what our local food community can do when they come together.


Then they come to the historic Fayetteville square to compete in the Chef Cook-off, for cash and prizes, and to support locally-sourced food! And, with the help of some great sponsors, give 100s of pounds of food to the chefs’ favorite charities. Jason Paul and Matt Scott won with this dish below giving their winnings to Tri Cycle Farms, one of our favorite farms we featured on Episode 1.

Winning dish for the Chef Cook-off

I am lucky to be one of the judges of this group of heavy hitters!

judges for the Chef Cook-off

I will also make a trip around the Fayetteville Farmers Market to get supplies for my dish: lamb chops and a neat pear-herb medley!

CWB 110_final dish

Thanks to the great crowd and support of this event as we are working to feed the hungry! IT’S WHAT CHEFS DO!

MORE TO THE STORY: Other great resources in the great state of Arkansas!

4 Days at the Fayetteville Roots Festival

Chef Lyle and Chef Brooks

A look inside the heart of Crystal Bridges

Hopefully you were able to watch our Episode at Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. Whether you watch it on AETN or YouTube, it doesn’t make a difference to us. We just want to provide you a story that you found entertaining, while being educational about the food movement in Arkansas. It was our first pilot show we shot, so we learned a lot in the process. We learned exhaust vents in the kitchen can be a problem with the audio and that getting more food shots is important. Even with that, hope you enjoyed and watch the rest of ours shows that keep getting better.

If you didn’t watch, go ahead and learn how Chef Lyle pairs food not just with wine these days, but also with the art at Crystal Bridges. He created a delicious Quick Coq au Vin. This is a one pan dish that is a nice healthy winter dish with local herbs and chicken.  It is a flexible dish that you don’t have to follow exactly. Open your refrigerator and empty out the vegetables and experiment. The thyme and wine makes this feel like an expensive meal, but easy enough to make at home for the whole family.

Watch and hear how Chef Lyle is purchasing food locally the Eleven Restaurant. By staying in the region, he gets to meet the farmers and buy from them directly. He can visit their farms to know exactly what he is buying and putting into each dish that he serves his customers. He takes great pride in his work and finds it very rewarding. He gets to see the process from the very beginning to the end. From sourcing where the food comes from, to creating his own menu and costing them out. He is involved in actually receiving the products into the kitchen and to putting them together and firing them at the end of the night for a full dining room. And after all that hard work, then he is able to go out and speak to the customer and see their reaction. That is why he considers this one of the most rewarding professions he could be in.

Next, Steven takes us to the table to eat this delicious dish with an old friend. Eigthteen years ago, Case and Steven met at Marketplace Foods and immediately became good friends. They worked together and ended up doing a show on the Jones Network for several years and FOX. After the Markeplace closed, they moved on and opened a restaurant together, Soul Restaurant and Lounge. Find out more about their friendship and feelings about food.

Case Dighero and Chef Brooks

UP NEXT: This Saturday on AETN at 5 p.m., we visit White River Creamery in Elkins, Arkansas. After some rough times in California, they thought “Going a Different Whey,” would be a better decision for their family. This family worked together after moving from the Los Angeles area to start a dairy farm and a new way of life. Together, they are now making some of the best cheese in Northwest Arkansas. Brooks goes back to the kitchen to create a chicken slider recipe using their Triple Pepper Halloumi Cheese and other local ingredients.

Triple Pepper Halloumi Cheese from White River Creamery

Cook with Brooks on the Big Screen.

We did it!

Watching Cook with Brooks with Don BennettLast night was so rewarding just to stand next to Don Bennett, the founder of Tri Cycle Farms and see his expression. It is a 30 minute show, but felt like 10 minutes. I guess that is good because it means it was entertaining, but it went so fast.  I found myself to be emotional and so happy I wanted to cry, but kept myself together.  Unless you have worked in TV, I don’t think people understand how much work one episode takes. A lot, but once you see it on the air, it is all worth it.

