Monday, December 19

Taste of the South

January 6-8, 2006
Taste of the South
Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee

Events include a reception, tasting dinner, cooking demonstration, Maple Cottage Luncheon, Jack Daniel Chef’s Night Out dinner, a regional culinary adventure, a silent auction and reception, and the Gala Dinner benefiting the Southern Foodways Alliance oral history program.

Participating Chefs:
Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta, GA
Sean Brock, Capitol Grill, Nashville, TN
John Besh, Restaurant August, New Orleans, LA
Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY
Sam McGann, Blue Point, Duck, NC
Maggie Davidson, Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
Host Chef John Fleer, Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

Participating Vintner:
Guest Vintner Mat Garretson,
Garretson Wines Paso Robles, CA

High Cotton Package includes exclusive access to all of the weekend events and Saturday evenings Gala Dinner. $800 per person plus lodging, taxes and service charges.

Down Home Package includes the Gala Dinner, Silent Auction and Reception on Saturday evening for Blackberry Farm guests. $100 per person plus lodging, taxes and service charges

Taste of the South Package includes the Gala Dinner, Silent Auction and Reception on Saturday evening for guests not staying at Blackberry Farm. $150 per person plus taxes and service charge.

For reservations and information contact Sarah Elder by calling 1.800.557.8864 or 865.380.2626.

SOS Sharpies -- Pickles for a Purpose

SOS Sharpies are available on Ebay. Bid on jars autographed by John T Edge and John Egerton. Every dollar goes to support the Pickle Relief Fund. Help us help others -- bid today! Click on the title of this post to be directed to the page for bidding.

SFA's Pickle Relief Fund has raised more than $15,000 thus far, and over 90% of that money will be spent on restaurant relief projects. So when you bid on a signed jar of S.O.S Sharpies, you're not only getting some choice hot pickles, you're helping where it hurts, and where it counts. Also, winners will receive a descriptive accounting of all funds raised and spent.

Thursday, December 15

Barnwell County Collards

From Jeff Allen, presenter at the 2005 symposium, comes the recipe for the dish that had everyone salivating:

Barnwell County Collards

Serves 8-10

three quarts water
one small ham hock
one medium red onion, halved and finely sliced
half cup cane syrup
one-third cup apple cider vinegar
one teaspoon kosher salt
two teaspoons black pepper
one teaspoon red pepper flakes
one-quarter cup dark brown sugar
one large bunch collard greens

Rinse the ham hock under running water. In a large saucepan or stockpot (big enough to hold all of the ingredients), place the hock in enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Drain and return the hock to the pot with three quarts of clean water and the sliced red onion. Bring this mixture to a bare simmer and allow to cook covered for 2 or 3 hours, or until the ham hock is falling from the bone. Remove the hock and allow it to cool. Reserve the remaining liquid as this will become the delicious potlikker.

Clean and prepare the collard greens while the ham hock is cooking. Trim the stems from each stalk of greens where leaves began to form. Take each leaf (consisting of a stem with two wings on either side) and stack them in layers of fifteen to twenty leaves. Roll each stack of greens into a cigar shape and cut them into wide strips, about the width of a thumb. Place the cut greens in a deep sink of water and allow the sand and sediment to settle at the bottom of the sink. Very dirty greens may need two, or even three, rinses.

Add the remaining ingredients (excepting the collards) to the reserved ham hock liquid and bring to a boil. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Add the collard greens to the pot slowly, allowing successive additions to wilt down first if necessary. Slow the cooking to a bare simmer, cover, and cook for approximately two to three more hours until the collars have become reasonably tender.

Remove the meat from the hock, separate it into bite sized pieces with your hands, and return the meat to the pot of greens. Allow the collards to cool somewhat and refrigerate them overnight, if possible (they are much better the next day). Reheat them over a very low flame for one to two hours, until once again at a slow boil and serve.

Food Focus at Feb 23-26 Natchez Lit and Cinema Fest

The 17th annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, in Natchez, Mississippi, will explore Southern food. Titled Biscuits, Gumbo, Sweet Tea, and Bourbon Balls: Southern Food and Drink in History, Literature, and Film, the event will be Feb. 23-26, 2006, at the Natchez Convention Center.

Speakers include, among others, John Egerton, Jessica Harris, Amy Evans, Robert St. John, Martha Foose, Gayden Metcalfe, and Kenneth Holditch.

Most of the NLCC is free of charge, in part because of funding by the Mississippi Humanities Council and a matching challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Information is available by calling toll-free 866-296-NLCC (6522) or 601-446-1289; emailing or visiting the web site:

Wednesday, December 14

Make Your Voice Heard!

New Orleans is in trouble and we need your help. The New York Times wrote Sunday that the nation is about to lose New Orleans: The moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum.

These are sobering words for those of us who love New Orleans or make our life here. I urge you to take a couple minutes to email Congress and tell them that YOU CARE about the future of New Orleans and that we need their help rebuilding, restoring and repopulating our great city.

To make your voice heard, go here:

Matt Konigsmark

Monday, December 5

A Christmas Wish List to Support New Orleans

Gift Ideas compiled by the SFA's New Orleans Field Trip Committee

Like those tasty little treats from Creole Delicacies?

Louisiana Seafood
Support the Louisiana seafood industry by adding Louisiana oysters to Christmas stuffing or boiling a pound or six of Louisiana shrimp.

Louisiana Satsumas
Recently boarded onto the Slow Food Ark of Taste, Louisiana Satsumas are juicy as all get-out. Lester L'Hoste has some of the few available, the only organic ones. Lester will ship 11 pounds of Satsumas for $30 anywhere in the U.S. (except California-- where, of course, you can't ship citrus). Fruit can be ordered by phone, 504-231-9625, or by mail, L'Hoste Citrus, 6397 Hwy. 39, Braithwaite, LA 70040.

Abita Restoration Ale
$1 from every six-pack goes to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Fund.

Bird Brining Kits
Want a juicy bird? You'll need some help.

Gift Certificates to New Orleans Restaurants
Our friends and colleagues need your patronage. Buy a certificate now; cash it in when next you head south.

Restaurant August,
Long Branch, (985) 871-8171

Progress Grocery
They have great muffulettas; 'nuff said.

Community Coffee
Put a little chicory in your pot.

The Roman Candy Company
Get your stocking stuffers here.

Paul Prudhomme's Spices, Gift Baskets, Cookbooks
The man from Opelousas gave away 20,000 meals in the aftermath of the storm.

Gourmet Food Mall
A portion of the money made from the merchants on this website will be donated to the Red Cross. Purposely, there are no New Orleans merchants on this list, as they are the ones that need the help in the first place. By the way, this is the company that our own Brooks Hamaker works for.

The Crescent City Farmers Market
One of the best markets in the country -- and the focus of an SFA oral history project. Some of these vendors ship.

Doberge Cake from Gambino's
A butter cake filled with custard, made from a secret family recipe.

Zapp's Chips
That green been casserole? Lay on a blanket of Spicy Crawtators, instead of fusty canned onions.

