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Chef Matt Bell

Matt Bell

Listen to the podcast to learn:
  • About the restaurant business
  • About South on Main
  • About culinary arts education

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A native of Missoula, Montana, Matt Bell trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, Texas, before moving to his wife’s hometown of North Little Rock. He interned at Ristorante Capeo. After spending time at Capeo and Argenta Seafood Company, Bell moved to the Capital Hotel, where he served as Ashley’s Sous chef for four years.

He opened the restaurant and bar South on Main in the Oxford American magazine’s venue of the same name at 1300 Main Street. Bell describes the South on Main menu as “Refined Southern.”

Matt's wife, Amy Kelley Bell, is responsible for the restaurant’s décor.  Amy created a space reminiscent of a French bistro with a bit of Southern flare. It's casual but classy. Plenty of dark woods, relics from the old South propped up on numerous shelves, beautiful colored-tile floors, original brick walls, and white paneled ceilings. The performance stage is the centerpiece of the main dining area.




Up In Your Business is a Radio Show by FlagandBanner.com


EPISODE 129

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:08] JM: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Through storytelling and conversational interviews, this weekly radio show offers listeners firsthand insight into starting and running a business, the ups and downs of risk-taking and the commonalities of success people. Connect with Kerry through her candid, often funny and informative weekly blog where you’ll read and comment on life as wife, mother, daughter and entrepreneur.

Now, it’s time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.

[INTERVIEW]

[00:00:41] KM: Thank you, Jayson. Like Jason said, I’m Kerry McCoy and it’s time for me to get up in your business. Before we start, I want to introduce my cohost who you just heard from, Jayson Malik from Arise Studio in Conway, Arkansas. Say hello, Jayson.

[00:00:53] JM: Hi, Kerry.

[00:00:54] KM: So that opening is recorded.

[00:00:57] JM: Mm-hmm.

[00:00:59] KM: So my people watching on Facebook can’t hear that.

[00:01:02] JM: No.

[00:01:03] KM: You may have started reading that live. He may have started doing that live. Really. Anyway, if right now you’re sitting at your computer, you might want to watch us live on Facebook, although you can’t really hear the opening that you just heard of here on Facebook. But it’s kind of fun to see what goes on behind the scenes at the flagandbanner.com Facebook page.

If for some reason you miss any part of today’s show or want to hear it again or if you want to share it, there’s a way, and Jayson is going to tell you how, but you people on Facebook can’t hear it.

[00:01:39] JM: Listen to all UIYB past and present interviews by going to flagandbanner.com and clicking on Radio Show. There you may join our email list or like us on Facebook, thus getting a reminder notification of the day of the show and a sneak peek of that day’s guest. And if you’d like to be an underwriter of any UIYB shows, send an email to marketing@flagandbanner.com. That’s marketing@flagandbanner.com.

Back to you, Kerry.

[00:02:11] KM: Thank you. If you are watching on Facebook, you’re seeing this and hear, because Jayson is going, “You told me not to play that on there,” and I’m like, “Oh! I did? I didn’t remember doing that.” But anyway, if you’re tuning in to this broadcast for the first time, welcome, and if you’re not and if you’re a returning fan, you probably know this next part by heart. But at the risk of being boring, we must repeat our self for the new comers, and besides that it gives my guest a chance to settle into their seat. Not that my guest needs to. He’s all settled in and relaxed.

This show, Up In Your Business, with Kerry McCoy, began as a platform for me, a small business owner and a guest to pay forward our experiential knowledge in a conversational way. Originally, my team and I thought it would speak to entrepreneurs and want to be entrepreneurs, but it seems they have a wider audience appeal because after all who isn’t inspired by everyday people’s American made stories? To see people in their totality is humanizing. We all thirst to connect and make sense of an overcomplicated world, and on this show we have the luxury of time to go deeper than a mere sound bite or headline.

My favorite part of this show is we always learn something. It’s no secret that successful people work hard, but other common traits found in many of my guests are the heart of a teacher, belief in a higher power and creativity, because business in and of itself is creative.

My guest today may look like a mountain man. He’s nodding. In fact, he is, but he’s much more. He is Little Rock Arkansan’s creative chef, Matt Bell, owner and operator of the sophisticated, yet unpretentious bistro South on Main located at none other than South on Main. Born in Missoula, Montana, schooled at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. This creative chef fell in love with an Arkansan woman, and lucky for us, followed his heart and her home to the capital city where he landed a job at Capital Hotel’s fine dining establishment.

After a 4-year stent at sous-chef at the said restaurant, Matt along with his wife, Amy Kelly Bell; her aunt, the actress, Mary Steenburgen; and her husband actor, Tad Danson, collaborated with Oxford American Magazine; and then publisher, Warwick Sabin to open South on Main Restaurant in the summer of 2013. That’s a lot of name dropping right there.

Today we’re going to talk about the business of opening and running a restaurant, about life as a professional chef, what it’s like to have celebrity in-laws who give you a shout out on the Jimmy Fallon late night talk show. No response from him. And how the Oxford American Magazine’s performing arts stage came to be the centerpiece of Chef Bell’s restaurant South on Main.

It is a pleasure to welcome to the table the creative, hardworking – Are you shy?

[00:05:12] MB: No.

[00:05:14] KM: Just quit, thoughtful. You are very thoughtful.

[00:05:18] MB: Very thoughtful.

[00:05:19] KM: Aha! Chef Matt Bell.

[00:05:22] MB: Thank you. That was quite an introduction.

[00:05:26] KM: You are comfortable here.

[00:05:28] MB: Yeah, I was at the hotel five years. I just want to clarify that.

[00:05:31] KM: Oh, really?

[00:05:32] MB: Yeah.

[00:05:33] KM: Oh! Very interesting. I get all my information from online.

[00:05:38] MB: Mm-hmm.

[00:05:39] KM: No? Mm-hmm. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.

[00:05:41] MB: Don’t believe anything you see online.

[00:05:43] KM: Well, there’s a perfect example. Yup! For our listeners who cannot see you, if you’re on Facebook, you can see us. You look like a mountain man.

[00:05:55] MB: Yeah. I come by that pretty honestly, I think.

[00:05:57] KM: We were talking about right before the show that if you had a drink and you’re sitting around writing the script mountain man and Montana, that Mt. Montana kind of

[inaudible 00:06:07] into looking like mountain man after a drink or two.

[00:06:11] MB: I like to drink what you’re drinking. I thought we were a few weeks away from medical marijuana. I don’t know. Kerry might have found some already.

