Brightwater | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food

As NWACC's culinary school, Brightwater is dedicated to teaching food systems from A to Z, making our program entirely unique. Our goal is to develop leaders who combine culinary skills with the ability to recognize and address complex food issues.

In addition to artisanal food, culinary arts, pastry and baking and beverage management, we offer courses with a focus on culinary nutrition, food waste reduction and food security.

Special classes in applied farming, seasonal cooking, and the art of fermentation are among the many one-of-a-kind classes that can be found at Brightwater.

Simply put, Brightwater provides world-class training for individuals, students and professionals at any point of their journey into the world of food. 



Kitchen classrooms, fully equipped and restaurant-grade.

8th Street Market


8th Street Market, Bentonville's Food & Innovation Hub



Demonstration Theatre, used for classroom and public demonstrations

State of the Art Facilities

Brightwater is housed in a new facility located on 8th Street in Bentonville. Our state-of-the-art facilities were built thanks to a generous grant by the Walton Family Foundation.

It's location, 801 S.E. 8th Street, was originally the site of a Krispy Kitchens manufacturing plant. The space was later purchased by Tyson and served as a fried chicken facility for 33 years before closing in 2005. Now, after 12 years of disuse, Brightwater is giving the land new life, a further extension of our mission to revitalize our community.

The new center occupies 27,500 square feet within a larger building surrounded by third-party food-related businesses. Having so much culinary talent under one roof can only intensify the creativity and learning opportunities for the community. The concept is inspired by public markets such as Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy, with food retail shops, dining stalls and trucks, and other entertainment options.

Facility Highlights

  • Demonstration Kitchen
  • Culinary Kitchen 
  • Pastry Kitchen 
  • 5 Kitchen Laboratories
  • 6 Classrooms
  • Seasonal Kitchen
  • Production Kitchen
  • Commons
  • Beverage Classroom
  • Library/Information Commons
  • 2500 square foot Greenhouse
  • Outdoor Garden

Brightwater facilities may be rented for special occasions.  Please call 479-631-8600 for event rentals.