Monday, December 17

AT TABLE WITH EUGENE WALTER

The Southern Foodways Alliance is delighted to share "At Table with Eugene Walter," a panel discussion from the 2006 symposium featuring Jack Pendarvis and Michael Batterberry, and moderated by Don Goodman.

Copy and paste this link into your browser:
mms://130.74.84.77/omo/cmp/sfa/eugenewalter.wmv
to view the panel discussion. Mac users may need to install Flip 4 Mac to view the video.

For more information on the 2006 symposium and all that we talked about, visit http://www.southernfoodways.com/sym_06.shtml

Tuesday, December 11

ODE TO GREASE

Reverend Roy Blount Jr.'s symposium sermon on grease is now available via video podcast. Click here and scroll to the SFA podcast listing to subscribe to SFA podcasts today.
http://podcast.olemiss.edu/findcast.php

Tuesday, October 30

SFA SYMPOSIUM TALKS AVAILABLE ON PODCASTS

This past weekend SFA celebrated its tenth annual symposium. We reflected on the state of the plate, with musings on fried chicken and greens; we talked about the state of the pour, and Mary Beth made away with the single sazerac David Wondrich mixed during his presention. The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band paraded symposiasts through the bacon forest, while Sean Brock spun boiled peanut cotton candy for those with an appetite for dessert.

For the first time this year, presentations will be podcast. Even if you were unable to attend the symposium, you can still enjoy the lectures. To subscribe to this podcast, copy and paste this URL into your browser:
http://podcast.olemiss.edu/findcast.php
Scroll down the list and select the Southern Foodways Alliance to find the Podcasts.

Happy listening!

Friday, October 19

Jessica Harris Dillard University Lecture 10/23

Dillard University in New Orleans welcomes SFA founding member Jessica B. Harris to deliver a lecture on "Creole Cousins: Culinary Connections in the Afro-Atlantic World" on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. in Stern Hall Amphitheatre. Dr. Harris will outline New Orleans's food heritage and how it is linked with other Creole cultures in the Western Hemisphere. SFA members in the NOLA area are welcomed to attend. The event is free of charge.

Monday, October 15

A TENNESSEE HOG KILLING

Evan Hatch, folklorist and friend of the SFA, recently shared a wonderful essay and collection of photographs, documenting a hog killing in Woodbury, TN.

From the essay:

Since these photos were taken, this annual tradition has ceased. In preceding years, the day began the process of butchering and curing enough meat for its participants and their families to subsist for the year. These men slaughtered these hogs in order to preserve a centuries-old, once common farming tradition that has largely disappeared.

Go here for more.

Thursday, October 4

SFA FILM TO PREMIERE AT NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL, OCTOBER 12

ABOVE THE LINE: SAVING WILLIE MAE'S SCOTCH HOUSE will premiere in its final form at the New Orleans Film Festival on Friday, October 12th at 7:00 pm at the Prytania Theater (uptown).

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the levees failed, Willie Mae Seaton's famed Scotch House restaurant, like so many others, succumbed to the rising water.

Over the past two years, restaurateur John Currence, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and volunteers from near and far have worked to restore this culinary and cultural landmark. The documentary, by film maker Joe York, chronicles the effort to get Ms. Seaton back in her kitchen, cooking the red beans and rice and fried chicken that earned her a James Beard Award in 2005, just three months before Katrina. By extension, the film highlights the kinds of small victories that serve to engender optimism in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Also on the must see list at the New Orleans Film Festival, FAUBOURG TREME, THE UNTOLD STORY OF BLACK NEW ORLEANS, written by SFA member, Lolis Eric Elie and TOOTIE'S LAST SUIT, produced by SFA member, Randy Fertel. Both films take on the issues of race and racism which were laid bare in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Tuesday, September 18

EXHIBITION OF PORTRAITS FROM THE SFA'S ORAL HISTORY ARCHIVE




















As part of this year's Foodways Symposium, fifty photographs from the SFA's oral history archive will be featured at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture's Gammill Gallery. The exhibit, "Meet the Folks Behind the Food: The SFA Oral History Initiative at Year Three," opens on October 1st and will be on display through November 2nd.