[00:06:24] KM: But anyway, I did look at your name and it was like the more I talk to mountain man and I talk to Montana. I thought, “Man! Those really go together,” and you are from Montana. Did you grow up hunting, fishing?

[00:06:37] MB: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Even if you grow up in a city, which I didn’t – I don’t think those are avoidable growing up in Montana. We think last census just broke a million people in Montana.

[00:06:53] KM: The whole state?

[00:06:53] MB: The whole state. So I think Wyoming is less population dense, but just barely. I think we’re under one person per square mile in Montana.

[00:07:07] KM: Did you grow up eating buffalo and bear?

[00:07:11] MB: Not buffalo. I was actually raised a vegetarian in Montana.

[00:07:14] KM: What?

[00:07:15] MB: Yeah, that always surprises people. My dad was probably pushed for it more than my mom, I think, because she did the cooking. So she probably didn’t – It would have been easier on her, but we – Let’s see, I was born in 1978, and so we didn’t actually probably started eating meat till I was about 4, 5-years-old, and it was either what my dad what had hunted. So deer, elk, and then we had bought – The first house my parents bought, I want to say they paid like $19,000 for it or something. Beautiful farmhouse on like 3-1/2 acres. It was part of an original farm. It was like a family house that was kind of on the outskirt of the farm. It housed what they call the finishing lot.

So once my dad – Once we bought it, the farmer – The rancher I should say, he offered to rent the finishing lot from us so he could still use the finishing lot.

[00:08:26] KM: What’s finishing lot mean?

[00:08:27] MB: That’s where they go before they meet their maker let’s. That’s what they say.

[00:08:30] KM: Oh! Okay. Finish them off. Okay, go ahead.

[00:08:33] MB: Well, yeah, there are some specific feeding and stuff they do on the finishing lot. They’re there for a couple of weeks before they get slaughtered. In exchange for him using the finishing lot, we got a side of beef. So my dad could see where the cows were. He knew the rancher. He knew what they were eating, what kind of antibiotics they were getting or lack thereof, and so at that point my dad figured that beef was safe. So we’d get a side of beef. I think it was every couple of months. So that was really my first experience as a kid with meat was whatever the cow was out there, and then a couple of weeks later we had them.

I remember getting up real early as a kid and my bedroom was upstairs in this farmhouse, and you could out some kind of French door under this porch and you’d look across kind of driveway to the finishing lot. If you got up early enough, you could see the guy come and he would harvest the cow. I guess that’s the nice way to put it.

So I think that although I was raised a vegetarian, I really try and stay connected to my food. That’s just how I was raised. We gardened, and two and a half months, you can plant stuff in Montana. Really, we were eating mostly economic reasons, but also for environmental reasons. We were eating pretty much only what we produced.

[00:10:11] KM: Your family, your dad sounds really interesting.

[00:10:13] MB: Yeah.

[00:10:14] KM: He’s a southerner, isn’t he?

[00:10:15] MB: He was born in Savannah, Georgia, but spent most of his childhood in California.

[00:10:23] KM: Is he a hippie?

[00:10:24] MB: Oh, yeah. Definitely.

[00:10:24] KM: Got it.

[00:10:24] MB: Most definitely. My parents lived – They met in a tiny town in Northern California called Quincy, which is about 70 miles west of Reno, Nevada and about 60 miles east of Chico in the heart of the Sierra Nevadas, and they moved there. Well, my dad came back from Vietnam to there. So that was I believe ’74 he came back there, and they met and then they decided that Northern California was just too crowded for them, or at least for him. My mom grew up in Sacramento. So I think she would have been happy staying close to a city, but they decided that they were going to move to Alaska, and my dad was doing road surveying at the time. So he got on with the cruise that were at the time doing the Alcan Highway, which was the first highway that could get you from North America all the way to Alaska, like one main route rather than all of kind of the community roads you had to take.

So they got on a ferry in Seattle, the Malaspina, which still is a ferry up there, and went to Anchorage, and that was like the beginning of the summer. Then come winter, my mom was pregnant with me and she was –

[00:11:50] KM: It’s about all there is to do in Alaska.

[00:11:52] MB: Yeah. Well, I did some research. That must have happened before Alaska.

[00:11:57] KM: Oh, okay!

[00:11:59] MB: But my mom – They lived in a small kind of cabin outside of town and my mom went to go to work one day, about 7 months pregnant with me and there was a mouse that prevented her from getting to her car, and mouse are super aggressive. Nobody realizes that. So that mixed with the cold and the winter and being a California girl, she was like, “I got to get out of here.”

So they decided to move to Stevensville, Montana in the winter of ’77, ’78, and it just happened to be one of the worst winters on record in Montana. So she thought she was getting away from it, “Let’s go way south, and let’s go to the north way south, I guess.” So they lived in a house just down the road from the house we ended up buying.

[00:12:59] KM: Your mother is a good person.

[00:13:01] MB: She’s a good sport, yeah.

[00:13:02] KM: She’s a good sport.

[00:13:04] MB: She snowbirds now, which means the snow flies to Montana, she gets the heck out of there and goes to Arizona. So she’s figured it out for herself.

[00:13:11] KM: Your dad is still alive?

[00:13:12] MB: No, he passed actually when I was really young.

[00:13:15] KM: She remarried?

[00:13:16] MB: Never remarried, no.

[00:13:18] KM: But she stayed in Montana.

[00:13:19] MB: She did remarry, but not when I was ever in school.

[00:13:23] KM: She stayed in Montana though.

[00:13:23] MB: She did. She did.

[00:13:24] KM: And you got brothers and sisters?

[00:13:26] MB: I got one sister. She’s a school teacher.

[00:13:28] KM: In Montana?

[00:13:29] MB: In Montana, in a little town just outside of Missoula. It’d kind of be like Jacksonville to North Little Rock, much smaller town, but kind of that proximity. You don’t really know you’re in another town, but it’s a different school district.

[00:13:41] KM: Did you grow up eating southern foods since your dad was kind of a southerner?

[00:13:46] MB: Yeah, we were the only – I’m the only kid I know in Montana that ever knew what grits were, and granted all you could ever buy was instant grits. I don’t think I had a single friend that ever appreciated that my mom made those for breakfast. I thought it was pretty weird.

[00:14:05] KM: They were like, “This is some weird oatmeal.”

[00:14:06] MB: Yeah, and they’re like, “Is this Malt-O-Meal?” “No, man. It’s grits.”

[00:14:09] JM: Malt-O-Meal.