Hubig's Pies
The hardest working little pie shop in New Orleans is selling T-shirts and auctioning pies.

Savvy Gourmet
Selling cookware, staging classes, they're back and badder than ever.

Southern Food & Beverage Museum
Get your SOFAB gear. Snazzy stuff.

Wednesday, November 30

Volunteer Vacation in New Orleans: Save Willie Mae's Scotch House

Want to make a difference in New Orleans? Want to be a part of reinvigorating the city's culinary culture?

The SFA is partnering with the Heritage Conservation Network, a non-profit that organizes hands-on architectural conservation workshops around the world, to save Willie Mae's Scotch House, a landmark neighborhood restaurant in an historic vernacular building.

You will recall that, during our July 2005 Field Trip to New Orleans, we awarded 89-year-old proprietor and fried chicken wizard Willie Mae Seaton with a Guardian of the Tradition award.

We are asking members to sign up for a series of three-day workshops aimed at preserving and repairing Ms. Seaton's home and attached business, allowing her to return to the work she loves.

Workshop participants will provide free labor for the project while learning building conservation skills from an expert leader and teacher. Not so handy with a hammer? Have no fear. NO EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY.

A series of 3-day weekends are scheduled during which crews of 8 will work. These weekends begin January 13-15, 2006 and continue through February 10-12.

Volunteers will pay for their own transportation and lodging, although, upon request, the SFA will work with local folks to help secure -- but not guarantee -- the latter.

Expect to work hard during the day and then join your co-workers (and maybe New Orleans locals like Lolis Eric Elie and Pableaux Johnson) for dinner in the evening at one of our member restaurants, say Upperline, Restaurant August, Bayona, Cuvee, Jacques-Imo's, Emeril's, or Herbsaint. And to help you find your way in the city, the SFA will provide a primer of sorts, pointing the way to the city's best midday eats, too.

Here's the pitch: Willie Mae Seaton needs your help. So do the right thing. Lend a hand and join your fellow SFA-ers in the quest to make New Orleans whole.

If you would like to participate, please email the SFA at by December 9. Weekend choices and work team captains will be assigned on a first-come first-served basis.

If you have questions about Heritage Conservation Network, email or visit

To learn a bit more about Ms. Seaton, read Lolis Elie's Times Picayune piece:

Tuesday, November 29

SFA Members Contribute Oral History Work

While the SFA's Oral History Initiative is gathering the stories behind the food, many of our members are doing the same. Whether as journalists, historians or curious consumers, SFA members are out in the field documenting the people of our region. We have just added an area to the Oral History section of this site, featuring the work of our colleagues who are dedicated to telling the stories behind the food through oral history. Click on the link above to view recent contributions.

If you are an SFA member and have an interview you would like to share, please contact Amy Evans at

Monday, November 28

SOS Sharpies Going Fast!

SOS Sharpies are featured in the holiday shopping foldout section of Newsweek's November 28 edition. Scroll down this blog for details on how to order your case today.

Sunday, November 27

Memories of Triple Crown Brownie Cupcakes

Those that took part in the October symposium will no doubt remember the delicious Triple Crown Brownie Cupcakes prepared by Sara Gibbs. In response to a number of inquiries, Sara has passed along the recipe to us. You'll find it below.

If you'd like to sample some of Sara's other recipes, including the Cheerwine barbecue chicken, check out Sara's book, Southern Thighways: Thigh Recipes with a Southern Accent. It is available through Border Spring Press:

And now, here's that Triple Crown Brownie Cupcake Recipe:

Cream Cheese Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
Dash salt
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Brownie Batter:
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Woodford Reserve bourbon (or bourbon of your choice)

For the cream cheese filling:
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and salt in a small mixing bowl on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape the bowl and beaters and mix again briefly, then reduce the speed to low and stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

For the brownies:
Beat sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a mixing bowl on medium speed until well combined. Scrape bowl and beaters, then reduce the speed to low and add the remaining dry ingredients. Beat at low speed for about two minutes, scraping the bowl and beaters halfway through.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place 24 cupcake liners in muffin pans and spray lightly with non-stick pan spray. Divide the batter in half. Portion half of the batter (about 2 tablespoons) in each cupcake liner, then top with about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese filling. Portion the remaining batter (about a tablespoon) over the top of each cupcake. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Cool completely on racks.

While the brownies are cooling, prepare the ganache:
Heat the cream in a small saucepan just until it begins to simmer. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate slowly in a double boiler over simmering water. Whisk until smooth, then temper in the cream, stirring until smooth. Add the butter, vanilla and bourbon, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and stir occasionally, until the ganache is thick enough to spread.

Using a small spatula, spread a thin layer of ganache across the top of each cupcake.

Yield: 24 brownie cupcakes

Sara Gibbs
Lynn's Paradise Cafe
Louisville, KY

Tuesday, November 22


In the wake of the worst natural disaster in our history, the SFA has endorsed an independent member effort to create a PICKLE BANK. More than 90 percent of all funds received from the sale of hot and spicy pickles known as SOS SHARPIES goes to the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Relief Fund, which is solely for the benefit of unemployed Gulf Coast food workers. The PICKLE BANK is a way to rally the broad community of Southern food lovers to the aid of those whose labors have given so much pleasure.

At an SFA event in Louisville on Sept. 16, the 12-jar cases of "S.O.S. Sharpies"-short for "Spicy Old Southern-Style Hot Pickles"-were offered for sale at $120 per case, with 90 percent of the amount going directly to a worker relief fund. Half the cases were sold that weekend. The other half were spoken for the following week.

Orders are now being taken: your check should be made out to Pickle Relief Fund in the amount of $135 ($15 of that is for shipping) and mailed to PICKLES, 425 East Burnett St., Louisville, KY 40217. Allow two weeks for delivery.

Egerton's uncle and namesake, Nashville author John Egerton, a founder and former board member of SFA, says the pickles are "a perfect symbol" of the organization's commitment to helping others through food. "We first came together in 1999 out of a belief in the unifying power of Southern food," he explained. "Along with music and a few other things, food casts a very positive light on the region's past."It's deeply engrained in the Southern psyche to respond to tragedy with gifts of food. This time, we're selling a tasty, non-perishable food item to raise moneyfor people caught up in a disaster."

The funds generated will be disbursed through the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Disaster Relief Fund, which has been set up within the Greater Houston Community Foundation exclusively for the benefit of displaced food and restaurant workersin the Gulf Coast areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas.

If you still have questions, please call 502-523-6154 or email
Lens on the Larder: The Foodways of Southern Appalachia in Focus

Carroll Reece Museum
Johnson City, TN
Through 12/21/2005
Information: (423)439-4392

An exhibition of photographs and oral histories by Larry Smith and Fred Sauceman of East Tennessee State University that documents traditional and emerging foodways of Southern Appalachia.

Says Fred Sauceman, We focus on the first sorghum of fall as it enrobes a pan of country biscuits made from soft, red, winter wheat, sit at the side of a famous chow-chow cook, get elbow deep in cheese curd...