Amy Evans, SFA oral historian, will give a Brown Bag Lecture on the exhibition at noon on Wednesday, October 17th, at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

Tuesday, September 11

WHOLE HOG HAMBOREE--AND A PODCAST--THIS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14



The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council in Oxford, Mississippi, is hosting a Whole Hog Hamboree this Friday, September 14, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Powerhouse. Feast on good barbecue. Get schooled in smoke by Oxford attorney/bbq enthusiast Tom Freeland, and pitmaster/former Ole Miss cook Deke Baskin. Watch WHOLE HOG, a cool film by SFA filmmaker Joe York. And learn about the art of 'cue from Lolis Eric Elie, author of SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING and columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Lectures and the film screening are free, and tickets for dinner may be purchased by calling the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council at 662-236-6429. And did we mention that there'd be music? Get to the Powerhouse to hear the stylings of the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band.

Want a sneak preview? The SFA has posted our first-ever podcast, an interview with Deke Baskin, just this week. Find it online here: http://podcast.olemiss.edu/courses/NCP091107949/NCP091107949.xml, download it to your iPod, and learn all about good 'cue.

Monday, September 10

SFA ORAL HISTORY FEATURED ON SERIOUS EATS FOOD BLOG

Check out the SFA's collaboration with Serious Eats, a food blog and community, where a subject from our oral history archive will be featured every Friday. Last Friday's post was about the Latino influence in Carrboro, NC, highlighting one of our recent Tabasco Guardian of the Tradition awardees, Cliff Collins of Cliff's Meat Market.

Find the Serious Eats post and get in on the discussion right here.

Read our interview with Cliff Collins here.

Thursday, September 6

ON THE BBQ TRAIL: NORTH CAROLINA

Amy Evans is on the Southern BBQ Trail again. This time, she's gathering the stories of North Carolina 'cue. On Tuesday, she visited with Wayne Monk at Lexington BBQ, learning a few of the secrets to his shoulders. Yesterday she visited with Ed Mitchell in Wilson and Wilbur Shirley of Wilbur's in Goldsboro, listening to their tales of wood, smoke, and sauce. And, of course, whole hogs.

Look for their oral histories to appear on the Southern BBQ Trail later this fall.

Tuesday, August 28

CAROLINA EATS ORAL HISTORY PROJECT















As part of our Sept. 7-9 Camp Carolina event in Chapel Hill, we're honoring three locals with our Tabasco Guardian of the Tradition award. In early June SFA oral historian Amy Evans sat down with the awardees to gather the stories of their lifework. Those stories are collected here as the Chapel Hill Eats oral history project. Meet Keith Allen, who has manned the pits at Allen & Son Barbeque every day for close to forty years. Read about Cliff Collins's long tenure in the meat cutting industry and find out how things have changed. And listen to Mildred Council, better known as Mama Dip, laugh about Craig Claiborne's first visit to her restaurant. Meet the people who are the guardians of North Carolina's foodways traditions.

Saturday, August 25

New Book from the SFA's Joe York!

With Signs Following: Photographs from the Southern Religious Roadside

By Joe York; introduction by Charles Reagan Wilson
University Press of Mississippi, $25

From hand-rendered folk signs to high-dollar church marquees, religious messages and imagery saturate the landscape of the American South. In With Signs Following, York introduces readers to the role of artistic, witty advertising from Southern churches and believers. In seventy black and white images of religious signs and other ephemera, York simultaneously presents the factual while encouraging reflection and introspection.

In his introduction to the volume, Charles Reagan Wilson accurately outlines the aim of the project. York, he explains, explores the intersection of an abiding religious folk culture in the South and modern ways, finding religious people quite self-consciously selling God. The roadside is the medium for the message."

Thursday, August 9

SOFAB'S "INVITATION TO THE SOUTHERN TABLE"

Save the date for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum's (SoFAB's) "Invitation to the Southern Table," a benefit and menu collecting event at the Inn at Hunt Phelan, in Memphis, Tennessee, on Monday, September 17, from 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring menus from area restaurants to complete a collection that will include menus from all southern restaurants.

The menus are part of the SoFAB's archives. The goal of the menu project is to gather a menu from every restaurant in the south to help people better appreciate the south's culinary histories, cultures, traditions and economies.

