Sunday, January 22



The Ruth U. Fertel Foundation -- established in the will of the founder of the Ruth's Chris Steak House fine dining chain -- has announced grants and pledges of $1.2 million to New Orleans education in the next year, including public, private and parochial schools; special programs designed to serve students from kindergarten through college; and other high-impact educational initiatives.

These funds honor Ruth's memory and do what she would have done – help New Orleans recover from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina by supporting its educational institutions. The Southern Foodways Alliance which annually pays homage to an unsung hero or heroine of the food world with the Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award, is conducting a post-Katrina culinary oral history project financed in part by The Ruth U. Fertel Foundation. For more information,

Wednesday, January 11

Tabasco and SFA Team to Raise NOLA Awareness

The Southern Foodways Alliance is teaming up with Tabasco sauce, Louisiana's culinary native son, to raise awareness of the resurgence of the New Orleans food scene and encourage Americans to come back and support one of America's most unique culinary meccas.

In a series of special events in select cities across 2006, this team of southern culinary institutions will showcase some of the most interesting and unusual foods born of Cajun and Creole cultures at open-to-the public tastings and hands-on demonstrations.

The calendar will be announced in early spring 2006. Soon more information will be available at and

Tuesday, January 10

Fixin' to Eat: A Celebration of Southern Chefs

Please join us for an evening of true Southern Hospitality as Garretson Wine Company presents Fixin' to Eat: A Celebration of Southern Chefs. Each of our five-part dinner series features a nationally-acclaimed Southern chef who will prepare a five-course, Southern-inspired menu featuring food products from their native state. To accompany the sumptuous array of foods, guests will not only enjoy select Garretson wines, but also special offerings from Mat Garretson's guest winemaker.

Seating for each Fixin' to Eat dinner is limited to 80 persons, and the cost is $150 per person. Proceeds from each event provides funding for both the Southern Foodways Alliance's Oral History Initiative (details available at, as well as for Autism services within San Luis Obispo County. Discounted tickets of $130 are available for those patrons who purchase either a table of eight or a seat at each of the five dinners.

Here's our lineup for 2006:

Saturday, February 18, 2005
Hugh Acheson
Five & Ten, Athens, Georgia

Named one of America's Best New Chefs by Food & Wine in 2002, Hugh Acheson follows his own creative style merging soul food with Old World Cuisine. With no formal training, Acheson fine-tuned his craft while working with chefs in some of the most prominent restaurants in North America. He trained under Rob MacDonald from the Mobil Four-Star restaurant, Cafe Henri Burger in Ottawa, Mike Fennelly at Mecca in San Francisco and Gary Danko at Restaurant Gary Danko, also in San Francisco. Acheson describes Five & Ten as "unpretentious American food --good food, good wine and that's it."

Guest Winemaker: Larry Turley, TURLEY WINE CELLARS, Napa & Paso Robles, CA

Saturday, April 15, 2006
John and Amy Malik
33 Liberty, Greenville, South Carolina

33 Liberty, the seven table restaurant owned by husband-and-wife chef team John and Amy Malik, offers the Malik's unique brand of global comfort food served with Southern hospitality. The weekly changing menu features stellar, signature dishes created with organic ingredients from local purveyors. The Maliks met at the Culinary Apprenticeship Program at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, beginning their joint culinary careers. With over 15 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries, John Malik has moved effortlessly from chef/innkeeper, to a much touted restaurant chef to a sought after Food Network personality, to a thriving restaurant owner and chef. The couple's salt-of-the-earth yet elevated style of cooking has gained numerous accolades from magazines such as Bon Appetit, Saveur, Food Arts and Chile Pepper.

