Posted 22 Feb 2018
"Make Room for Pie: A Delicious Slice of The Natural State" will premiere on the Arkansas Educational Television Network Thursday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m.
"Make Room for Pie" is the story of Arkansas, told through a diverse and eclectic batch of pie bakers, from the Delta to the Ozark Mountains. Author Kat Robinson takes viewers on a delicious tour of old time diners and off-the-beaten-path cafes, where pies are created with love and sweet perfection.
"This special provides the chance to recognize many of the underrated piemakers who create these humble yet delectable masterpieces, while sharing so much of what's great about The Natural State," Robinson said. "We have a lot of dishes that are specific to Arkansas – fried pickles, brown gravy with rice, cheese dip, biscuits with chocolate gravy.
"Pie is our common denominator. Every part of our state has whole and sliced pie, fried pies – this dessert that isn't just on our sideboard but by the cash register at our local truck stop or on the counter at the nearest lunchroom. Having that sort of saturation around the state provides a canvas for a deeper narrative about who we are and all these wonders that surround us, a common language that both promotes us from the outside and connects us within our borders as well."
"'Make Room for Pie' was lots of fun to produce and direct," producer Larry Foley said. "We traveled all across Arkansas to an eclectic collection of cafes and bakeries, and the pies along the way were all, as Kat says, 'to die for.'
"The film captures the cultural diversity of our state, and there are lots of fun facts sprinkled throughout."
In studio guests for the premiere will include Patti Stobaugh of PattiCakes Bakery, Sharon Woodson of Honey Pies, Charlotte Bowls of Charlotte's Eats & Sweets and Robinson. During the program, viewers will have the opportunity to get a copy of Robinson's new book, "Another Slice of Arkansas Pie: A Guide to the Best Restaurants, Bakeries, Truck Stops and Food Trucks for Delectable Bites in The Natural State" (Tonti Press, 2018), for a donation to the AETN Foundation.
The film's companion website aetn.org/makeroomforpie features a photo gallery from the highlighted restaurants and invites viewers to submit their favorite pie recipes.
Robinson, a food and travel writer based in Little Rock, travels Arkansas and the South searching for good stories, tall tales and the next great little restaurant. In addition to her website "Tie Dye Travels,"
Robinson has written three books – "Classic Eateries of the Arkansas Delta" (American Palate, a Division of the History Press, 2014), "Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and Arkansas River Valley" (American Palate, a Division of the History Press, 2013) and "Arkansas Pie: A Delicious Slice of the Natural State" (American Palate, a Division of the History Press, 2012). Robinson also currently writes for Food Network and AY Magazine.
The film is produced by veteran broadcast journalist, educator and documentary filmmaker Larry Foley, professor and chair of the School of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Arkansas. Foley's films have earned seven Mid-America Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and 19 Emmy nominations in writing, journalistic enterprise, history, cultural history, special program and community service.
Hayot Tuychiev is the film's director of photography and editor. Christopher Nunez of Hot Springs Village and Jim Borden of Fayetteville contributed as videographers.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas's only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through the distinct channels AETN PBS, AETN Create, AETN PBS KIDS, AETN World and AETN AIRS on SAP. Audiences can also watch on several digital platforms, and members with AETN Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).