Monday, November 21

Cornbread Nation 3 HOT OUT OF THE SKILLET!

Pick up your copy today. Heck, buy three.

For those who missed Fred Sauceman's remarks on Cornbread Nation 3 at the Southern Foodways Symposium, you may enjoy the edited version here:

Editor Ronni Lundy and Mary Beth Lasseter deserve our highest praise and congratulations for creating this book. As we say in the mountains, they did right by us. They did us proud. Book editors and national television producers haven't always accomplished that.

Ronni writes in the introduction to Cornbread Nation 3 that she came to understand, in a book written by our bean man, one of our Ruth Fertel Keepers of the Flame, Bill Best, why mountain ways have persistently been translated in pejorative terms in the larger American culture. To quote Ronni directly:

For the last century and then some, the culture of America at large has been a culture of things. From its onset, the culture of the Southern mountains has been one of connection. Being intangible, the treasures of the latter are virtually invisible to the citizens of the former. Consequently, a life focused on fostering connection, as opposed to acquisition, might seem to the dominant culture, at best, quaint and anachronistic, at worst, ridiculous and perverse.

In other words, if you value a person most in terms of the number of things he or she has-cars, Cuisinarts, face lifts, cell phones-you will not value a person who has few things but is, instead, rich only in connection. If you see time as well spent only when it is spent in pursuit of things, you will see time as wasted when it is spent instead nurturing connection.

In the mountain South, the green bean is the center of a network of amazingly complex connections. Beans are grown for nourishment, so the favored varieties have plump pods that are allowed to fill out with protein-rich seeds. The time it takes to simmer these, slow and low on a back burner, can be spent outside by cooks who are as connected to the earth and their garden as they are to the stove.

These beans are bred for flavors and textures so idiosyncratic that Bill Best has acquired some 200 seeds of distinctly different characteristics. Mountain people name their homegrown varieties of green beans; some are linked to specific families, some belong to communities, some have names that suggest poetry or stories: Lazy Wife, Roan Mountain, Tobacco Worm.

This is not humdrum food writing. This, friends, is the real stuff. Cornbread Nation 3, it's what your friends want to find in their stockings.

Wednesday, November 2

Joe Dabney Honored with 2005 Jack Daniel Lifetime Achievement Award

Joseph E. "Joe" Dabney of Atlanta, Georgia, is the winner of the 2005 Jack Daniel Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
The award, underwritten by Jack Daniels' Distillery of Lynchburg, Tennessee, recognizes the region's leading culinary lights, men and women whose lifework has proved a beacon for us all.

Lynne Tolley, great-grand niece of Jack Daniel himself, presented the award -- a custom portrait by Mississippi artist Blair Hobbs -- to Dabney at a ceremony on the University of Mississippi campus.

Dabney, a native of Kershaw, South Carolina, born in 1929, is the author of a number of books about the American South including Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine and Mountain Spirits: A Chronicle of Corn Whiskey from King James' Ulster Plantation to America's Appalachians.

Mountain Spirits, first published more than 30 years ago, defined the modern understanding of American moonshine. Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine, a chronicle of mountain life told by way of oral histories and recipes, won the Cookbook of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation.

Monday, October 31

Brown Sugar Pie

SFA is on a recipe hunt. An SFA-er is trying to recreate a grandmother's recipe that she remembers from childhood. Here's what we're looking for: a dessert baked in a regular pie shell with the consistency of a sweet potato pie; smooth, not grainy; referred to as brown sugar pie. If anybody happens to know what this is or how to make it, please e-mail

UPDATE: Thanks to all who e-mailed us. We found the recipe!

Old Fashioned Brown Sugar Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Meringue:
4 reserved egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350*F (175*C). Prepare pastry shell, set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, evaporated milk and vanilla, mixing well. Pour into unbaked pie shell.
3. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and salt; mix well. Sprinkle it evenly into the egg/milk mixture.
4. Bake for one hour or until custard filling tests done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. To make the meringue, beat with an electric mix the reserved egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar beating until stiff, glossy peaks form and the sugar is dissolved.
6. Spread meringue over hot pie, sealing to the edges and return to oven to bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is golden. Let cool before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Monday, October 24

Doe's Eat Place Oral History Project

Produced in anticipation of the third-annual Delta Divertissement, which takes place this week, the SFA announces the Doe's Eat Place Oral History Project. Located in Greenville, this family-owned and operated restaurant has been in business for more that sixty years and is a cultural and culinary icon of the Mississippi Delta. The Doe's Oral History Project is a portrait of a place, painted by generations of family, loyal employees, and devoted customers. Together, their stories celebrate the uniqueness and significance of Doe's Eat Place. Click on the link above to go directly to the interviews.

[Above, Doe Signa, Jr. tends to a pot of hot tamales.]

Thursday, October 20

Bittersweet: An Exhibition on Louisiana Cane Fields by Louise LeBourgeois

SFA members in the Chicago area are encouraged to visit an art exhibit by Louise LeBourgeois. LeBourgeois is a native of New Orleans, but practices as an artist in Chicago. Her latest exhibition of paintings is entitled "Bittersweet" and focuses on the Louisiana cane fields. Visit for more information on the show, which runs from October 28 through December 3. (Due thanks to SFA member Celia Leventhal for sharing this resource.)

Sunday, October 9


The Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans and The Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi in Oxford are collaborating on The Gulf Cost Foodways Renaissance Project: An Oral History Initiative, an effort that chronicles the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the foodways of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast while concurrently tracking the rebirth of New Orleans restaurant industry. We are looking for related stories. If you have a story to share, please visit or call 1-888-926-1999.

Funding for phase one of the project comes from as generous grant from The Ruth Fertel Foundation.

Wednesday, September 28

Hoover Alexander Featured in Austin's Film & Food Festival

The Austin Film Festival's 3rd annual FILM & FOOD fundraiser will be held the evening of Wednesday, October 19, 2005. Co-hosted with Austin Monthly Magazine, FILM & FOOD takes place at the historic Driskill Hotel and all proceeds benefit the Festival's Young Filmmakers Program.

A special film premiere at the Paramount Theatre kicks off the FILM & FOOD fundraiser. The festivities continue across the street at the Driskill Hotel with Austin's finest restaurants providing the delectable cuisine and our alcohol sponsors providing the spirits. We also feature local bands on the balconies of the Driskill Mezzanine, a DJ inside and a fabulous Silent Auction.
This year's participating restaurants: Austin Land & Cattle, Dona Emilia's South American Bar & Grill, Driskill Grill, Hoovers, Kenichi, Lake Austin Spa Resort, Lisa Brooks Catering, Mars, Ranch 616, Roaring Fork, Satay, Starlite, Teo and Vivo.

