While state cooks, 3 Arkansans make TV splash

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - JEN­NIFER CHRISTMAN Food Truck Race. The Great

We’ve reached that swel­ter­ing point in the sum­mer when it’s too hot to do any­thing but camp out on the couch.

Woohoo! I mean, um, boohoo!

At least we have plenty of fel­low Arkansans to watch on our TVs and tablets this sea­son.


Who: Raven Wal­ton, a 23-year-old dance in­struc­tor from DeValls Bluff who owns a stu­dio in Brink­ley

When/Where: 7 p.m. Sun­day and Wed­nes­day, 8 p.m. Thurs­day on CBS. Full episodes at CBS.com. Su­per­fans can pay to stream con­tin­u­ous live feeds on CBS All Ac­cess.

Bub­bly Raven was on tele­vi­sion be­fore she landed the Big Brother gig, where she’s com­pet­ing for a chance to win $500,000. She was fea­tured on Lit­tle Rock’s KTHV, Chan­nel 11, dis­cussing her gas­tro­pare­sis di­ag­no­sis. Ac­cord­ing to We­bMD “it’s a con­di­tion in which the stom­ach can’t empty food prop­erly.”

Though she hasn’t had much cam­era time this sum­mer (she’s fly­ing some­what un­der the radar, though Raven is en­gaged in a “show­mance” with con­tes­tant Matt, hence their cou­ple name “Maven”) dis­cussed her ill­ness and gas­tric pace­maker dur­ing last Sun­day’s episode. Anony­mous skep­tics on­line have ques­tioned the sever­ity of her ill­ness and her need for a Go­FundMe page (ac­tu­ally, there are mul­ti­ple pages, so do­nate with ex­treme cau­tion) seek­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to cover med­i­cal bills.

As of press time, the only med­i­cal is­sue Raven ex­pe­ri­enced in the house was a mi­nor spill down the stairs that in­jured her foot and re­quired stitches.

This is one mo­ment the dance teacher was not so light on her feet.


Who: Raven Gates, a 25-year-old from Hoxie who owns a bou­tique in Jones­boro

When/Where: 7 p.m. Aug. 14 and 15 for the two-night sea­son pre­miere on ABC. Full episodes at ABC.com.

An­other Raven? Ac­tu­ally, we knew this one first. She starred as one of the con­tes­tants and fin­ished in sec­ond place on Nick Viall’s sea­son of The Bach­e­lor ear­lier this year.

You re­mem­ber, she’s the one who walked in on her ex-boyfriend cheat­ing on her and at­tacked him with a high-heel shoe? And all that hap­pened in the Lit­tle Rock home right next door to my boyfriend’s par­ents! I never met her, but they took Raven out for drinks one evening long be­fore the show (is Arkansas small or what?).

For a while, it didn’t look like Raven or the rest of the Bach­e­lor in Par­adise cast would be film­ing this sum­mer as planned. Pro­duc­tion was sus­pended af­ter sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions were raised, but it re­sumed af­ter Warner Bros. con­cluded an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, say­ing, “the tape does not sup­port any charge of mis­con­duct by a cast mem­ber” or “that the safety of any cast mem­ber was ever in jeop­ardy.”

New show rules re­quire would-be lovers to visit with pro­duc­tion of­fi­cials to state their con­sent, and there’s a two-drink max­i­mum per hour. This sea­son sounds less Bach­e­lor in Par­adise and more Bach­e­lor in Pen­i­ten­tiary.


Who: Don­nie Ferneau, a 42-year-old Lit­tle Rock chef whose most re­cent gig was the pri­vate 1836 Club

When/Where: 8 p.m. Aug. 20 is the sea­son pre­miere on Food Net­work. Visit food­net­work.com.

This isn’t the charis­matic cuisiner’s first time on the Food Net­work. Back in 2015, Ferneau com­peted on the chan­nel’s BBQ Blitz — hosted by for­mer Ra­zor­back Ed­die Jack­son — against Lit­tle Rock chefs Gwen Jones of The Beast food truck and Justin Pat­ter­son of South­ern Gour­masian. (Pat­ter­son won, and he al­ready has a food truck.)

This time Ferneau is not cook­ing in a restau­rant, but in a rig, as leader of the South­ern Frenchie food truck.

The Tyler Florence-hosted show of­fers this bio blurb: “Don­nie Ferneau is a well­known chef in Lit­tle Rock who owned a suc­cess­ful restau­rant for al­most 10 years, but had a rocky ten­ure with a health food spot that put him in debt. He’s now ready to take his award-win­ning culi­nary skills on the road for a big come­back. Joined by his wife Meaghan and sous chef Amanda Ivy, Don­nie’s truck de­liv­ers sig­na­ture dishes like South­ern Fried Chicken, Pi­mento Grilled Cheese and South­ern Pou­tine.”

The win­ners will walk away with na­tional ex­po­sure, $50,000, and they get to keep the truck. That’s cer­tainly worth “pou­tine” all their eggs in this bas­ket.

Show me the email:

jchrist­man@arkansason­line.com Spin Cy­cle is a smirk at pop culture.You can hear Jen­nifer on Lit­tle Rock’s KURB-FM, B98.5 (B98. com), from 5:30 to 9 a.m. Mon­day

Chef Don­nie Ferneau of Lit­tle Rock (cen­ter), his wife Meaghan (left) and his sous chef Amanda Ivy star in Food Net­work's

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