[00:14:10] KM: I love that stuff. Let’s talk about you becoming a chef. Is the because you grew up on the land that you wanted to be a chef? Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?

[00:14:18] MB: I think that – Currently, things are changing a little bit as far as how we look at continued education after high school. In 1997, when I was graduating, ’95, ’96, ’97, when I’m getting ready to look at colleges or secondary education, there was no option but college, and my great passion from the time I was in 5th grade was music. I started playing in our band in 5th grade and, yeah, it all comes full circle for me, right?

[00:14:57] KM: I did not know that.

[00:14:58] JM: What did you play?

[00:14:58] MB: Saxophone. I was a music education major in college.

[00:15:02] KM: Nobody plays saxophone.

[00:15:03] JM: That’s cool.

[00:15:05] KM: Sexy.

[00:15:05] MB: Yeah, the way our school was, it was a very tiny school. I graduated with about – I think 89 of us graduated together. Much bigger than my friend who graduated from the town over Victor. He graduated with 7 people.

[00:15:20] JM: Wow!

[00:15:21] MB: Yeah. They played 8-man football, which is a unique thing in Montana. Apparently they’re starting to do 8-man football in Arkansas, but that’s totally off the subject.

[00:15:31] KM: Okay. You want to be a chef.

[00:15:34] MB: Yeah. My mom grew up cooking for us and family meals were important for us, and as we got older things changed. My sister was a very talented ballerina and she danced probably – Oh gosh! I think she danced almost five days a week in Missoula, which was about a 35, 40-minute drive depending. So as I got a little older, that became a little less and less frequent just because my mom had to drive her up there. So I was, again, a vegetarian –

[00:16:10] KM: You’d gotten back to being a vegetarian.

[00:16:11] MB: Yeah, my last two years of high school, I was a vegetarian which –

[00:16:15] KM: You’re an enormous vegetarian. How tall are you?

[00:16:18] MB: I am just 6 foot.

[00:16:20] KM: Oh, you look bigger than that.

[00:16:21] MB: Yeah, it’s the beard. She cooked so much for us, and my sister is kind of a vegetarian still. But she just kind of instilled in us a real appreciation for actually cooking, and Amy likes to play this game still. I had no – My dad wrote a book that was written in the late 60s, called the Sugar Blues, and it was essentially this prophetic book that this guy believed that refined sugars and corn syrup were going to lead to all these health problems, and obesity, and addiction to sugars and all these things. It turns he was right.

[00:17:07] KM: Yeah right.

[00:17:09] MB: But, in the 70s and early 80s –

[00:17:12] KM: That was very progressive.

[00:17:13] MB: Yeah, that was like the time of like Count Dracula and all that stuff, and I never had sugar cereals when I grew up. I’d go to friend’s houses and they’d have like regular cereal and just spooning on sugar and I just never understood it. I never really had that taste for it. Amy, my wife, likes to play this game when we’re at the store every few months. We like to spread it out, because it’s going to not be as much fun when it’s gone. But I had fruity pebbles for the first time at 38-years-old, which is a total enigma.

[00:17:49] KM: Captain Crunch?

[00:17:51] MB: I’ve had Captain Crunch. It cuts your mouth. That’s weird. I like it.

[00:17:55] JM: Yeah, it’s extremely gritty.

[00:17:56] MB: Yeah, it kind of cuts through your mouth. It’s interesting.

[00:18:00] KM: So how’d you pick Texas? Le Cordon Bleu?

[00:18:03] MB: Well, when I met Amy, I was working at a restaurant. I had worked there about 7 years called –

[00:18:08] KM: What state?

[00:18:09] MB: In Montana. She was a dancer, a modern dance major at the University of Montana when we met.

[00:18:14] KM: Was a she a friend of your sister?

[00:18:16] MB: No. She was a good friend of one of my best friends in the world, Avril, and that’s how we met. Thanks, Avril.

[00:18:23] KM: Avril Lavigne? No, I’m just kidding.

[00:18:26] MB: So we met there and we were dating and I had a bunch of friends over and made a pretty nice dinner and she was like, “Why are you waiting tables? Why don’t you cook?” I’ve done two years as a music education major and it kind of took the love out of it for me. I still love music. I still love playing music, but it wasn’t – Because of my relationship with my band director, who is my band director from 5th grade until the time I graduated. I thought that that was what I was going to do. It just turned out it wasn’t for me. I said, “Oh! I’d probably like to go to culinary school. Kind of get a jumpstart on knowing how to work in the kitchen.”

I’ve been in restaurants since, really, 1998. I started working when I was still at school at this place called the The Shack as a dishwasher, and I hated washing dishes. I said, “Oh, yeah! I’ve bussed tables before,” which was just an out and out lie. I think my manager, Janet, you knew it, but she gave me a chance and it all worked out for the best. But Amy said, “You should go to culinary school then if that’s what you want to do.”

So one night we were having dinner and I put a list of 7 cities in front of her each with a culinary school I was interested in. I really actually had my eyes on Austin, Texas and she didn’t hesitate and said, “Oh! Well, let’s move to Austin.” So about a year after that conversation, we packed up all our stuff and Amy’s dad drove straight through the night from Arkansas to Montana with his truck and hooked up our trailer and turned right around and got on the road to Texas.

[00:20:06] JM: Wow!

[00:20:07] MB: Yeah, he’s amazing.

[00:20:07] KM: That was before the internet.

[00:20:10] MB: Yeah, we were talking about that. We still have them. They’re kind of commemorative at this point, but we each had a road Atlas in our car. I mean, this was – I would say when we moved, MapQuest wasn’t really even a thing.

[00:20:25] KM: Yeah, and you had to –

[00:20:26] MB: You track your thing and you stay –

[00:20:29] JM: Follow the city signs,

[inaudible 00:20:30].

[00:20:32] MB: Yeah, and then you get screwed up on a business loop. You’re like, “Why am I downtown?”

[00:20:35] JM: Because it says B. You’ve got to go around.

[00:20:39] KM: So this is a great place to take a break. When we come back, we’ll continue our conversation with Chef Matt Bell, owner/operator of South on Main Restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas. We’ll dig in. Hear that pun? Dig in to what it’s like to open and run an eating establishment. Some of the chef’s favorite menu items and cooking preferences. How having celebrity in-laws, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen has played into his business model, and last about his partnership with Oxford American Magazine and their performing art stage in his restaurant.

We’ll be back after the break.