FILM & FOOD is a fundraiser for our Young Filmmakers Program (YFP). Founded to introduce the arts of screenwriting and filmmaking to young people, the YFP provides students ages 9-17 with an encouraging and supportive arena in which to explore their creativity and improve their communication and storytelling skills. We offer several unique programs--Arts Education Outreach, Cinema/Television Summer Camp, Young Filmmakers Competitions & Exhibition, and panels designed specifically for students. With the exception of the Cinema/Television Summer Camp, the YFP makes all of its programs available at no cost to as many students as possible. Fundraisers like FILM & FOOD are crucial to the continuance of the Young Filmmakers Program.

To order individual tickets, log onto or call

SFA Member Donna Florio Proposes Project Pound Cake

Donna Florio cordially invites you to participate in The Pound Cake Project, whose mission is to deliver random acts of sweetness to those in need following the hurricanes. Florio writes:

I heard a Red Cross commentator on NPR explain that institutional food and warm water get pretty boring after a few days. When he scrounged some sweet roles for the folks on his route, they were delighted. Imagine the enjoyment a little home made pound cake would bring.

Here's what I'm doing, and hope you will join in. I'm baking petite pound cakes, 3.5" x 5.5"--you can get the disposable tins at the supermarket. Your favorite pound recipe will make 8 to 9 small cakes that take only 30 to 45 minutes to bake. I'm wrapping the cooled cakes in plastic wrap with a ribbon or raffia tie, putting them in zip top bags, and freezing them till I can collect enough to make a shipment. I've got friends who are doing the same here. I think it would be nice to add labels saying something like, "made with love by Donna in Birmingham."
I hope to deliver some cakes personally, but here are ideas where you can send them: Second Harvest Food Banks are doing 'triage' runs to hard hit areas. Many churches across the South have shelters or are supporting evacuees. Likely you know someone who has lost everything or who's been volunteering. Talk to them. If you search around the or WWLTV websites, you'll find lists of FEMA sites. If you're inclined to carry the cakes yourself, these may be places to start. Contact the Red Cross. Check your newspaper for stories of people who may still be residing in area hotels. They're out there--you just have to find them.

If you decide to participate, please e-mail me at I'd like to get an idea of how much the project spreads.

Friday, September 16

SFA Offers Glory Food Scholarships to Symposium

The eighth annual Southern Foodways Symposium, in and around Oxford and the University of Mississippi Oct. 27-30, will once again host three African American college students committed to food-related careers, thanks to Glory Foods the Columbus, Ohio-based manufacturer and distributor of Southern-style vegetables and entrees. The winning students, who must be age 21 or older, will be selected based on essays on this year's symposium theme: "Sugar and the Sweet Life." They will receive symposium admission (a $415 value) and $400 to cover travel and lodging. Additionally winners will meet one-on-one with Adrian Miller, African American foodways scholar and former special assistant to President Bill Clinton. Theresa Potter, director of sales promotion and marketing for Glory Foods said that the scholarships offer "an opportunity to further expose minority students to the history and culture of Southern food preparation and to do that in an atmosphere where students can encounter diverse thoughts on the subject."

Since 2001 the company has awarded symposium scholarships to African American students in memory of Glory Foods' cofounder, the late William F. Williams. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Williams was committed to enhancing the presence of African Americans in the food industry. "We want to bring everyone to the table, and these scholarships are a part of our effort toward accomplishing that goal," said John T. Edge, director of SFA, which is housed at UM's Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Students wishing to apply for a scholarship to the eighth annual Southern Foodways Symposium must be 21 years of age and pursuing a college degree in the food arts, hospitality management, folk arts or a related field. Students must also submit an essay between 200 and 250 words addressing the following questions: Do Southerners have a special affinity for sugar, and if so, why? What do you know about the history of sugar in the South? What will you gain from a four-day conference that focuses upon sugar and sweetness? Essays should be e-mailed to no later than Sept. 23. Winners will be notified by phone on Oct. 3.

Wednesday, September 14

More Good News From New Orleans

We're glad to report that bartender Bobby Oakes and his family made it out of New Orleans and are now on dry ground in Chapel Hill, NC. Bobby has long tended bar at the famed Arnaud's. Read his take on bartending in the Big Easy here.

If you happen to know the status of any of our other friends from the Bartenders of New Orleans oral history project, please get in touch! Email Amy at

Monday, September 12


The SFA has heard from the following people, all of whom are safe: Lolis Eric Elie, Brooks Hamaker, Sara Roahen, Sara O'Kelley, Brett Anderson, Pableaux Johnson, the Eversmeyer family, Leah Chase , Willie Mae Seaton, John Besh, Randy Fertel, Jessica Harris, Julia Reed, Greg and Mary Sonnier, Marcy Jimenez, Matt Konigsmark, Peter Patout, Scott Simmons, Susan Spicer, Jason McCullar, Ken Smith, Frank Brigtsen, Chuck Subra, the Uglesich family, Austin Leslie, Jacques Leonardi, Adolfo Garcia, Allison Vines-Rushing, Slade Rushing, Dominique Macquet and family, Marcelle Bienvenu, Gene Bourg, Liz Williams; Dickie Brennan, Steve Pettus, Lauren Brennan Brower and their families; Kevin Roberts, Poppy Z. Brite, Chris DeBarr, Pete and Janis Vasquez, Poppy Tooker, Lorin Gaudin. Email has proven to be the best way to be in touch.

For the best coverage of what's happening, turn to

For Alison Cook's take on New Orleans culinary culture, try
(may require registration)


The SFA has partnered with CIRA (the Council of Independent Restaurants) and the James Beard Foundation to build a job bank for displaced restaurant workers.

Approximately 40 SFA members have volunteered to phone Beard Foundation member restaurants. They are asking that the restaurant offer a minimum of one job to displaced workers. Preferably two or more. They are explaining that each offer must come with a promise of temporary housing and that the employee will likely need help with relocation funds, too.

Job offers will be posted at Anyone may view jobs online. If you would like to post a job offer to the site, sign in at top right of the page with user ID: beardjobs and password: post5@beard.

Sunday, September 11

Crescent City Farmers Market Back Online

The Crescent City Farmers Market has set up a new site,, for all community members, vendors, shoppers and staff to hear news, share their whereabouts and organize relief funds for those farmers and fishers who need our assistance.

Thursday, September 8

Culinary Opportunities Available Temporarily

SFA has had a few offers from businesses who are interested in hosting special programs or culinary demonstrations on a temporary basis. Those that we know about are listed below. Permanent jobs are at

1) Austin

Chuy's -- Comida Deluxe, a restaurant company based in Austin, Texas, is interested in hosting a fundraiser for the restaurant community in New Orleans. The idea is to have chefs from famous New Orleans restaurants come to Austin on a temporary basis (maybe one each week) to do cooking demonstrations and also make their signature dishes over the course of the week. Proceeds from the demonstrations, signature dishes and bands would go to benefit hurricane victims in the New Orleans area, specifically those in the restaurant industry. If you are interested in participating in this effort, please contact Joe Kingsbury at

2) Hattiesburg

The Kitchen Table, in Hattiesburg, is willing to work with displaced chefs who might wish to run a culinary program in the store while they wait for things to get up and running along the coast again. If you're interested in this opportunity, e-mail for more info.