Attendees will enjoy a variety of dishes along with a signature cocktail created especially for this event. Tickets are $100 per person or $110 at the door. To purchase tickets or for further information, please contact The Southern Food and Beverage Museum at 504-578-8280 or visit www.southernfood.org.

Monday, July 9

EAST NASHVILLE TOMATO ART FEST IS AUGUST 11

Tomatoes: a uniter, not a divider -- bringing together fruits and vegetables.

SFA-ers who trekked to Nashville last summer will remember the hospitality of the East Nashville gang who invited us to join them for the Tomato Art Festival. Now the fourth annual Tomoato Art Fest is on the horizon, scheduled for August 11. Check out their Web site, www.tomatoartfest.com, for details on all the activities: the infamous Bloody Mary competition, the ugly tomato contest, the pizza recipe invitational and -- new this year -- the tomato songwriters' CD. The festival is free and open to the public. All are invited, and everyone should attend.

Tuesday, July 3

CHARLESTON FIELD TRIP PHOTOS ONLINE

SFA's trip to the Lowcountry is now online. See photos from the weekend here:
www.bluecrablabs.com (photos by Pableaux Johnson)
http://photolab.etsu.edu/images/SFACharleston07/ (photos by Fred Sauceman)

Many thanks is due to our Charleston contingent, whose hospitality made for a memorable event.

Wednesday, June 27

FOOD FOR THE SOUL AT THE BROOKS MUSEUM

Southern Foodways Alliance director John T. Edge and University of Mississippi filmmaker Joe York will present an exclusive screening of York's film "Above the Line: Saving Willie Mae's Scotch House" on Friday at 7 p.m. at The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

The film tells the story of the destruction of 91-year-old Willie Mae Seaton's award-winning Scotch House restaurant during Hurricane Katrina. In the past year and a half since the storm, a group of volunteers from the Southern Food Alliance, led by Oxford restaurateur John Currence, has worked to rebuild this New Orleans landmark.

The screening will be followed by a tasting of soul food provided by Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken and other local restaurants at the Brushmark restaurant.

Tickets are $10 for Brooks members and $20 for non-members. Advance reservations are strongly recommended and can be purchased online at brooksmuseum.org or by calling 901-544-6208.

Tuesday, June 26

KNOW ANYONE STILL DISPLACED AFTER KATRINA?

I'm trying to put together a series of stories on New Orleanians who are still not home nearly two years after Katrina. I'm interested in all sorts of people--those who want to come home and can't, those who have landed happily where they are, those who are unsure. The most important thing is that they have a good story and tell it well. My hope is to get on the road next month and visit the people and places with the best stories.

Do you know of any Louisianians who are still away? Do you have contact information on them? Or, do you know of any social service organizations in your area that had worked with our people and therefore might know how to locate folks in the diaspora?

Any leads you have would be greatly appreciated. E-mail sfamail@olemiss.edu with ideas.

--Lolis Eric Elie

Thursday, June 14

BOWEN'S ISLAND PROJECT ONLINE

In 2006, the year that Bowen's Island Restaurant celebrated its sixtieth anniversary, Robert Barber accepted a James Beard Award, honoring the place as an American Classic. Five months later, the restaurant that his late grandmother, May Bowen, started burned to the ground. What remained were the stories.

Sixty years of stories have been collected as part of the Bowen's Island Oral History Project. Our collection of interviews is a portrait of a place, painted by generations of family, loyal employees, and devoted customers.


Bowen's Island Restaurant reopened for buiness a few months after these interviews were conducted. Today, fresh oysters are being brought in from the marshes, new walls are ready to receive their marks, and new memories are being made.

Read the stories and step into the Bowen's Island state of mind.

Tuesday, May 22

Willie Mae's Scotch House Opens!

When the levees failed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Willie Mae's Scotch House, a corner restaurant (and residence) in the Treme neighborhood, succumbed to the destructive power of the rising water. Over the past year-and-one-half, Oxford, Mississippi, restaurateur John Currence has led volunteers from the Southern Foodways Alliance to restore this culinary and cultural landmark and put ninety-one-year-old Willie Mae Seaton back in her home, back in her kitchen.

