While state cooks, 3 Arkansans make TV splash
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.
BACHELOR IN PARADISE
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.
THE GREAT FOOD TRUCK RACE
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.
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email@example.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