[SPONSOR MESSAGE]

[00:21:10] KM: Boost morale and patriotism with a new flag or flagpole from Arkansas’ flagandbanner.com. We have poles, hardware, accessories, maintenance support, installation and custom flags. We have flags of all kind; for the sports enthusiast, the world traveler, or history buff, we have them all. Bring in your old flag and get $5 off a new one. Consult the experts at Arkansas’ flagandbanner.com. Come shop at our historic location at 800 West 9th Street in Little Rock, or visit us online at flagandbanner.com.

[00:21:43] JM: You’re listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Over 40 years ago with only $400, Kerry McCoy founded Arkansas Flag and Banner. During the last four decades, the business has grown and changed, starting with door-to-door sales, then telemarketing, to mail order and catalog sales, and now a third of their sales come through the internet. This past year, Flag and Banner added another internet feature, live chatting.

Over time, Kerry’s business and leadership knowledge grew. As early as 2004, she began sharing this knowledge in her weekly blog. In 2009, she founded the nonprofit Friends of Dreamland Ballroom, and in 2014, Brave Magazine. Today, she has branched out unto the radio with this very production, podcast and live stream on Facebook.

Each week on this show, you'll hear candid conversations between her and her guests about real-world experiences on a variety of businesses and topics that we hope you'll find interesting and inspiring. If you like to ask Kerry a question, or share your story, send her an e-mail to questions@upinyourbusiness.org. That's questions@upinyourbusiness.org, or send her a message on flagandbanner.com’s Facebook page.

Back to you, Kerry.

[INTERVIEW CONTINUED]

[00:23:06] KM: You’re listening to Up in Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy, and I’m speaking today with Chef Matt Bell, owner/operator of the sophisticated yet unpretentious bistro called South on Main Restaurant on none other than South on Main Street in Little Rock, Arkansas. Before the break we talked about him growing up in Montana, falling in love with a dancer student while he was taking saxophone, while he was going to college for a saxophone music teacher, and realized and his then girlfriend, now his wife, realized, saw your talent for cooking, and y’all decided to move from Montana to Austin, Texas to start going to the La Cordon Bleu Culinary School. That’s where we are now.

So you’ve moved to Texas and how long?

[00:23:57] MB: We were there just a little over a year.

[00:24:00] KM: Did you get married while you were down there?

[00:24:01] MB: No.

[00:24:02] KM: Okay.

[00:24:02] MB: No.

[00:24:03] KM: And you knew you had made the right decision.

[00:24:07] MB: About Amy, for sure. I was still unsure about the culinary thing, but –

[00:24:11] KM: Really?

[00:24:12] MB: No. Actually, for me, because I was – I think when we went, I was 24. I had I think a much better experience in culinary school than a lot of people. A lot of those kids were 18, 19, just out of high school. It was kind of maybe a stop gap from going to an actual college. They didn’t really know what they wanted to do. I graduated with I think between our two classes, our AM and our PM class, we graduated with roughly I think about 45 students in that block. I could probably name about 7 of them that are probably still cooking.

[00:24:56] KM: Would you recommend that path that you gook to somebody else if they wanted to be a chef or own a restaurant? Would you recommend going to that school and doing it that way?

[00:25:04] MB: Well, La Cordon Bleu does not exist in North America anymore, and a little bit because of that reason. I went in to it with a pretty reasonable expectation of what would happen when I’d get out, which is you start at the bottom, and I think that a lot of kids because of food network and cooking channel and top chef and master chef junior and all these things, there’s a real romanticized idea of what’s going to happen when you come out of culinary school. You’re going to be the boss and you’re going to be making incredible money and incredible food and it’s going to be this really just like awesome like word hard, party hard kind of thing.

[00:25:51] KM: Get on TV.

[00:25:52] MB: Yeah, and I think a lot of chefs in high and influential positions are guilty of promoting that, maybe not purposely, but everybody wants to be Anthony Bourdain. Everybody wants to be Sean Brock and there’s just not enough of those jobs out there, but there are plenty of jobs for people that want to cook, people that are disciplined and skilled. So actually, there was a class –

[00:26:24] KM: So you would or wouldn’t recommend it?

[00:26:25] MB: Well, it’s a complicated thing. For me, I think it was great, and I would recommend it if people have the same mindset and understanding, but also I had worked in a restaurant for 7 years. I knew what I was getting into. There was a class action lawsuit against La Cordon Bleu basically saying that – It wasn’t against for profit colleges basically, which they are problematic, a lot of online colleges. You’re really not getting the degree you think you’re getting, but the chefs I had were pretty honest. You’re going to come out of there and you’re going to make just over a minimum wage and you’re going to be working in the back.

[00:27:05] KM: And you’re going to have to earn your stripes.

[00:27:06] MB: Peeling stuff.

[00:27:07] JM: Ground level, yeah.

[00:27:07] KM: Earn your stripes. Where was your first job?

[00:27:14] MB: Oh, mine? Ever?

[00:27:16] KM: Mm-hmm. After you came out of there, where is your first job?

[00:27:18] MB: Oh, out of culinary school? A restaurant Capeo in North Little Rock.

[00:27:23] KM: So you left Texas.

[00:27:24] MB: Mm-hmm.

[00:27:24] KM: And you came –

[00:27:25] MB: There’s so many students coming out of culinary school in Texas that the three jobs I wanted, which were Uchi was the first job I wanted, which is this incredible sushi restaurant. Then there was a place called Zoot and a place called Wink. Those were my top three choices.

[00:27:40] KM: Were they in Austin?

[00:27:41] MB: They were all in Austin, and I got offers from all of them and it was 12 weeks of an unpaid internship, and that just didn’t work for me. That can work for a young kid whose parents are maybe still supporting them, but that was not the situation I was in, and Amy and I couldn’t support ourselves on one salary, and you can’t take an internship, work 12 hours a day and then have a job.

[00:28:09] KM: Was she dancing for money back then? I mean, not like dancing for money, but you know what I mean. Was she practicing her art?

[00:28:15] MB: No. No.

[00:28:16] KM: That sound funny, I know.

[00:28:17] MB: Amy has a bachelor’s degree in modern dance and since we moved to Arkansas, worked in or adjacent to politics.

[00:28:29] KM: Oh!

[00:28:29] MB: Yeah.

[00:28:30] KM: So you decided to move back to Arkansas, because the jobs were picked –

[00:28:35] MB: Well, you know Nancy. Nancy is pretty shrewd.

[00:28:38] KM: That’s Amy’s mother.

[00:28:39] MB: That’s my mother-in-law. The job offers I was getting were not at places I really wanted to work. I dined at Capeo. I was very impressed with them and what they were doing.