In March, Seaton moved back into her home. On Monday, April 1st, Seaton stood at her stove once again, turning out the plates of fried chicken and beans and rice that, two years ago, earned her a James Beard Award (the highest culinary award bestowed in America) and served to inspire Currence and a host of others.

To date, nearly 200,000 dollars has been raised. And more than 200 volunteers - from as far away as California and as close as the French Quarter - have worked the job.

In the weeks to come, the Seaton family will endeavor to operate the restaurant on a daily basis. Call 504-822-9503 to get the latest hours and days of operation. As of today, May 22, Willie Mae's is open for lunch!

'Above the Line: Saving Willie Mae's Scotch House,' a documentary film by Joe York of the University of Mississippi Center for Documentary Projects, celebrates their efforts, the determination of Seaton, and the import of neighborhood New Orleans institutions. Look for a screening soon in your neck of the woods.

Monday, May 21

SFA Film at Big Apple BBQ Block Party June 9-10

Film Partnership between Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and Southern Foodways Alliance yields "Something Better than Barbecue"

"Something Better than Barbecue," a Joe York film, produced for the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party by the Southern Foodways Alliance and the Center for Documentary Projects at the University of Mississippi focuses on Chuck Ferrell of Chuck's Bar-B-Q in Opelika, Alabama.

Ferrell and his style of barbecue represent an oft overlooked barbecue subculture, one that finds its home on either side of the lower Chattahoochee River which separates Alabama from Georgia. At every turn, Ferrell and his ilk defy easy categorization and give the lie to those who believe that all barbecue obeys borders and plays by the rules.

Forget low and slow, down here the style of cooking is hot and fast. Forget the idea that mustard-based barbecue sauces belong in the Carolinas. Pulled pork? Not so much. Here you get it chopped or chipped, with barbecue slaw and a not-so-kosher dill crown.

But that's not all. As the free religious tracts that lie stacked beside the counter at Chuck's Bar-B-Q proclaim, for Ferrell there's "Something Better Than Barbecue." Twenty years after accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior, Ferrell uses his barbecue joint to point wayward souls toward the Lord.

In exploring this aspect of Ferrell's food and faith, we find ourselves at a crossroads, the intersection of religion and barbecue, two worlds which many southerners find hard to separate. (Running time: 30 minutes.)

Culinary Historian Karen Hess Passes

Karen Hess, an esteemed culinary historian who did much to highlight African American contributions to the kitchen, has passed away. She was a friend to the SFA, speaking at one of our symposia and contributing an article to an edition of Cornbread Nation. She will be missed. Click on the link above for her obituary, from the New York Times

Monday, May 14

SOUTHERN BBQ TRAIL: TEXAS


"Southern barbecue is a proud thoroughbred whose bloodlines are easily traced. Texas barbecue is a feisty mutt with a whole lot of crazy relatives."

~Robb Walsh, from the TX introduction







The SFA launched the Southern BBQ Trail on-line last fall, unveiling a collection of interviews that document barbecue in Alabama. In January we set our sights on Texas.

For the past four months, the SFA has been collaborating with the American Studies Department at The University of Texas at Austin and the Central Texas Barbecue Association to begin documenting barbecue in Texas. Dr. Elizabeth Engelhardt dedicated her graduate level American Foodways class to the collection of fieldwork for the Trail. SFA oral historian, Amy Evans, traveled to Texas to give a workshop on conducting interviews. Graduate students sat down with restaurant owners in and around Austin to collect their stories. Robb Walsh, SFA member and author of Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook, wrote the introduction for this, our Texas leg of the Southern BBQ Trail.

Go here to view the project on-line. Listen to Ben Wash of Ben's Long Branch explain how brisket became the foundation of Texas barbecue. Learn what Vencil Mares of Taylor Cafe puts in his sauce. Meet the Texans who have dedicated their lives to the craft of 'cue.

Thursday, May 10

NEW ORLEANS NEIGHBORHOODS, A CULINARY TRIBUTE

SFA member Ann Stauss has embarked on a project to document the neighborhoods of New Orleans through recipes. The finished work will take the form of a cookbook entitled New Orleans Neighborhoods, A Culinary Tribute. The majority of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go directly to the communities she documents. Ann is still looking for stories and recipes from New Orelans natives. If you or someone you know would be interested in participating in the project, please contact Ann Stauss by email anniedd@charter.net or phone (504) 220-2906. You can also visit her website.