3) Tampa

The Lincoln Heights Bistro in Safety Harbor (near Tampa) is hosting a series of events called "Cookin' Fer N'awlins" They are sponsoring chefs, from those areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, on a temporary basis. They will feature a different chef 2 days each week, and will also try to provide leads on permanent employment in the area. The series begins on Sunday, September 25 and features Chef Richard Bond of The Mardi Gras School of Cooking and Catering in New Orleans. If you are interested in cooking, or attending, please contact Lincoln Heights Bistro at (727) 726-4210 or

Wednesday, September 7

Bar and Owner Survive Katrina!

Good news! In Thursday's Los Angeles Times, an article by Scott Gold on the toxic water situation in New Orleans included a short interview with O'Neil Broyard, owner of the Saturn Bar, who rode out Katrina to tend to his place and all of the treasures within. We hope his pets are okay, too. Click here to access the article (registration required).

O'Neil was one of the folks profiled in our Bartenders of New Orleans Oral History Project, which was completed in March.

If anyone happens to have information relating to the whereabouts of any of our other bartender friends, please let us know. Contact Amy Evans at

Restaurant Updates

Chef/Restaurateur Emeril Lagasse has announced his dedication to the rebuilding of the city of New Orleans. Lagasse plans to reopen his New Orleans restaurants as soon as possible. Until the New Orleans locations can be reopened, the group has tried to place as many employees as possible at existing related restaurants – many have relocated to Atlanta, Orlando, Miami and Las Vegas where they have family or friends. Emeril's employees are encouraged to call a toll-free number to 1-877-578-8884 to let the restaurants know where they are and how they and their families are doing.

The Brennans
Dickie Brennan, Steve Pettus,Lauren Brennan Brower and their families are safe. They will re-open their New Orleans restaurants: Palace Cafe, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, and Bourbon House as soon as possible. The damage to these French Quarter restaurants is yet to be determined. In the interium, Dickie is seeking a Baton Rouge restaurant location with the goal of creating economic opportunities for his employees. We'll keep you posted of the progress. Anyone who needs to reach them should write to: We'll soon have the former Palace Cafe cookbook line rerouted to Baton Rouge 1-800-691-8313.

Mimi's Restaurant
Mimi's Restaurant in River Ridge (30 years in 2005) made it, and reports that they will re-open as soon as possible. The carpet is damaged but that is all.

NOLA Benefits We Know About

1) Nationwide

Dine for America, October 5th, to support the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Got to where participating restaurants, independent operators, national chains, tableservice, and quickservice can choose from a menu of options on how they would like to participate.

2) Nationwide

Share Our Strength will host a Hurricane Katrina Relief Benefit on October 17, featuring 40 chefs from around the country, with 100% of the funds raised going to local organizations directly assisting victims in the areas affected by the hurricane. For details and tickets, go to .

3) Atlanta

On Sunday, October 2nd, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, subdudes, Kingsized with Dames Aflame are in concert at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse. General admission tickets are $25, with all proceeds going to Preservation Hall's N.O. Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund and Tipitina's Foundation. Contact:

4) Chicago

Benefit October 6th in Chicago. Jimmy Bannos of Heaven on Seven along with New Orleans chef Susan Spicer and others present a tasting menu. Dinner is $50.00 per person, 100% of which will be donated to he Katrina Relief Fund and a Hospitality Industry Charity. McCormick Place Grand Ballroom. For tickets and information, call the Illinois Restaurant Association at 312.787.4000

5) New York City

New Chefs for 'New' New Orleans will showcase next generation talent including NYC chefs as well as New Orleans Chefs Bob Iacovone of Cuvée and Chuck Subra of La Cote Brasserie. Chefs will cook New Orleans fare to be served at The Cornell Club, New York, October 11th. Proceeds benefit New Orleans tourism efforts through the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. Contact Katie at 212.758.5322 or

6) Saratoga, NY

Hatties Restaurant hosts a fundriaser for Hurricane Katrina victims. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Red Cross. All waiter and bartenders are donating their time and tips to this cause. Please call Elizabeth Alexander at 518.791.2788. Monday October 3rd, Hattie's Restaurant, 45 Phila Street, Saratoga NY.

7) NYC

October 1, at the Grand Central Oyster Frenzy, the 25-year veteran shucker at Acme in New Orleans, Michael "Hollywood" Broadway will shuck oysters for the cause when donations are accepted for every oyster shucked during a one-minute period. Pledges will be accepted by logging onto, or live at the Oyster Bar's annual Oyster Frenzy beginning at 12:00 noon on Saturday prior to the annual Grand Central Shucking Championship competition.

8) NYC

On October 17, the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) is hosting a fund-raising dinner to benefit Share Our Strength's Katrina Relief Fund. Writer Calvin Trillin and Chef Susan Spicer will be among the guests of honor to address the audience, who will enjoy a five course New Orleans-inspired menu prepared by ICE chefs. ICE aims at raising $20,000 through the sale of $200 tickets and a live auction.

Share Our Strength is providing financial support to the food banks in New Orleans, Mobile, Baton Rouge, and Dallas, and will provide targeted funds to families of foodservice workers who have lost their employment in the wake of the hurricane. ICE is proud to be able to contribute to this effort through this fundraiser.

A cocktail party will launch the event at 6:30 p.m., and guests will sit for dinner at 7 p.m. Over the course of the evening, Trillin, Spicer, professor and author Dr. Randy Fertel, will provide entertainment in the form of remarks, anecdotes, and music. As a staff writer for The New Yorker and Time magazine and the author of over eight books, Trillin frequently writes about food, travel, politics and the south. Spicer is the executive chef and partner in restaurants Bayona and Herbsaint in New Orleans, and won the 1993 the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef, Southeast Region. Fertel is the son of Ruth Fertel, founder of the New Orleans-based Ruth's Chris Steak House chain. He is at work on his first book, The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak, which is a memoir about his parents, food, and growing up in New Orleans.

To purchase tickets, please call ICE at 212-847-0770. The Institute of Culinary Education is located at 50 West 23rd Street, New York NY 10010 and online at For more information on Share of Our Strength's work, please visit

9) Nationwide -- Epicurious Index of Relief Efforts

Thanks to Jane Bouchon, who has shared with us this useful Web site which catalogues even more NOLA fundraising events: Check them out and support one in your area.

Sunday, September 4

Restaurants Seek Whereabouts of Staff

Bob Iacovone of Restaurant Cuvee wants to hear from any of his staff. If you know the whereabouts of Cuvee staff, please e-mail Bob at

Clancys Restaurant will open as soon as possible serving sandwiches and gumbo, if nothing else, says Steve Manning. Steve seeks two of his line cooks, Lawrence Allen and Gary Caston. If you know of their whereabouts, call Steve at 917-562-3137.

Saturday, September 3

Hollins University Offers Free Semester for Hurricane Victims

SFA member Elizabeth Karmel has shared news that Hollins University is offering a free semester of tuition for students displaced by the hurricane. Read more about the program at

Chefs for Humanity Offer Relief

Mississippi native Cat Cora is working with Chefs for Humanity to offer relief to hurricane victims. Visit their Web site,, for more information on their efforts.