[00:28:50] KM: That’s the Italian restaurant in North Little Rock?

[00:28:52] MB: Mm-hmm. So Nancy said, “Oh! I was down there eating and they said they’d love to hire you.” So I called and did a little phone interview with Eric Isaac and Brian Isaac and they said, “Yeah, come on down, kid.” It was actually a fantastic place to work.

[00:29:09] KM: How long did you work there?

[00:29:11] MB: Almost two years. I helped them open up Argenta Seafood and then a couple named Patty and Gary Davis, who at the time were the private dining directors at the Capital Hotel dined at Capeo a lot and Argenta Seafood a lot and I got to know them and they invited me out for dinner one night and said, “I know you don’t want to leave Argenta Seafood. I know you love the Isaac brothers, but just come have dinner.” I had a really incredible dinner. Lee Richardson was the executive, but the chef at the time in Ashley’s was a really good friend of mine now named Cassidee Dabney, who just yesterday got shortlisted for the James Beard Awards. She runs the bar at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, which is probably one of the premier food destinations in the country.

[00:30:04] KM: Wow! Congratulations. Shout to her. Congratulations. She’s on the shortlist. That’s good.

[00:30:08] MB: Oh! And I love her. She was an incredible teacher.

[00:30:11] KM: So she talked to you in coming to the Capital Hotel.

[00:30:14] MB: I had that meal, and at midnight I applied for a job online, and about a week later I had an interview and then I did a stage, which is a working interview and had a really awkward face-to-face interview with Cassidee. Like I said, my dad died when I was young. So I actually do really well in women-led situations. That’s just kind of my comfort zone, having a single mom and having a younger sister. That’s where I’m comfortable. That’s not everybody, but that’s good for me, and I asked her like, “How is it in the industry for a female chef? How is it?” She thought I was messing with her to put it nicely. We got it worked out and she hired me. After my background check, started a couple of weeks after that.

[00:31:06] KM: So you started as a sous-chef.

[00:31:09] MB: I was actually hired at the Capital Hotel as a pastry platter was my title.

[00:31:15] KM: Pastry platter. Talk about starting at the bottom of the barrel.

[00:31:18] MB: Yeah. I didn’t even actually get to make the pastries.

[00:31:21] KM: You just put them on the plate.

[00:31:23] MB: Pretty much, yeah.

[00:31:24] KM: Then you moved up and moved up.

[00:31:26] MB: Well, you can be a pastry platter and you can continue to be a pastry platter or you can get everything you can possibly get done in the shortest amount of time as possible and then start asking every other chef what you could do for them, and Cassidee appreciated that and I think that in any restaurant, I think any job, you have to do that to really set yourself apart. I was trying to put myself on the level of Cassidee and Matt McClure up at 21c in Bentonville, also got a James Beard nomination yesterday. Also great friend, great mentor. Both of those people were incredible to work with. His executive sous-chef at the time was working at the Capital Hotel, Mike

[inaudible 00:32:11], who is one of my best friends in the world and he quite sure hated me for at least two weeks before – He was worried I was going to take his job. You should be. You should always be worried about that, I think.

[00:32:27] KM: So you worked there for 4, 5 years.

[00:32:28] MB: 5 years.

[00:32:29] KM: I think one of the chefs kind of quit or retired and you got to move up to head chef maybe? Did I get that right?

[00:32:37] MB: My last two years, I went from pastry platter to roundsman pretty quickly. Roundsman means you were – Whoever’s station is off that day. So you work a differentiation station every day. So you don’t have the advantage of like settling in and knowing your prep every day and being able to do it. It’s probably the hardest position in kitchens, and Mike

[inaudible 00:32:58] was doing that, who’s incredibly talented. Like I said, just a great friend of mine.

Then my last two years there, Mike was promoted to our banquet chef and I was promoted to sous-chef of Ashley’s. RIP Ashley’s. It’s 1-11 now. So I like to pretend that when I left, they had to change the name. That’s s not true, but I can pretend.

[00:33:25] KM: All right. This is a great place to take a break. When we come back, we’ll continue our conversation with chef Matt Bell, owner/operator of South on Main Restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas. We’ll talk about how he started, his restaurant, and how it came to be. We’ll talk about moving there. Then we’ll talk about his partnership with Oxford American Magazine and who he has on the performing arts stage coming up in the next segment. That stage is right in the middle of his restaurant.

We’ll be back right after the break.

[SPONSOR MESSAGE]

[00:33:51] KM: Boost morale and patriotism with a new flag or flagpole from Arkansas’ flagandbanner.com. We have poles, hardware, accessories, maintenance support, installation and custom flags. We have flags of all kind; for the sports enthusiast, the world traveler, or history buff, we have them all. Bring in your old flag and get $5 off a new one. Consult the experts at Arkansas’ flagandbanner.com. Come shop at our historic location at 800 West 9th Street in Little Rock or visit us online at flagandbanner.com.

[00:34:24] JM: Flag and Banner is proud to underwrite Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy. This weekly radio show and podcast offers listeners firsthand insight in starting and running a business, the ups and downs of risk taking and the commonalities of successful people shared in a conversational interview with Kerry.

Along with this radio show, flagandbanner.com, publishes a free biannual magazine called Brave. First published in October 2014, this magazine celebrates and inspires readers through its human interest in storytelling. The department of Arkansas Heritage recognize Brave Magazine’s documentation of American life and microfiches all additions for the Arkansas State archives.

Free subscription and advertising opportunities for the upcoming spring 2019 edition are available at flagandbanner.com by selecting magazine, where you can read previous stories and learn about advertising opportunities.

Back to you, Kerry.

[INTERVIEW CONTINUED]

[00:35:23] KM: Thank you. You’re listening to Up in Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy, and I’m speaking today with Chef Matt Bell, owner/operator of the sophisticated yet unpretentious bistro called South on Maine in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.

At the break he was talking about – I said to him something about how everybody that comes on here, it’s not rocket science. They’re all just hardworking, and he is exactly that. He worked his way up to the ranks and he said – What’s the name of that book you said everybody should read? Setting the Table?

[00:35:52] MB: Yeah, Setting the Table by Danny Meyer. He’s a restauranter in New York. Chefs know a lot of his great restaurants, like 11 Madison Park and Union Square Café and –

[00:36:05] KM: And you said the book is more about hiring people with –

[00:36:08] MB: The book, it’s a book about business. The Setting the Table is the art of hospitality in business is what it’s called.