Wednesday, May 9

Beard Awards for Southern Boys

SFA members racked up at the 2007 James Beard Awards. Winners include Best Chef, Southeast, Scott Peacock of Watershed in Decatur, Georgia, and Best Chef South, Donald Link of Herbsaint in New Orleans. And Matt and Ted's Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook won Cookbook of the Year.

Thursday, May 3

NEW ORLEANS EATS

In 2005, as part of our "Sweet Home New Orleans" field trip, we celebrated a handful of Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition, honoring them with awards. Two months later, Katrina hit. Businesses were ruined, their owners displaced. Over the past nine months, SFA member Sara Roahen has followed up with these folks, capturing their stories through oral history. They are stories that, thankfully, were not lost to the storm. They are stories of New Orleans' rich culinary traditions and the people who continue to keep them alive. Read interviews from Hansen's Sno-Bliz, Roman Chewing Candy Co., the Vietnamese Farmers' Market, Brocato's and more right here.

Wednesday, May 2

FARMER'S MARKET SEASON IS HERE

It's May, time for farmers to back their loaded trucks into parking lots and buyers to fill plastic sacks with fresh produce.

See how one SFA member, Anne Freeze, is organizing in her community:
The Hitching Lot Farmers Market
www.hitchinglotfarmersmarket.com

CULINARY CORPS SEEKS NEW ORLEANS VOLUNTEERS

After a successful inaugural trip in March, CulinaryCorps is gearing up for a second trip to New Orleans from June 1-8th. They are currently working to create a team of 14-18 people to participate in the week-long service experience. During their second trip they'll be volunteering with several organizations including the Crescent City Farmer's Market, Emergency Communities (a feeding kitchen in the lower 9th ward) and NOLA Edible Schoolyard. Along with the service activities, the trip incorporates educational events that will allow participants to experience the vital food culture that makes New Orleans the tremendous city that it is. There are tours, classes, tastings and excursions planned throughout the week that will illustrate the vital importance of preserving a community's food heritage. CulinaryCorps is commited to building culinary leaders committed to social change within their communities and beyond. For more information, visit www.culinarycorps.org

Wednesday, April 25

ALTON BROWN ON THE TAMALE TRAIL

Alton Brown made a few stops along the Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail, collecting footage for his Food Network series, Feasting on Asphalt. Read all about it here.

Wednesday, April 18

The New Q Comes to Atlanta

On May 5, in Atlanta, Heritage Foods USA & Slow Food Atlanta will stage The New Q, an event that celebrates riffs on bbq tradition, not to mention local chefs, heritage breeds, and sustainable farms. Proceeds benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Tickets are available in advance for $25. Enjoy tastings from over a dozen of Georgia's best chefs including Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Michael Tuohy of Woodfire Grill. Pair them with homemade bbq sauces and sides as well as refreshing beers from Sweetwater Brewing. Plus live music from National Grain. For tickets.

Tuesday, April 10

KEYS TO THE KITCHEN, SCOTCH HOUSE PHOTOS ONLINE

Thanks to SFA member Pableaux Johnson, photos from the New Orleans Keys to the Kitchen celebration and opening day at the Scotch House are now online. Visit http://www.bluecrablabs.com to see a slide show or order prints.

Tuesday, March 13

KEYS TO THE KITCHEN


At long last, the work to rebuild Willie Mae's Scotch House is complete. Join us as we present Ms. Seaton with the keys to her kitchen and toast the herculean efforts of John Currence -- chef, contractor, and all around good egg. To read more about the event, click on the title link to this post.

Update: Keys to the Kitchen is SOLD OUT. But we invite you to join us for the film screening at the Republic (see post above).

Joe York at Florida Film, Food, and Wine Festival

The Florida Film, Food & Wine Celebration runs Friday, March 23, through Sunday, March 25, in coordination with the opening weekend of the 2007 Florida Film Festival.