Friday, September 2

Hospitality Workers Disaster Fund

New Orleans Hospitality Workers Disaster Relief Fund

A fund has been established to benefit employees of the hospitality industry of the Greater New Orleans area who have experienced hardships because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Contributions may be sent to:

New Orleans Hospitality Workers Disaster Relief Fund
Greater Houston Community Foundation
4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 100
Houston, TX 77027
Call 713-333-2200 for additional information.


Job postings are online at and at

Thursday, September 1

NC Folklife Institute Requests Help for Directory Project

The North Carolina Folklife Institute is in the process of creating a Web directory of traditional artists in the North Carolina mountain region of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, to include musicians, craftspeople, and masters of a wide variety of traditional arts, including foodways. Members of the SFA are invited to contact me with suggestions about whom we should include. Do you have a favorite traditional cook or know of someone who produces food in a regional tradition, and who lives in the North Carolina mountains? I'd love to hear from you. With thanks, Sarah Bryan (919) 918-7711

Tuesday, August 30

Highlight from the SFA's oral history archives

This is the first in our on-going series of interview samples we'll be posting here each month, highlighting work from the SFA's Oral History Initiative.

"I always used to tell folks, making hot tamales is like making corn whiskey, you'll never get the same thing out twice. Makes no difference what you do, it won't come out the same twice." --Shine Thornton

Shine Thornton of Greenville, Mississippi, has been making hot tamales for twenty years. He named his business "Maria's Famous Hot Tamales" after his wife of fifty-six years, Mary Thornton, whose family is from Palermo, Sicily. The image above is of Mr. Thornton in his kitchen at home, holding a photograph of he and his wife, which was taken around the time of their marriage.

This interview is part of the Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail project. Interview and photograph by Amy Evans.

Monday, August 22

Mmm, Bacon...

In preparation for the SFA's big bacon extravaganza in Louisville next month, Camp Bacon, SFA oral historian Amy Evans is on the road, documenting bacon producers in Western Kentucky. Salt, sugar, patience and family-old traditions have made this part of the South a bacon-lover's paradise. The oral histories Amy is collecting will be featured at Camp Bacon and will also appear here on the SFA website in the weeks to come. Hear tell of hog killin's and blue ribbons that will make you want to run get your skillets warm.

Monday, August 15

Nashville's Tomato Art Festival was great fun! SFA folks were everywhere: Jim Myers served as a judge in the recipe contest; Ronni Lundy signed her book In Praise of Tomatoes; Mary Beth Lasseter collected tomato stories from the crowd. What did we learn? Most people like their tomatoes red off the vine, sliced thick, and served on white bread. SFA members, mark your calendars for 2006. This event is NOT to be missed. East Nashville, thanks for a great festival!

Wednesday, August 10

SFA at Nashville's Tomato Art Festival

The SFA is excited to be a part of the 2005 Tomato Art Festival in Nashville this Saturday, August 13. The event features talks on heirloom tomatoes, an art exhibition, and--best of all--a Bloody Mary contest. Mary Beth Lasseter will be on hand to record oral histories, stories of our favorite tomato recipes and gardening tips. Look for her wandering amongst the crowd through the weekend. See more details and a full schedule of events at

Day at the Docks, Sept. 17

Curious about how that spanish mackerel fillet or that wahoo steak made its way from the sea to your favorite seafood market? Come to Day at the Docks - A Celebration of Hatteras Island Watermen at the harbor in Hatteras village (NC) on September 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, contact Susan West at

Friday, August 5

Recently appointed as the SFA's full-time oral historian, Amy Evans was also recently nominated by the Mississippi Arts Commission to be included in, an on-line registry "designed to raise awareness of the South's artistic excellence and diversity." Amy's oral history work is featured under the category of Folk/Traditional-Oral and features a sampling of SFA documentary projects. We hope you will take some time to explore the site, as it is a wonderful resource for many creative disciplines and a fantastic outlet for showcasing the SFA Oral History Initiative.

Wednesday, July 27

Camp Bacon is Sizzling

Camp Bacon ticket sales are sizzling! Tickets are still available to the dinner. Rooms at the Brown for $119 are sold out, however, some are expected to open up on August 12 so check back with them. In the meantime, if you would like to book a room at the Marriott for a rate of $139, please call (800) 533-0127. The Marriott rooms will be released on August 19th so book your rooms now!

Tamale Trail Update:

On Sunday, July 24th, Mildred Jerman took home the title of World Champion (for the second year in a row!) at the 15th annual Hot Tamale Contest held in Greenville, Mississippi.

Documenting the World Championship Hot Tamale Contest is just part of the Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail project. Keep checking back for updates. Want to talk tamales? E-mail SFA oral historian, Amy Evans, at

Tuesday, July 26

SFA Save the Dates!

SFA has some great things in the works for the coming months. Mark your
calendars and watch your mailboxes!

September 16: Camp Bacon, Louisville, Kentucky; details and registration
processes posted on the web at Space still
available at dinner; new rooms added for over nights at nearby hotels.

October 26-27: Delta Divertissement, Greenwood, Mississippi; details posted
in early August.

October 27-30: Southern Foodways Symposium, Oxford, Mississippi; details
posted in early August.

January 6-8, 2006: SFA Taste of the South, Blackberry Farm, Walland,
Tennessee; details posted in October.

Food Museum Online

You might like to check out this interesting website: an online food museum found at See a special exhibit on school lunches, online now.

Monday, July 18

More field trip photos available online

SFA member Fred Sauceman sends these photos by which we may remember our adventures. Thanks, Fred! See them all online at

Wednesday, July 13

SFA Field Trip Photos are Online!

Recovered from the SFA field trip yet? Take some time to remember the fun. SFA member Pableaux Johnson has kindly posted his photographs online for all of us to view. There are four sets of photos:
Cane Country Tour and Opening Night Rum Party (includes chefs)
Field Trip Sessions (including pictures of speakers)
Awards Dinner at Restaurant August
Bonus: Sugar Harvest photos from Levert St. John sugar mill, 2000

Monday, July 4

Cast Iron Cooking with John Folse

Cast iron cooking and Five Diamond resorts might not seem to go together, but they certainly do when John Folse swings his skillets at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Sept. 11-14. Join us for three days of cooking and recreation. Registration information is available by calling
800-228-5049 or e-mailing to

Friday, July 1

SFA Sugar Babies in New Orleans

The folks in New Orleans are excited about the SFA's arrival for the field trip in July. A few months back the Brennan family sent out a query to New Orleans restaurants, asking them to develop sugar menus around our theme.

Here's what they asked: "This July, the Southern Foodways Alliance is having a mid-year meeting in New Orleans. The theme of their meeting is sugar. This group we would like to form would not be affiliated with SFA or any other organization. We would merely use the occasion of their coming to town as a catalyst for our plan. We will welcome them to town by each (whoever chooses to participate) creating dishes based on sugar. No other rules or boundaries."