[00:36:18] KM: And it’s better to hire someone with heart and good work ethics than to hire somebody with that you can teach skills to.

[00:36:25] MB: Yeah. He talks about 51% is people that are more coachable, more adaptable and less skilled. You can hire anyone and teach them skills, but those people that want it and want to work hard and want to stay late and go beyond their maybe defined job description, those people will find success whatever they do.

[00:36:50] KM: They’re ambitious.

[00:36:50] MB: Yeah. I mean, I think if you have a great chef, you could take him and give him a musical instrument and he’s going to apply those same work ethic and be a phenomenal musician.

[00:37:04] KM: He’s going to be a success whatever he tries.

[00:37:04] MB: Or a painter or really what – A stock broker. I just feel like those people that have that in any industry –

[00:37:14] KM: Succeed.

[00:37:14] MB: Yeah, and friends of example are Charles Blake and Antwan Philips, who are doing the Rock the Culture Podcast. I’m convinced, you’ve got a legislator and a lawyer. I’m convinced if you put anything in front of them, they’re going to succeed, because they are those types of people.

[00:37:31] KM: So you’re working at the restaurant, you’ve decided you’re going to open up South on Main. How did that come about? Did Amy do it again? She said, “Matt, why don’t you open up your own restaurant?”

[00:37:41] MB: I’ve been promoted to sous-chef. Lee Richardson had left Ashley’s. I was the only kind of executive level chef there in Ashley’s at the time. I was sure that I wasn’t going to get offered the executive chef position, which I hold no animosity for. For me, at that place, it wasn’t the right time, and I had started looking at other cities. We were considering to move to Nashville. I was offered a really great job by a chef over there, Tyson. He – I’m sorry. Not Tyson. But anyway –

[00:38:30] KM: Viking?

[00:38:30] MB: I’ve been offered a job over there. It was at the capital – The Hermitage Hotel Capital Grill, and Cole Ellis – I almost said Tyson Cole, he was the Uchi Chef. Cole Ellis, was there who has Delta Meat Market now in Cleveland, Mississippi, which is super cool. You guys should check him out. So that was something I was really considering.

[00:38:55] KM: And Nancy, mother-in-law said, “No. No. No.”

[00:38:57] MB: Oh gosh! We would have never told her until we’re packed up.

[00:39:02] JM: Bye!

[00:39:04] KM: Got to tell you mother-in-law, we’re leaving. Okay.

[00:39:07] MB: So we were looking at that and shortly before that, I was offered – Or shortly after that I was offered a position at the yet to open SLS Hotel in Miami, which is a – It’s a chain of hotels that work with Think Food Group, which is Jose Andre’s food group, and I did a phone interview with them and was thinking, “Man! Getting to work with Jose Andres.” One of my chefs I had worked with who had I think really facilitated my promotion and my growth there at the Capital Hotel, a guy named David Thomas. Not Wendy’s. I hate it when I have to explain that. But he had taken a job with the SLS. He was getting ready to move down there. He offered me this position. Everything about it was an absolute dream, especially getting to continue to work with David, and my best friend, Christopher, was moving down there to work there as well.

I just didn’t love the idea of Miami. This is just a matter of a couple of weeks, all these happens. Warwick Sabin had reached out and said that they were interested in hiring me as a chef for a restaurant. They were going to open because they had just moved down here on Main Street.

[00:40:31] KM: Warwick Sabin was at that time the publisher of Oxford American Magazine.

[00:40:34] MB: Yes. To my understanding, I was going to be an Oxford American employee and get to make food, and that sounded much better than opening my own restaurant. But after we talked, I quickly realized and I passed on the job in Nashville and I still kind of regret passing on the job in Miami. Never want to leave in Miami, but man! Incredible, incredible, incredible restaurant down there. Amy and I went down there about two years ago, amazing, and I have lots of friends that are from Little Rock that ended up moving down there and have now gone on great companies in the position, but it just didn’t feel right.

[00:41:17] KM: Yeah, you got to go with your gut sometimes.

[00:41:19] MB: Yeah. So we quickly found out that we were going to be opening the restaurant, then that’s kind of –

[00:41:25] KM: So you and Warwick worked out a deal and somehow you ended up being the owner of the restaurant.

[00:41:30] MB: Well, I thought we kind of had a deal that I was working for them, but I realized that – He was upfront that they didn’t want to own and run a restaurant. What we have and what we started with was what I call an intellectual partnership between the brand.

So we host all of the stage events for Oxford American. It’s where get the page to the stage. So that right now is hugely one show a month on their series. Sometimes they’ll add an extra show or two on to the series, but they do 12 shows a year and then initially they started with local live. I’ve got to get credit to Ryan Harris with Oxford American Magazine.

[00:42:15] KM: Yes you do. Man! He’s done a good job.

[00:42:19] MB: I think Warwick left Oxford American either right the day before we opened or just in the first week that we opened. So Ryan has been with Oxford since then and has been a really great partner to work with and a really –

[00:42:34] KM: Brings in some great talent.

[00:42:35] MB: Yeah, and he’s very reasonable and measured person.

[00:42:41] KM: Yeah, he is.

[00:42:41] MB: Might not get high-highs and low-lows with him, but he really, as far as their programming, keeps everything really tight and on track.

[00:42:48] KM: Which is what you need.

[00:42:50] MB: Absolutely.

[00:42:50] KM: It’s interesting to me, because I’m a business person, and I go into your restaurant and I look right in the center of the floor and there is a stage which could be tables, which could be turning a profit.

[00:43:02] MB: They’d be way too many tables for our kitchen size.

[00:43:04] KM: Is that true?

[00:43:06] MB: Absolutely. I don’t want any more tables.

[00:43:09] KM: The first thing I thought, “There’s dollars, there’s dollars, there’s dollars. People aren’t sitting there.”

[00:43:13] MB: Yeah, but there’s dollars there and people watch music too.

[00:43:16] KM: So when they have an event, when Oxford American has an event, who pays the band? Oxford American?

[00:43:23] MB: Yeah. So we essentially are just the host venue for the night.

[00:43:27] KM: They sell the tickets?

[00:43:28] MB: They sell the tickets. They bring the artist in. They run that entire side of it. Originally, kind of based on what Warwick had said, they were going to do all of the musical programming, and our initial agreement, our first year of operation was we were actually not – Not that they wouldn’t have let us, not that Ryan wouldn’t have let us, but we weren’t allowed to book music, and that was quite fine with us. But as Oxford evolved and the restaurant evolved, we started booking some of our own music. It started with Local Live originally. You remember Local Live.

