Q & A With Chef Abby Milam- Executive Chef At LOUISE

During BITE NW Arkansas I had the pleasure of sitting down with Chef Abby Milam! This was such a treat for me as I am a huge fan of everything she creates. The meatloaf sandwich and at LOUISE is still something I am dreaming of on a regular basis. LOUISE is a modern all-day cafe located in the Fieldhouse at Thaden Field that serves diner-style breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  LOUISE has both indoor and outdoor seating facing the runway, providing great views of planes taking off and landing as you enjoy great food! They have named their restaurant in honor of Iris Louise McPhetridge Thaden (1905-1979). Born and raised in Bentonville, she was a proud Arkansan and one of the greatest aviators of her time. So enough! Enough! Let’s get to know Abby a little bit better, shall we?!


-How long have you been at Cafe Louise?!

Since last December

-What route brought you into cooking?

My family, it was always something we did together and all enjoyed.  

-What would you say influences your style of cooking?

Everything, my mood, your mood, the weather, the season.

-How do you develop your dishes?

I am honestly always thinking about food, even in my dreams.  I’m always mixing weird things together and just trying to make things taste good.

-Do you have a signature dish?

No, but I have things I love to make that rotate.  Right now I’m obsessed with my vegan risotto.

-And do you have any favorite ingredients?

Fresh herbs, lemons, and limes.

-How did you decide what to prepare for BITE NW Arkansas?

I wanted to honor my family and since I just moved home I wanted to make my family’s favorite meal and showcase sustainable southern veggies in all their glory.

-Why was it important for you to be a part of BITE?!! 

I just moved home and am getting reacquainted with NWA so I wanted to see all the new things and do all the fun things.

-Best cooking tip for a novice just getting into the business?

Hold your hand over an open flame.

-Funniest kitchen incident?

I was training a guy once and we had an order for a burger cut into 3rds.  He looked at it with a poised knife for a couple of minutes and looked so confused.  Then he cut it into quarters and threw one away.

-Who in the food world do you most admire?

All the line cooks and chefs that love what they do and put their hearts into their art.

-What do you like to eat when you’re at home?

Turkey sandwiches

-Are there any foods you just don’t like?


-What is going to be the next big thing in the food world?

Getting back to our roots with healthy food.

-One last question, Chef: What’s your ‘Last Supper’ meal? Your ‘Death Row’ meal, as Anthony Bourdain puts it.

I think it would be a bunch of things that don’t necessarily go together.  Like crab legs and antelope loin with mashed potatoes and brown gravy and veal cannelloni.

Go visit Abby at LOUISE next time you are in Bentonville and tell her I said hello!

Louise at Thayden Field
2205 SW I Street 100
Bentonville, AR 72712


This post was sponsored by BITE NW Arkansas. However all words and opinions are my own.