Following is a slightly edited recap of what happened. Keep these co-conspirators in mind when traveling to New Orleans this July.


Sugar-Inspired Promotion Promises A Sweet Summer

NEW ORLEANS, La. (May 11, 2005) - Need something to satisfy that sweet tooth? This July, New Orleans has your answer. In partnership, the finest restaurants in town will serve some seriously sweet dishes, all in honor of one historic ingredient - sugar. A spirited promotion initiated by the folks at Commander's Palace (1403 Washington Ave.) - and aptly called Sugar Babies - area chefs will participate to offer locals and visitors a little something special during the hot summer months, and to foster camaraderie among the restaurant community. No rules or boundaries apply - except for chefs to get as creative with sugar as they can possibly be.

Commander's Palace finds it most appropriate to celebrate this beloved ingredient. "We are very proud of New Orleans' friendly culinary atmosphere, and with the onset of summer we thought, 'why not?'" says Co-Owner Ti Adelaide Martin. "We embrace the fact that as one of the most exciting food cities in America, we can still unite to celebrate our local ingredients and reach out to the community in a good-natured way."

The renowned New Orleans chefs-turned-Sugar Babies hail from some of the country's most celebrated kitchens. Many have received favorable nods from the prestigious James Beard Foundation, as well accolades from national media outlets. Participants include Tory McPhail/Commander's Palace; Kevin Vizard/Cafe Adelaide; Frank Brigtsen/Brigtsen's; Donald Link/Herbsaint; Mat Wolf/Gautreau's Restaurant; Gerard and Eveline Crozier/Chateaubriand Steakhouse; Wayne and Debbie Pierce/Bon Ton Cafe; Michelle McRaney and Cindy Brennan/Mr. B's Bistro; Tom Weaver and Joseph and Jerry Fein/Court of Two Sisters; Kenneth Smith/Upperline Restaurant, Anjay Keswani/Nirvana Indian Cuisine, Jacques Leonardi/Jacques-Imo Cafe, Erik Veney/Muriel's Jackson Square, Leah Chase/Dooky Chase's, Chuck Subra/La Cote Brasserie and Tommy DiGiovanni/Arnaud's Restaurant.

Tuesday, June 21

SFA Member Seeks Info on Grill Masters

Fellow SFA folks, I need your help. I'm looking for folks who can claim that when they crank up the grill, neighborhood mouths start to water. One of these people may be you. I'm not looking for professional pit masters, but for those with a great recipe or a fun story. I am compiling these profiles in a book that I am writing for Taunton press, on ways that outdoor cooking has changed our culture. (P.S. -- I need Yankees, too.) Please share your stories via email, Thanks! -- Fred Thompson

Thursday, June 9

SFA Investigates Hot Tamales

In cooperation with Viking Range Corporation, Southern Foodways Alliance oral historian, Amy Evans, is on the road again. This time she's in search of those legendary bundles of meat and masa found throughout the Mississippi Delta: hot tamales. Her route will take her to Clarksdale, Greenville, Greenwood and points in between, where she'll be mapping and documenting a Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail. If you know of any cooks or vendors Amy should include on her trek, please email suggestions here: Look for the completed project to appear in printed form and on-line at

Monday, June 6

Seeking Food Issue Feedback

Dear Good Folks at SFA,

Greetings from The Oxford American.

We hope you've had a chance to peruse our latest issue, THE OXFORD AMERICAN's first-ever Southern Food Issue. (As you may know it includes the first advertisement the SFA has ever run, a comp we provided for y'all.)

We're interested in getting your critiques of the Southern Food Issue (PRO or CON!) and therefore we invite you to send us letters on the subject. We're writing to you because we know you're passionate--and informed--on the subject of Southern cuisine. You may write anything you please as long as you speak honestly (don't worry, we've got thick skin!).

If you're interested, please email your critiques to me at

We appreciate your feedback!

Best wishes,

Carol Ann Fitzgerald
Managing Editor
The Oxford American
201 Donaghey, Main 107
Conway, AR 72035

Monday, May 23

SFA Assists Canadian BBQ Lovers

En Route magazine did a story on BBQ, using the SFA oral history project on Memphis BBQ as a resource. Check it out online at

Friday, May 13

Announcing 2005 Carolina Gold Rice Symposium

The Carolina Gold Rice Foundation is hosting a symposium in South Carolina this August 18-20. Learn about the history of rice in the Carolinas. Tour Middleton Place Rice Fields. Eat plenty, and eat well. There are also five pre-conference events to entertain you, including a culinary tour led by SFA member Amanda Dew Manning. Registration is now open. Secure your spot quickly by visiting their website at or calling (843) 709-7399.

Tuesday, May 10

Order your SFA gear now!

Excited about New Orleans this summer? Buy the new official t-shirt for the field trip. Want to share news of SFA with the world? Order a bumper sticker for your car. Want to be on the cutting edge of fashion? Well, maybe a t-shirt won't do it. But you can be on the cutting edge of what's cool with the SFA. Visit our online store to get great SFA gear now, and know that proceeds benefit our organization! Happy shopping.

Monday, May 9

Update on NOLA Oral History Project

.Our resident oral historian, Amy Evans, has returned from a fruitful fieldwork frolic to the Crescent City. Her time in New Orleans was most productive, with her days and nights spent tracking down interesting folks who mix and serve the creative concoctions that keep their customers--locals and tourists alike--lubricated with the libations this town is known for: the Mint Julep, the Sazerac, the Ramos Gin Fizz. You'll never look at cocktails the same again. Keep checking back for the interviews and accompanying photographs, which will appear here on the SFA website in June. Cheers! PS: A big thank you to all the SFA members and friends who emailed Amy suggestions for interview subjects

Monday, May 2

On newsstands now, the first Oxford American Food Issue

Check out the new issue of the OA, edited by our own John T. Edge. Featuring a mess of SFA members--and showcasing (on page 125) the SFA's first advertisement, donated by the good folks at the Oxford American. Buy five or six copies and share.

Wednesday, April 20

Announcing Greenwood Culinary Adventures

The Alluvian Hotel and Viking Cooking School will host innovative Southern chefs including Chef John Fleer of Blackberry Farm (May 13-15), Chef Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace (July 8-10), Chef John Folse of Lafitte's Landing (August 12-14), Chefs Ben and Karen Barker of Magnolia Grill (September 9-11), and Chef Robert St. John of Purple Parrot Cafe and Crescent City Grill accompanied by renowned artist Wyatt Waters (October 21-23) in a series of 3-day culinary adventures. Call 866.600.5201 for more information.