[00:44:05] KM: Oh yeah. I loved it.

[00:44:06] MB: And then when they were not going to continue Local Live, we started what we call sessions, which is what we have now. So every month we pick a different host for sessions.

[00:44:18] KM: Is that the concert series? Is that what session you just called?

[00:44:20] MB: That’s our Wednesday concert series.

[00:44:22] KM: That’s your actual –

[00:44:22] MB: Yeah, their concert series is Oxford American.

[00:44:25] KM: Oh! So you do have two. You have two. You have yours now and theirs.

[00:44:28] MB: Yeah. So anything that isn’t an Oxford American event is music that we have booked now at this point.

[00:44:34] KM: You can go to South on Main’s website, your website, and click on –

[00:44:39] MB: And it will have everything.

[00:44:40] KM: Yes, and click on events.

[00:44:41] MB: Yup.

[00:44:42] KM: Or calendar I think it is, yeah. Click on calendar and there it all is. What’s the backstage and if you click on your website, you click on –

[00:44:52] MB: I think that was supposed to be my blog that I’ve never written.

[00:44:58] KM: It’s hard to write a blog, isn’t it? All the time.

[00:45:00] MB: Well, and also when you develop a website, you want to make sure you get something on there that you might need later that –

[00:45:05] KM: Mm-hmm, you can reference back to.

[00:45:06] MB: Yeah. Well, that we can use if we ever need. So that was just if artists wanted to share stuff or we wanted to share recipes.

[00:45:15] KM: So you not only – Yeah.

[00:45:16] MB: Facebook is the best outlet for that anyway right now.

[00:45:19] KM: So go to –

[00:45:21] MB: Southonmain.com.

[00:45:22] KM: Southonmain.com and click on the calendar and you can sign up for the concert series or you can just see who’s coming.

[00:45:28] MB: Yeah, yeah.

[00:45:29] KM: Is it sellout usually?

[00:45:31] MB: The Oxford American concert series? Yes. They’re 12 show series that they announce every year. It sells out almost immediately, and most people have – Because they want their seat and their server and all the things to be the same. They buy the 12 show package. Yup.

[00:45:54] KM: That’s the smartest thing.

[00:45:54] MB: Which we’re going to really recommend. We do have some disappointed people because they can’t always get into a show or get into the 12 concert series, but that’s a great thing.

[00:46:07] KM: You need to make your reservations early.

[00:46:09] MB: You need to buy those tickets early. So the Oxford American concert series is through Oxford American and they do their ticketing through metraticks.com and then all of our events are in partnership with Central Arkansas Tickets.

[00:46:24] KM: So you not only had a partnership with Oxford American, but you also partnered with – Let me tell everybody that your wife’s aunt is Mary Steenburgen, who I don’t know if you know this, I went to high school with her.

[00:46:39] MB: I’ve heard that.

[00:46:41] KM: She’s my drill team major.

[00:46:43] MB: Dogtown for life.

[00:46:44] KM: Dogtown for life. So I think it sounds romantic when movie stars want to own restaurants, and they do a lot. Did they partner with you on that?

[00:46:53] MB: They did, yes.

[00:46:54] KM: And didn’t they give you a shout out on Jimmy Fallon’s show?

[00:46:57] MB: They did. They did. They always take great care of us when they have an opportunity to mention it. A lot of those media things, they’d put out everything they want to talk about and then whoever the host is gets to pick those few things. So it’s very cool that he picked that to key in on and –

[00:47:17] KM: So that’s how they do that? So Jimmy Fallon sends out a list of things he wants to talk about and then they get to pick what it is?

[00:47:21] MB: No. Usually – And my same experience with local television, they say, “Can you send us what you want to talk about?” So you send everything you might think you want to talk about and then they’ll narrow down what they want to hear about.

[00:47:37] KM: You also do cooking on TV. I’ve been on a segment with you before. I was showing my Flag & Banner wares one Wednesday or –

[00:47:47] MB: On the second and the 4th Monday of every month at the River Market Studios with KATV, and I just love all of them down there. Great studio. Elicia Dover has just taken such great care of me since I’ve been doing that, and she started the show. I was on their very first show and they started Good Afternoon Arkansas, and Ansley Watson filled in for her when she was gone, and I just love them both. They’re so dear and so helpful to me.

[00:48:21] KM: So what days do you do that on? First Monday? You said first Monday, second Monday? When did you say you usually do it?

[00:48:28] MB: Second and fourth Monday of every month.

[00:48:29] KM: Oh, twice? That’s a lot.

[00:48:31] MB: Yeah. I go on twice a month with them.

[00:48:32] KM: So you try to cook seasonal foods.

[00:48:35] MB: Yeah, we do. The segment is called What’s For Dinner? Occasionally, I’ll forget and

[inaudible 00:48:40] like, “You sent me a dessert recipe.” I’m like, “Oh! Well, I’ll do breakfast for dinner and then show this dessert.”

[00:48:50] KM: So cooking seasonally. You grew up – For everybody that’s just tuning in, if you want to go back and listen to what Chef Matt Bell said earlier about growing in Montana on a – What was the name of that farm you’re on? On the finishing lot of the cattle farm.

[00:49:11] MB: 503 Homemakers Road was the actual farm, but –

[00:49:16] KM: 503.

[00:49:16] MB: Yeah, 503. It was the address.

[00:49:19] KM: Oh, okay. It sounds like a nonprofit. But anyway –

[00:49:21] MB: It’s a 45-minute bus ride to school from there.

[00:49:25] KM: So do you want to go back and hear about his Montana life? It’s really interesting and how he was often on vegetarian and how he looks like a mountain man and grew up on this finishing farm. Now, you’re a chef in Little Rock, Arkansas.

[00:49:38] MB: Been here 15 years now. I’m like a bonafide southerner I think at that point.

[00:49:41] KM: You’re a real southerner.

[00:49:43] MB: Yeah.

[00:49:43] KM: So how do you mailed all the places you’ve lived and the food and the way you’ve eaten into your menu now that you have?

[00:49:53] MB: Well, I think I owe a lot of what I do to the people I’ve worked with and those people happen to be Arkansas natives. Cassidee Dabney, again, and Matt McClure. But Cassidee is especially – She is very deliberate in the story she tells with her food. Now she’s in Walland, Tennessee at Blackberry Farm and there’s different products and different produce and she might be telling a different story. But she lets the ingredients kind of lead her in how she’s going to tell that story.

