Jan 25, 2023 - Food and Drink

Northwest Arkansas' Yeyo's chef is a James Beard semifinalist

Photo: Courtesy of Rafael Rios

Bentonville's Rafael Rios of Yeyo's El Alma de Mexico was named a best chef in the South semifinalist Wednesday by the James Beard Foundation.

Why it matters: A cool and award-winning culinary scene will help continue to raise NWA's national profile, drawing tourists and new residents.

State of play: Rios started serving his plates out of a taco truck, which is now parked near the Bentonville square.

  • Now, Yeyo's has two sit-down restaurants — one each in Bentonville and Rogers.
  • The Rogers location includes a "mezcaleria" for those who want to sample different liquors.
  • Many ingredients in the dishes on Yeyo's menus are from the Rios family farm.

Flashback: You may remember that The Preacher's Son was on last year's list of restaurants providing outstanding hospitality, and Matthew McClure of The Hive was named a best chef in the South, along with Rios.

What's next: Restaurant and chef awards will be presented in Chicago on June 5.

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