Guest artists include Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation, Reefer Madness), Bill Buford (The New Yorker, Heat), Mary Ann Esposito (Ciao Italia!), Charleston Chef Robert Stehling (Hominy Grill), Montreal Chef Martin Picard (Au Pied du Cochon restaurant), Chef Steven A. Rujak (Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress), Chef Vincent Gagliano (Chez Vincent), Patrick Martins and Sarah Wells Obraitis (Heritage Foods USA), Joe York (Southern Foodways Alliance), Sommelier John & Terra Capobianco (Best Cellars International of Florida) and Vintners Claudine Blackwell and Terry Brady (Clautiere Vineyards).

http://www.floridafilmfestival.com/

Tuesday, February 27

TAMALE TRAIL WINS AWARD

The Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail is the recipient of the 2006 Elbert R. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Oral History Project, which is awarded by the Mississippi Historical Society. From the award letter: "This award, which carries a $300 cash gift, was established by the Mississippi Historical Society to recognize oral history projects exemplifying a distinguished collection, high-quality preservation, and proper use of oral history."

Thank you to everyone who has supported this project that documents the history, tradition and culture of hot tamales in the Mississippi Delta. Most of all, thank you to the tamale makers and vendors who have shared their stories.

Look for new interviews to be published on www.tamaletrail.com this summer.

The SFA received the same award last year for the Doe's Eat Place Oral History Project.

Saturday, February 24

SCOTCH HOUSE UPDATE

Good news, fried chicken lovers!

I say this at the risk of sounding like I am crying wolf, but it appears that the end of the Scotch House project is truly not only in sight, but also within reach.

The last nine weeks have been nothing short of frustrating. The Thanksgiving work weekend did much to ready Ms. Seaton's apartment for her move home, but everything on the planet conspired against us and we were unable to connect the gas and electricity to make the place livable. There is now good news that I am extremely happy to report, however.

The electricity is on throughout the building. The central air/heat units were delivered and installed, and gas will be hooked up shortly. Work is completely finished on the house side of the building.

On the restaurant side there is a little touch-up painting to be done. The bar top is to be laminated, plumbing fixtures need to be installed, and the drain lines have to be tied into the sewer mains out on the street. After what seemed like a heavyweight title bout, we did manage to get the hood vent installed and a group contracted to install the fire suppression system. Things are chugging along on the restaurant side.

Given the unexpected twists and turns of this project, I am hesitant to set an opening date right this second. John T, Mary Beth and Lolis are hoping to get a firmer idea this and we will let everyone know as soon as we have reached a consensus. Until then, please keep you fingers crossed. We are very close and I could not be much more encouraged.

My very best, as always,

Johnny Snack
(a.k.a. John Currence)

Wednesday, February 21

2007 TASTE OF THE SOUTH CHEFS' ORAL HISTORIES







In celebration of the achievements of the South's best chefs and artisans, Blackberry Farm, in concert with the SFA, is hosting a new edition of the annual Taste of the South gathering this week at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN.

This year we honor and celebrate chefs and artisans, bringing those vital figures of Southern food culture together for enrichment and education, both as recompense for their contributions and as a catalyst for the practice of Southern foodways.

As part of the event, we are featuring oral history interviews with the five honored chefs, who also happen to be founding members of the SFA: Ben Barker, Karen Barker, Leah Chase, Louis Osteen & Frank Stitt. Read their interviews here.

Monday, February 19

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS GRAD STUDENTS ON THE BBQ TRAIL

The SFA is collaborating with the American Studies department at the University of Texas for the Texas leg of our Southern BBQ Trail. Dr. Elizabeth Engelhardt has dedicated her graduate level American Foodways class solely to the collection of oral history interviews relating to the tradition and craft of barbecue in and around Austin. SFA oral historian Amy Evans traveled to Austin in January to speak with the class about the project and conducting fieldwork. Look for the Texas addition to the BBQ Trail to premier online in May.

Tuesday, February 6

SFA FILM TO DEBUT AT OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL

ABOVE THE LINE: SAVING WILLIE MAE'S SCOTCH HOUSE, a documentary by SFA's Joe York, will debut at the 2007 Oxford Film Festival this weekend. Information on the festival, and its films, may be viewed online at www.oxfordfilmfest.com. This film will debut to SFA audiences this July, when we visit Houston for a Potlikker Film Festival.