This episode started with an trip to Wood Stone Craft Pizza for an episode you will see soon. While there shooting, Jerrmy Gawthrop, who is an owner of that restaurant and Greenhouse Grille, told us of an event he was doing for his birthday. His idea of a great present was to create an event that brought people together, but benefited a local community garden, Tri Cycle Farms. At the time, we didn’t really know what the farm was all about, but learned a lot from talking to Don that night. The seed was planted to grow the idea of what to do for an episode.

We made it out to Tri Cycle Farms following that dinner to learn more about what they do and the story behind the farm. A Northwest Arkansas magazine, Edible Ozarkansas, wrote an amazing article last year on them, so please read more HERE. If you really want to experience and learn more about Tri Cycle Farms, go out to there farm anytime. You can usually find Don out and about doing something in the fields or bringing fresh ingredients to a local kitchen.

We hope you enjoyed our first episode. Please give us feedback. We would love to hear from you.

Episode 2, we visit the first and only Cidery in Arkansas. “Brewing Change,” looks at Black Apple Crossing, in downtown Springdale. Brooks discusses the important role the brewery is playing in the revitalization of downtown Springdale, as well as the history of apples and chickens in the area. In the kitchen, Brooks makes Cider Pork Tacos inspired by the Princess Peach cider and the Taqueria across the street. Check it out next Saturday!

Thank you

Chef Talk – Thank you and ready to party!

What a ride this has been. Said with the biggest smile! So...I am just a kid from Alabama that moved to Arkansas and the world has been opened to me! 

I am so proud of the Cook with Brooks team. Jeremy Duckworth and Michelle Hammarstrom have been a blessing in my life. Jeremy and I did 282 episodes of 'Cooking Today' on KNWA in 2014 and 2015. He made me believe that we could accomplish anything. Michelle keeps us focused on the goals we have which is simply to tell the stories of Arkansas food. It is a story worth telling.

Now it is really happening and you guys are going to see what we have been working so hard on. Our promo is running on AETN everyday (super awesome). The press release went out last week and we were on the cover of the Harrison newspaper. We are getting close, but are still planning on doing more up to when our show premieres on January 7th.  This month, we have more new episodes to film. Can't wait to get out to Paul Chapracki farm to see all he provides to Native Nectar who has its fingers on a lot of local products through juicing.

First, we would like to thank AETN for making us part of their amazing team. DeWayne L. Wilbur for listening to us and giving us a chance. The Senior Producer, Casey Sanders has been nothing but helpful, understanding and welcoming.  The Promotions Manager, Tiffany Head, was vital on sending out our press release that spread the word around this great state.  Look forward to working more with Julie Thomas, Katie Culpepper, Larmon Vanwinkle and Jess Setzler to make our print and on-line presents shine. They are providing support and helping us learn the ropes of public television on a daily basis, so my team wants to thank you very much. 

Secondly, we want to thank the folks who came on as underwriters to Season 1 of our show.  You have a team behind this show who is really excited and can't wait to make you proud. Thank you all for your support.

Tankersley Food Service, LLC - This is the company I have my day job with and they are thrilled to play a major roll in the show.

Metro Appliances and More - This company supported me back on my old show too and so happy to have them on board again.

Rick McLeod Agency - Farmers Insurance and Financial Services is a big part of the community in downtown Rogers and happy they remembered their roots of helping farmers.

Richter Solar Energy - We are a big supporter of making the earth a cleaner planet.  So happy to have Flint Richter getting some exposure around the state.

Springdale Farmers Market - James McGuire came on from the goodness in his heart and his love of AETN. We are so grateful that we are able to highlight them for all the state to see.

We also want to give special thanks to......
–  Bansley Berkshire Ridge Farm - Carol and Sean Bansley for your personal donation and support.
–  Hanna Family Ranch - Will and Walton for the use of your beautiful kitchen that they so graciously let us use.
–  Simple Machines - Sean and Ally Morrison have been so helpful on getting our website up and functioning the way we need it to. We are still working on it, but appreciate all they do.

