Look Who’s Cookin’: Omar Barry


A fun Q&A with some of the state’s up-and-coming chefs as well as culinary superstars.

Photography by Janet Warlick


 OMAR BARRY (Online Exclusive)

Omar’s Uptown / Jonesboro

Hometown: Banjul, Gambia and Jonesboro, Arkansas

Are you a formally trained chef or an on-the-job-trained cook? Yes to both.

Where were you trained? I started young in a bakery in West Africa.

How many years have you worked in the food industry? 28.

What or who inspired you to become a chef/cook? Nigel Stewart

What was the first item or meal you prepared? Bread and cakes.

What is your favorite meal to prepare? Slow-braised short ribs.

What is your favorite meal? Mussels.

What is your favorite type of food when eating out? Indian food.

What is your favorite junk food? Cheese puffs.

What is your favorite type of cuisine? African and French.

What is your favorite utensil, gadget or piece of equipment? A cast-iron skillet.

Where do you find new recipes and/or ideas for new recipes? Nice try … I can’t tell you that. [However, I will say] I like reading old cookbooks.

For whom would you most like to prepare a meal? President Obama.

Music or silence? Silence.

Salty or sweet? Sweet.

Bake or nah? Bake.

Beer, wine or cocktails? I don’t drink … does ginger beer count?

Do you cook at home? Yes.

What food or meal do you wish you’d invented? Cupcakes — my kids love cupcakes.

What food trends do you like or hate the most? I like the tapas and small plates food trend.

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