Guest Winemaker: Brian Loring, LORING WINE COMPANY, Lompoc, CA

Saturday, June 17, 2006
John Currence
City Grocery, Oxford, Mississippi

In 1992, John Currence opened City Grocery, the first of several successful culinary ventures. Using local and seasonal ingredients as the backbone of his menu, Currance's style of cooking is described, by Food & Wine, as a "playful but elegant take on Deep South cuisine." His culinary career began under the training of Bill Neal at Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he learned to blend the techniques of classical French with the traditional Deep Southern American cuisine. From there he headed to New Orleans where he worked at city favorites--Gautreau, Brennans, Mr. B's Bistro and Commander's Palace. Currence and City Grocery have been recognized as on of the top restaurants in Mississippi by publications such as The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal/Constitution, The Los Angeles Times, The London Times, Southern Living, USA Today, Bon Appetit and Food & Wine. In Spring 2005, Currence was nominated for the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Chef--Southeast.

Guest Winemaker: Bob and Louisa Lindquist, QUPE WINE CELLARS

Saturday, July 1, 2006
Bret Jennings
Elaine's on Franklin, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Considered one of the Triangle's top chefs, Bret Jennings opened Elaine's on Franklin in November 1999 based on the restaurant's motto: "Fresh ingredients. Seasonal Cuisine." He credits influences such as his grandmother who taught him how to make her angel biscuits and red-eye gravy, the kitchen secrets he learned in Thailand, visits to remote mountain villages in Mexico and his stage at the Taillevent in Paris for his signature culinary style. The influence of training with two of America's top chefs, Ben Barker of Durham's Magnolia Grill, and Bob Kinkead of Kinkead's in Washington, DC, also is apparent in his approach to cooking. Elaine's consistently receives rave reviews from regional and national publications and the restaurant received the coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its wine list in 2001.

Guest Winemaker: Jason Haas, TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD, Paso Robles, California

Saturday, August 19, 2006
Alan Martin
Standard Bistro, Birmingham, Alabama

Contemporary Southern cuisine is the focus of the Standard Bistro, using the highest quality ingredients from local growers, farmers and fisherman with Executive Chef Alan Martin at the helm. Martin graduated from the Culinary Institute of Atlanta honing his skill at Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega, Victoria Inn and Metro Grill, all in Birmingham. His philosophy of cooking is to seek out the highest quality ingredients, prepare them simply, yet creatively, balancing flavors and textures to show the natural beauty and character of the ingredients. Since opening in July 2002, the Standard Bistro has acquired notable attention from several publications such as Southern Living, Wine Spectator, Birmingham Magazine, and Birmingham Weekly and was featured on the Food Network's "Top Five" program.

Guest Winemaker: John Elkins, TORBRECK VINTNERS, Barossa Valley, Australia

To make a reservation, get a copy of the Fixin' to Eat brochure, or for more information, please call 805-239-2074 or email

Sunday, January 8

O'Neil Broyard 1937-2005 *UPDATED*

O'Neil Broyard, the wonderfully eccentric owner of New Orleans' well-known Saturn Bar, passed away on Thursday, December 22nd. The SFA heard from O'Neil's nephew, Eric Broyard, who said that O'Neil's heart just gave out. Last we knew anything about O'Neil, he made it through Hurricane Katrina and was in the process of cleaning up his beloved Saturn. He will be missed, and our condolences go out to all of his friends and family--at home and at the bar.

O'Neil's family is organizing a gathering to be held in his honor at the Saturn Bar on Saturday, January 28th, from 11:00 a.m. until about 2:00 p.m. We'll be sure to post more details as they are available.

Some good news: We also have word that O'Neil's nephew, Eric, is going to be doing all he can to get the Saturn up and running again, with a possible official re-open date in the next couple of months.

You can read our interview with O'Neil Broyard, which is part of our Bartenders of New Orleans oral history project, by clicking the link above.

Friday, January 6

SFA Founders Oral History Project

In the fall of 2004, through generous support from Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q of Birmingham, Alabama, the SFA launched its Founders Oral History Project. This important undertaking will forever preserve the history of the SFA through interviews with the organization's fifty founding members. By recruiting SFA members and friends in locations across the country to conduct the interviews, SFA supporters have had the opportunity to be more actively involved in the SFA's mission--and its history. To date, more than forty interviews have been collected, six of which have just been added here to our online oral history archive (click on the link above to read the interviews). Completed interviews will be added regularly so please check back often.

Thank you to all of our members and friends who made this project possible.