Steve Shuler's Podcast Introduces Little Rock Restaurants, Chefs to Online Audience

Steve Shuler, a former TV journalist, has turned his interest in the food scene in central Arkansas into a website and blog, LRFoodCast.com, that offers podcasts in which he visits with area chefs and restaurateurs about the restaurant business.

Some recent guests on the site, which launched last month, include Zara Abbasi, pastry chef at the downtown Little Rock restaurant Natchez, and Alan Bubbus, owner of David’s Burgers.

Shuler was a food-service nomad, traveling the South with his four siblings for their father’s job as a manager for Morrison’s Cafeterias, a now-defunct chain. Dad took a job with St. Vincent Health System when Steve was a freshman at the University of South Carolina. Steve made Little Rock his home after, of course, marrying a Little Rock girl, Jennifer Swaty, and landing a job as a producer at KLRT, Fox 16. About 18 months ago, Shuler left TV to become a writer and video producer for the nonprofit Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care.

Now Shuler wants to make known to the wider world the area’s wealth of great restaurants.

“I want to excite people about the local food that we have here, and I also want to give them … a little bit of depth and background to the great restaurants that we have,” he told Arkansas Business. “Chefs and restaurant owners — and eventually writers and bloggers — they’re going to have 20, 30, 40 minutes just to talk about their love for food, about how their history and their background led to a [particular] dish.”

“These restaurants don’t survive without paying customers,” Shuler said. “It’s a simple equation. And paying customers become regular customers if they’re excited about what you’re providing. I’m hoping to stoke excitement.”