[00:50:28] KM: And the ingredients come from the season?

[00:50:30] MB: Absolutely from the season and also the locale. She gets stuff up there now that she wasn’t able to get here when we were in Arkansas.

[00:50:40] KM: What is it you love about cooking?

[00:50:41] MB: They have ramps and stuff. Honestly, I think it’s a caring thing. I think it’s really a way to show people that you do want to nurture them and you do want to take care of them. Also, for me, I think that coming from a music background, the first thing you learn is that jazz is the only true American form of music. Everything else kind of has roots in these other places, whether it’s country or other things, and Texas swing is essentially polka, from Germany. It’s really interesting how you can trace those things.

Jazz was this thing that came from all of these cultures and all of these kind of, honestly, oppressive things that kind of pushed this coal of musicians into this diamond that is jazz. If you were to go, say, to Germany and say what is American food? They’re going to give you the burgers. They’re going to say that. Then they’re going to start naming things, like fried chicken, and greens, and there’s a unique thing about southern food that is more American than any other food. In Montana, you don’t grow up with a fat stack of bound recipes from your grandparents, because quite frankly people have only lived there for a little over 150 years as far as Americans.

So there’s no unique food story in Montana. We actually take kind of whatever is happening in Seattle. Surprisingly, most Montana cuisine has a very Pan-Asian flare because of the Asian influence in Seattle. You see that translated into Montana. So what I love about southern food is being able to tell that story of this place and that time and then moving forward.

[00:52:42] KM: What’s your favorite dish? Something

[inaudible 00:52:45]?

[00:52:47] MB: No. Honestly, I just love the field peas, specifically crowder peas. They’re my absolute favorite pea.

[00:52:55] KM: Is that a new thing?

[00:52:56] MB: Crowder pea?

[00:52:57] KM: Is that new thing for you to be in love with? Does it move around once you’re in love with it?

[00:53:02] MB: Not really. I mean, field peas are a thing. I love making fermented hot sauces. But I really – I just think that it’s so cool that in the south you will have a cookbook that has hundreds of years of family recipes. You just don’t get that everywhere in the country. It’s because people have been here longer. It’s a hard thing for people to talk about, but those southern foods that we love the most, greens, field peas, fried catfish, fried chicken, corn bread. Those are actually all African foods, and we wouldn’t have those and we wouldn’t think of those as something that are ours, and granted I think that now they are southern foods.

We’ve changed them and adapted them to what we have here, but the real uncomfortable conversation is that without the slave trade, tomatoes would not be here in this country. Okra would not be here. Benne seeds, which are sesame seeds, rice. The only reason we cultivate these things and get to have these things is because of that slave trade. So you kind of have to acknowledge that and accept that and realize that there is some really unique history to these southern foods that people think of, like, “Oh! Well, that’s my grandma’s.” Well, it’s way further than your grandma, and it’s just really interesting and a really unique story to look at southern food that way.

[00:54:39] KM: Well, I want to tell everybody that you’ve been listening to Up in Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy, and that I’ve been speaking today with Chef Matt Bell, owner/operator of the sophisticated yet unpretentious bistro called South on Main Restaurant on none other than South on Main Street in Little Rock, Arkansas. I didn’t ever get to ask you how that name came about.

[00:54:56] MB: Oh! You got a minute?

[00:54:57] KM: Yeah.

[00:54:57] MB: It’s easy.

[00:54:58] KM: I mean, a minute. That’s all I got.

[00:55:00] MB: All right. So Danny Meyers book he says that you should call things what they are. He had Union Square Café, because it was on Union Square. He had 11 Madison Park because that was the address, and he doesn’t say name and an address. But the first restaurant he opened that wasn’t exactly what it was was a place called Blue Smoke Café, and it was a barbecue restaurant in New York and it was one of the only restaurants that he’s ever had that was a failure. He has Shake Shack now. That is his big national chain that he’s taken. He just says, “Don’t be cute. Call it what it is.”

[00:55:35] KM: I agree with that 100%.

[00:55:36] MB: My best friend, Christopher, he called me driving one night. He was actually drunk and he was riding in the passenger seat and he calls and he says, “I got it.” I was like, “You got what?” He’s like, “I know what you’re going to call it.” I was like, “Okay.” He’s like, “It’s South on Main, man,” and then he pretty much hang up. I was like, “Well, shoot! That is it. That is it.” Yeah.

[00:55:59] KM: That is it. That is good. That’s good. Thank you for coming on, chef. I was going to give you a miniature Montana flag, but I hate to say this on the air, but we were out of little Montana flags. Can you believe that?

[00:56:09] MB: I didn’t even know you had one of them.

[00:56:11] KM: Oh, yeah. We always did. For some reason there was a

[inaudible 00:56:13] on Montana flags and we were out. So instead, you’re getting a chef apron and a mitten.

[00:56:17] MB: Oh! That’s awesome.

[00:56:18] KM: You’re so big that I hope that mitten fits you. You may have to get it to your beautiful bride.

[00:56:22] MB: Ora y plata is our state seal, gold and silver for Montana.

[00:56:26] KM: Aha?

[00:56:27] MB: I’m a homer. 14 years, I love it.

[00:56:30] KM: Tell our listeners how much weight you’ve lost.

[00:56:32] MB: 80 pounds.

[00:56:32] KM: And tell them how you did it.

[00:56:34] MB: I just stopped eating like a jerk. I stopped eating dinner after work and started eating at a normal time, and that really helped me.

[00:56:42] KM: Because you got a work at midnight.

[00:56:44] MB: Yeah. Don’t eat dinner at 2:00 in the morning. That’s not cool people.

[00:56:48] JM: No.

[00:56:48] KM: I’d like to tell all our listeners, I’d like to thank all our listeners for spending time with us, and if they think this program has been about them, they are right, but it’s also been for us. Thank you for letting us fulfill our destiny. Our hope today is that you’ve heard or learned something that’s been inspiring or enlightening, and that it, whatever it is, will help you up your business, your independence, or your life. I’m Kerry McCoy and I’ll see you next time on Up in Your Business. Until then, be brave and keep it up.

[END OF INTERVIEW]

[00:57:17] JM: You've been listening to up in your business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. If you missed any part of this show or want to learn more about UIYB, go to flagandbanner.com and click on Radio Show, like us on Facebook, or subscribe to her weekly podcast wherever you like to listen. All interviews are recorded and posted the following week with links to resources you heard discussed on today's show. Underwriting opportunity is available upon request.

Kerry's goal is to help you live the American dream.

[END]

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