Though the film's finished (temporarily), work continues on the Scotch House. The power is on, and finishing touches to the restaurant kitchen are in progress. We'll look forward to a movie update when the doors open.

Friday, February 2

"BEYOND COOKBOOKS" LECTURE AT UNC-CHAPEL HILL, FEB. 8

Sandra Oliver, food historian and author, will speak on "Beyond Cook Books: Researching Food History," in the Southern Historical Collection at UNC-CH's Wilson Library on Thurs., Feb. 8 at 5:30 PM. Oliver will examine the value of using cookbooks in food history, including what recipes really tell us, and she'll suggest other important sources for foodways research. Oliver is the founding editor and publisher of Food History News, now in its 18th year, a quarterly publication dedicated to four hundred years of North American foodways, and its companion website www.foodhistorynews.com, one of the top food history sites in the country. Oliver is the author of Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Food at Sea and Ashore in the Nineteenth Century (1995) and Food in Colonial and Federal America (2005). Refreshments will be served. This talk is co-sponsored by the Southern Historical Collection and the Curriculum in American Studies.

VIDEO BY SFA'S JOE YORK FEATURED IN AJC

SFA filmmaker Joe York has produced a streaming video on distilled spirits for the Feb. 1 issue of the AJC. To sneak a peak, visit http://www.ajc.com/living/content/living/food/index.html

Wednesday, January 17

BOWEN'S ISLAND ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

It's peak oyster season in South Carolina. At Bowen's Island, across the Ashley River from the city of Charleston, oyster picker Victor "Goat" Lafayette is out on the water in good weather. He's still picking oysters for Bowen's Island Restaurant, a South Carolina icon, which was destroyed by fire in October of 2006. I'm here to document, as their t-shirts say, "the island, the restaurant, and the state of mind." The building may be gone, but Bowen's Island Restaurant is still very much alive. Stories from owner Robert Barber, his parents, employees, and loyal customers tell the story of this place and its people. When I leave, they'll still be talking. Bowen's Island Restaurant is open for business again. Oysters are once again being roasted in the dining room. Pay them a visit and hear some of the stories firsthand.

Look for the oral history project--interviews, photographs, and audio clips--to appear online in the coming months.

~Amy Evans, SFA oral historian

Monday, January 8

CAMP SHOALS APRIL 20-21

In concert with the annual Alabama Adventure Weekend, held in and around Florence and Tuscumbia, Alabama, the SFA is offering CAMP SHOALS, a ticketed event-within-an-event. (To get an idea of what happened at the 2006 Adventure Weekend, click here.)

For an $85 registration fee, a lucky few will dine on rabbit and watercress, cooked by Scott Peacock of Watershed Restaurant and Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill. Also included is a chicken stew dinner and a few other perqs. As a registrant, you will become a co-producer of an SFA documentary short on the old guard cooks of the area.

Registration is available online. Just click the photo at the top of the home page.

Sunday, January 7

WHAT'S COOKING IN NEW ORLEANS?

The Historic New Orleans Collection will present an array of special programming in conjunction with the exhibit What's Cooking in New Orleans?: Culinary Traditions of the Cresecent City, including the Twelfth Annual Williams Research Center Symposium, Food for Thought, on Saturday, January 20, at the Wyndham Hotel at Canal Place.

The day-long program features culinary experts, including Jessica Harris, Tom Fitzmorris, Jan Longone, Susan Tucker, Wendy Woloson, Sally K. Reeves, and Poppy Tooker.

The registration fee for the symposium is $60 for adults and $40 for students and includes a reception and viewing of What's Cooking in New Orleans? on January 19, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A complete schedule and online registration are available at www.hnoc.org/programs/symposia.php or call (504) 523-4662.

Saturday, January 6

KITCHEN IMAGES WANTED

As part of our new traveling exhibition, America's Kitchens, we at Historic New England are looking for images of kitchens from across the country. We are looking for recent photographs showing people in the kitchen eating, celebrating, working, entertaining, or simply the kitchen itself. Please include a sentence or two about your favorite kitchen memories, or about what you love or hate about your kitchen. To submit a photo and stories about your kitchens, or for more information visit www.AmericasKitchens.org

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Joanne Flaherty at jflaherty@historicnewengland.org or 978-521-4788, ext. 718.