Without the support of all of you, we would not be here. Thank you for seeing the value in what we are doing and the value of Public Television. For more details on who they are and how to find them, view our underwriters page.

Save the date

We will also be having a Premiere Launch Party on January 7th to launch our show! We will be inviting anyone who loves farms, the seed-to-fork movement and Public Television. Overalls will be welcome. Instead of a Barn Raising, will be doing a "Show Raising" to help build up this show into what it needs to be. Details to come very soon. We have a lot of ideas for the party and will announce the full details on the 15th.

So excited and proud to part of the thriving Arkansas Food scene. We look forward to the future with AETN and sharing some great stories with all of you! We have some awesome recipes to share with you as well. Meet you in the kitchen.


Yang Family Farm at the Springdale Farmers Market

Final touches

After a year of hard work, we are finally sending over our first seven episodes to AETN by the end of this month. This week we are trying to finalize the spots for our underwriters. James McGuire with the Springdale Farmers Market has approved his spot and is officially on board with Cook with Brooks. We are so happy to have them and are forever grateful for their belief in what we are trying to do. It has been really nice to get to know James a little more and hear all he has been doing for the Springdale farming community for the last 16 years. He has gone from being a hobby farmer with too much food to eat, to a vital part of the farmers market community in Springdale. Thanks again and I’m happy to have your spot for all of Arkansas to see.

Learn more about their farmers market by checking out their website.

2016 Fayetteville Roots Festival on the books

2016 Fayetteville Roots Festival on the books

Chef Patrick Lane of Arsagas Depot and Chef Michael Robertshaw of the Pressroom.

Chef Patrick Lane of Arsagas Depot and Chef Michael Robertshaw of the Pressroom take some time to talk with us at the VIP kick off event.


One of our biggest fans!

Ingredients for Chef Brooks Demo.

Ingredients for our demo straight from the Fayetteville Farmers Market.


Delicious Lamb Chop with apple, onions and squash surprise. Now onto judging the Chef Cook Off. All in a days work.



And the winner is Chef Matt Scott of Bordino's and Jason Paul of the Heirloom with an amazing and beautiful Eggs Benedict.

White River Creamery

Help us grow

We are finally done editing our first episode and moving on to shooting the next. The Eleven Restaurant at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was an amazing first show. The relationship between Steven and Executive Chef Bill Lyle and Case Dighero is fun to listen to. Case and Steven have a history together that includes co-owning a restaurant and friendship spanning 17 yrs. It looks great and we will have it up on our YouTube page in the next week.

Because we are telling stories about small family farms and businesses, we don’t have big companies as our backers. Therefore, we need your support to get this show up and running full steam ahead. Partners don’t want to give money until we get airtime. Networks don’t want to give us airtime until we have shows. So the shows are being created out of our own pockets at this time. We are able to push on, but any help we are able to get would be very much appreciated. Please support us in our mission to tell the whole story of food. We want to make this show fun for viewers, while filling a much needed niche that’s going on right now in the food industry. We want to share our NWA perspective about the food, the farms and the people who love to share it.

Check out our GoFundMe page. We would be so grateful to any money you can give to help us start this program created by local people right here in NWA and not by a large network that is not connected to the community. #KeepGrowing

Watch us grow

Watch us grow

Hello there! We are a small crew putting together a TV show, Cook with Brooks. It’s more than a cooking show. It is a show to tell the whole story of food. Where it is from. How we make it.  How we share it.

The Executive Producers, Steven Brooks and Jeremy Duckworth together have 280 shows under their belts. They are a strong team with lots of stories to tell.  The host, Steven, works on a daily basis with the farms and connects them with the restaurants that want local, sustainable food. He helps them connect the food chain. He is passionate about representing them and is excited to tell their stories.

We are currently finalizing our sponsors and show locations. Watch us grow and enjoy our show! We will keep you updated on here and on Facebook.