The French Cowboy Chef is on the move in Bentonville. Not only has he relocated his Le Bouvier food truck to new digs, he’s managed to stake a claim as a go-to chef for interesting food pairings all around town.
First, the new locale: Since the beginning of October, the Le Bouvier food truck has been parked at its new spot right outside of Guess Who?, a spirit, wine and beer shop at 214 SE Walton Blvd.
The new site is a good fit for Le Bouvier for a few reasons. One, there are two streams of folks to pull potential customers from—those who work at the nearby Walmart Home Offices and Guess Who’s? clientele.
Second, it just so happens that Guess Who? has a banquet space that seats 100 where as the colder months descend the French Cowboy Chef a.k.a. Jeff Wetzel plans to host pop up dinners.
Lastly, Guess Who? partners nicely with the food pairings that Wetzel has established a reputation for since bursting onto the Bentonville food scene last summer. Specifically, he now prepares hors d’oeuvres for the store’s Wednesday wine class as well as its bi-monthly beer tastings. For example, when Guess Who? spotlighted Apple Blossom Brewing Co. at a recent tasting, Wetzel prepared a pan seared dover sole with a cilantro red wine vinegar sauce, a grilled mahi mahi crostini with mango radish salsa, a seared pork loin with a pear and onion marmalade and a pepper corn crusted ribeye with an espresso chocolate sauce.
“A wonderful day for me was when I found out we were doing this and I had to take a trip to Apple Blossom to go sample some beers,” says Wetzel.
But the wine/beer pairings at Guess Who? are really just the tip of the iceberg for Wetzel, who is proving himself adept at finding complimentary local businesses to partner up with. For instance, for three weekends in October over at downtown Bentonville’s Ramo d’Olivo, he served the brats for an October Fest-themed beer and brat tasting.
And a partnership with Bentonville Brewing Co., another popular downtown spot, has him cooking for its patrons on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re heading over to Bentonville Brewing Co. this weekend, look out for a just-launched trio of soups, including Wetzel’s chili (which he’s bagged a few awards for) served over homemade Fritos, a butternut squash bisque and a seafood gumbo. Additionally on offer will be his Gulf Coast deviled eggs, which involve a fried oyster and a creole remoulade.
On top of the big move and all those pairings, Wetzel’s added two new items to the food truck menu that I for one am beyond excited about given that both hit on personal obsessions of mine: po’boys, chocolate and donuts. The first is a Gulf Coast fried catfish po’boy on—wait for it—actual French bread imported from New Orleans! Straight from Gambino’s Bakery to be specific. (As a New Orleanian, let me just tell you: when it comes to a po’boy, it’s all about the bread!) And second, along with his sumptuous ricotta donuts, Wetzel is rotating in a chipotle chocolate cake donut with red chili ganache, bacon and orange zest. Whoa!
The Le Bouvier food truck is open Tuesday to Saturday between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Look out for earlier hours as breakfast is on the horizon.)
And Chef Wetzel can be found on Saturdays and Sundays at Bentonville Brewing Co. from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and noon to 9 p.m. respectively.