The Arka Tech

Tech’s home – raised cuisine

In celebration of National Food Day, Arkansas Tech University invited the community for a meal straight from the farm.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration invited members of the Tech community to a five-course meal in Williamson Dining Hall Thursday. The event was co-sponsored by the Anthropology Club.

Guest speakers for the event were Liz and Mike Preston.

Liz is a former molecular biologist and environmental regulations specialist, and her husband Mike is trainer and chemist at Nuclear One.

Three years ago the Preston’s started Prestonerose Farm and Brewing Company in Subiaco. One of the key reasons, Mike said, was quite simple: “We know what a good tomato looks like.”

The couple wanted better-tasting, better-quality food.

The couple grows organic goods such as peanuts, cotton, six types of squash, five types of watermelon and pumpkins along with other fruits and vegetables. Mike said egg chickens, meat chickens, cows and pigs would eventually be added to the farm.

Former professor in the Tech hospitality program, Chef Craig Alderson, helped prepare the meal alongside Liz. Alderson is the owner of The Bistro in Paris, Arkansas.

Liz came up with the menu.

The five course meal consisted of ravioli with parmesan sauce, a winter squash bisque soup, warm mushroom salad, Ozark cream stout braised beef short ribs and Ozark tiramisu.

The goods used to prepare the meal came from places like Fayetteville and Dover. “Everything you need to do a dinner like this is here in Arkansas,” she said.

The Prestons’ hope to bring other rural producers together, educate people on how to get local produce and prepare it for their table. Their other goal is to assist local food banks and neighbors.