Monday, April 18

Seeking Food Info for Cumberland Plateau

Seeking names, locations of authentic, locally owned restaurants, food festivals, food customs in these Cumberland Plateau counties of Tennessee: Anderson, Bledsoe, Campbell, Claiborne, Cumberland, Fentress, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Warren, White. For National Heritage Corridor survey. Please respond to: Edwin Gardner,

Friday, April 15

The Kitchen Project

Check out the Kitchen Project by Project Alabama. Project Alabama is an organization operating out of Florence, Alabama, and they are doing terrific work employing local workers to create hand-made clothing. They have created an online exhibit of oral history and photography, inspired by the SFA oral history project, that may be found by visiting the organization's website at

Tuesday, April 12

IT'S GRITS Available on Video/DVD

Stan Woodward announces the digital restoration of the pioneering foodways film IT'S GRITS! The new DVD version contains recollections from the filmmaker and his assistant, Jay Williams, who provide informative and entertaining commentary. (The SFA gave a piddling amount of dollars to help defray the cost of restoration and encourages you to buy a copy for yourself.) Available in DVD and VHS from

Wednesday, March 30

SFA asks, "What are Tights?"

A friend from Marianna, Florida, has a 1930's Bainbridge Georgia restaurant menu from a restaurant owned and operated by his father and aunt. Among the items listed was "Tights" at 5 cents each, the same price as a hot dog and in the same menu location. Any idea what tights are? We don't know! Please e-mail if you think you have an answer. Thanks for any assistance you may offer. --Mal Greenfield

Tuesday, March 22

SFA Seeks Sweet Artwork

Looking forward to our fall symposium, we seek art that celebrates sugar and sweetness. Won't you be so kind as to suggest an artist or artwork?

Things to know: Ideally, the artist works in the Southern vernacular. We prefer painting to photography. And we like bright colors. Usually, we buy the painting--and the right to reproduce it--from the artist and then sell the work at the symposium to cover costs. But we're open to other arrangements.

Take a look at and click on individual years to see some of our past selections.

And then, by April 15, send your suggestions to Include, if you are able, the artist's web site, a museum web site, or an image of a particular artwork.

Thursday, March 10

Center for American Culinary Research Opens

Registration information is now available online for the dedication of the Longone Center for American Culinary Research and the First Biennial Symposium on American Culinary History, scheduled May 13-15, 2005. Opening in May, the Center at the University of Michigan is a premier resource for the scholarly study of American culinary history, covering all regions and aspects of foodways.
Further details are available at

Thursday, March 3

Hot Boudin!

Headed to Louisiana to learn about sweets on our field trip this summer? Well, you might also want to check out some other foods, too. Like boudin. Boy, it's good. And there's a website that you can visit to read all about how it's made and the best places to find it. Check it out online at

Friday, February 25

Know a Good Bartender?

The Southern Foodways Alliance--with support from Southern Comfort--is producing an oral history project on the bartenders of New Orleans. Amy Evans, our resident oral historian, will be heading to the Big Easy next month to work on the project, and she is looking for interesting subjects. If you know of any bartenders--working or retired--in the NOLA area, who would have a few good stories to tell, please pass along their information. (Also, if you know of interesting bartenders anywhere in the South, please tell us about them too.) Amy can be reached at or by calling her at (662) 915-5993. Thanks! Look for the completed project to appear here this summer.

Monday, February 14

SFA Member Seeks Potluck Recipes

Dolores Kostelni is working on a new book, Potluck Cookbook: 100 Classic Recipes for Any Occasion. She'd love to include your tried and true potluck recipes. Please send a favorite recipe or two with your name as you'd like it to appear in the headnotes, as well as the recipe, how many it serves (it's best if it serves 8 or more), its provenance and any tips you have for its success. These recipes should be fun to make, easy, and delicious. A real potluck pleasure for all. She looks forward to hearing from you--and soon. The deadline is in 30 days. Contact with your favorite recipes. Thanks a lot for all of your delicious help!

Friday, February 11

SFA Announces Remembering Bill Neal Benefit Dinner

The SFA is happy to announce a dinner and panel discussion to benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance and the Chapel Hill Historical Society.

REMEMBERING BILL NEAL: Reflections On The Southern Culinary Renaissance
Join us for two events celebrating a chapter in the culinary history of Chapel Hill and the South. Dinner to benefit Southern Foodways Alliance and the Chapel Hill Historical Society.

Bill Neal's Influence On Fine Dining In The South, A Panel Discussion
Sunday, February 27 at 4:00 pm
MODERATOR: John T. Edge, Executive Director, Southern Foodways Alliance
PANEL: Moreton Neal, Bill Neal's former wife and business partner; David Perry, Editor In Chief, UNC Press; Robert Stehling, Owner & Chef, Hominy Grill; Gene Hamer, Owner, Crook's Corner
LOCATION: The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, NC
Reservations Not Required. No Charge.

A Reprise of the 2003 New York City James Beard Dinner Honoring Bill Neal
Monday, February 28 at 6:30 pm
HOST CHEF: Brian Stapleton, The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, NC
GUEST CHEFS: Bill Smith, Crook's Corner, Chapel Hill, NC; John Currence, The City Grocery, Oxford, MS; Robert Stehling, Hominy Grill, Charleston, SC; Karen & Ben Barker, Magnolia Grill, Durham, NC
GUEST SPEAKER: John T. Edge, Executive Director, Southern Foodways Alliance.
LOCATION: The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, NC
$85 per person, plus tax; gratuity.
Call 919-918-2777 for reservations.

Tuesday, February 1

2005 Symposium -- Call for Presentations

The eighth annual Southern Foodways Alliance symposium will take place October 27-30, 2005 on the campus if the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi. This year, the SFA--which celebrates, teaches, preserves, and promotes the diverse food cultures of the American South—examines sugar and sweetness. We seek presentations informed by research, fieldwork, and scholarship, but geared to an informed popular audience. Proposals should be one page in length and contain the following:

--the name of the presenter along with two professional references concerning presentation skills and qualifications;
--the title or theme of the presentation;
--a brief description of the subject matter to be discussed; and
--the anticipated length of the presentation; and
--your preferred presentation format, i.e., interactive lecture, panel discussion, group presentation.

While we invite you to propose any presentation on a sugar-related topic concerning the American South, we encourage proposals that explore Southern dessert rituals during the holidays, competitive food events involving sugar, historical profiles of a particular Southern dessert, Southern beverages using sugar, sugar and commerce, and profiles of sugar product artisans.

Please electronically submit your proposals by March 1, 2005 to John T. Edge at

Thursday, January 27

Date Changes for SFA Field Trip

Mark your calendars! The new dates for the SFA field trip to New Orleans are July 7-10. Please note that this date differs from the date advertised on member renewal cards. We had to change our plans so as not to get squeezed out by another big convention that booked the city on our dates. The result? Better hotel rates for all of us! SFA members will stay at the International House for the summer event, and registrants will be offered a confirmation code to use when calling to book a room.

Thursday, January 20

John T in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Check out today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution for an article on John T! Here's the link:
Drew Jubera did a great job of profiling our director and his stewardship of the SFA.

Wednesday, January 12

SFA Symposium in the News (Again!)

Just when your memories of October were beginning to fade, Rod Davis reminds us of the good time we all had in Oxford at the symposium. Check out his article in today's San Antonio News Express (click on this post's title to be directed to the article.)