Metro-billy—what the hell is that? A whimsical, mostly honest male guide to living in the South; think GQ meets Garden and Gun, with a splash of MAD Magazine for good measure. And without a doubt, every Metro-billy living, working and loving in the Ozarks reads The Idle Class. It’s an exciting, interesting time to reside in the Ozarks region. There’s a thriving industry due directly and indirectly to the presence of the world’s largest retailer; a cultural explosion due to the opening of a world-class museum; a beautiful, rugged landscape that gives a myriad {wildlife} experience for any level of outdoors enthusiast; and a stylized quality of life that can only be defined as High South—The Idle Class captures the dichotomy of this complex region perfectly in its pages.

As a food writer, chef and artist, I have designed and established a lifestyle that exploits the virtues of living and loving in this place at this time. I sheepishly admit to coining the term “High South” while designing the culinary department at Crystal Bridges almost 10 years ago, a food movement that simultaneously acknowledges and elevates the style of cooking that has been part of the Ozark region for generations. But honestly, it’s the blending of the new with the old cultures now living in Arkansas that excites me the most.

The Metro-billy term was derived tongue-in-cheek as a means to describe the contingency of men residing in the South who exploit the outdoor bounty while demanding an elevated cultural lifestyle that includes art, cuisine, fashion and music. It’s the best of both worlds in Northwest Arkansas—not unlike The Idle Class. Julia, Kody and I, along with all the talented contributors, had a blast devising the 2019 Food and Drink Issue: guilty pleasures, mid-century modern parties, killer food and drink recipes for days. Read on, but only if you’re hungry, thirsty and in need of entertainment. Thump thump!