Wednesday, December 23

It's a Boy!

Mary Beth Lasseter and her husband, Ned Mitchell, welcomed David Allen Mitchell into the world (Vicksburg, MS, to be specific) on December 18. He was 7 lbs, 15 oz., 21" long. Looking forward to seeing him at the Symposium next year...until then, congrats Mary Beth! We celebrate with truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Tuesday, December 22


CARTS, a national teachers’ newsletter published by City Lore and Local Learning and edited by Amanda Dargan and Paddy Bowman, welcomes the submission of articles for its 2010 foodways issue, with special guest editor Makalé Faber-Cullen.

Started in 1996, the CARTS (Cultural Arts Resources for Teachers and Students) Newsletter highlights the people, places, and traditions that turn our communities into classrooms. As folklorists, we employ ethnographic tools to engage educators and students in exploring cultural expressions, uncovering personal traditions and knowledge, and meaningfully connecting classrooms with communities.

For the 2010 issue, we seek contributors who can share specific projects demonstrating how the study of foodways contributes to student learning across the curriculum. And beyond study, how involvement in food growing, harvesting, preparation, presentation, and eating contributes to student development. We are looking for stories, from both land and sea.

Submission Guidelines. Inquiries and questions are welcome prior to submission. Send them to our 2010 Outfielder aka our Guest Editor, Makalé Faber-Cullen ( with “CARTS” in the subject line. Authors, if you’d like to submit your foodways-themed article directly, instructions are below. Deadline for COMPLETED submissions is March 29, 2010.

Tuesday, December 8

Tragic Fire for Carter Fold

Tragically, a fire destroyed the home of Rita Forrester this weekend and claimed the life of her husband, Bob Forrester. A link to the local news story is here.

Support is desperately needed to uplift and help the Forrester family at this time. An account has been set up by friends and supporters for your donations. No amount is too small in this time of need for this family. Please send contributions to:
The Rita Janette Forrester Fund
c/o BB&T Bank
110 Gateway Plaza
Gate City, Virginia 24251

As SFA members may remember, the Forrester's welcomed us to the Carter Fold this summer for our annual field trip, and shared their stories with us for an oral history project.

Friday, November 27


Gravy, Issue 34, is now online here. Inside this issue:
  • A Plague of Cornbread, by Linda Monk
  • Indian Truck Stop Eats, by Bill Addison
  • Wednesday Greens and Sunday Greens, by Eugene Walter
  • the Cold Tile Blues, by Greg Brownderville
  • I'm one of the Aces in the Business, by Francis Lam
SFA thanks Mountain Valley Spring Water for underwriting this quarterly newsletter.

Friday, November 20


Southern Cultures
has just released its Special Food Issue, full of essays, recipes, reviews, memories, favorite dishes, and a free DVD of some of the best short food films.

It all comes with an introduction from Marcie Cohen Ferris, author of Matzoh Ball Gumbo.


Sunday, November 15


SFA symposium podcasts are now online at iTunes U. Click here and follow the prompts to launch the public site. It'll open iTunes U in your iTunes application and you may listen to the podcasts online, subscribe to our feed, or download them to your iPod. Don't have iTunes? Download it here, for free. There are currently 8 sessions from the symposium published online, with two more to follow soon.


SFA members Carroll Leggett, Nancie McDermott and Joe and Heidi Trull are key players in Let Them Eat Cake: The Art and Craft of Cake Making. The four mid-day events are part of the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Arts Council’s Six Days In November (November 17-22) celebration of crafts, arts and innovation. Events include a discussion with African-American cakes ladies from the farmers' market; a cake making demonstration by Nancie, author of Southern Cakes; exquisite cake decorating by Winston-Salem’s renowned Dewey’s Bakery; and a pre-symphony brunch with signature cakes by Joe Trull and low-country shrimp gravy and grits by Heidi.

For information about these food events and more than 40 crafts and arts events in Winston-Salem November 17-22, visit www.visitwinstonsalem or

Saturday, November 14


DOE SIGNA JR - DOE'S EAT PLACE from Southern Foodways on Vimeo.

After the last acre of cotton has been harvested and cool weather hits the Mississippi Delta, demand for hot tamales reaches a fever pitch. Many Deltans are of the opinion that this Delta delicacy is a food best enjoyed during the winter months, and many more make sure to have a few dozen tamales at the family table when holiday season rolls around. The Signa family, owners of Doe's Eat Place in Greenville, has been meeting this seasonal demand annually for more than six decades. Doe Signa, Jr. and his brother, Charles, continue the tradition their father started all those years ago. Here, Doe shares a couple of secrets about the family's recipe.

Visit Doe's oral history on the Tamale Trail, and learn more about Doe's Eat Place by visiting our documentary project that celebrates this iconic Delta restaurant.

Wednesday, November 11


On Sunday morning a week ago, Nick Spitzer wrapped up a weekend of food and music study at the Southern Foodways Symposium in Oxford, Mississippi. Several attendees have requested his playlist. Here it is, as he's partially annotated it:
1. "Tipitina" (Professor Longhair) as played live by Allen Toussaint for American Routes theme (1998)
2. "Ham and Eggs" by the late jazz banjo man and raconteur Danny Barker from the LP/CD Save the Bones (1998)
3. "Ham and Eggs" from the Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie record Shout On! on Smithsonian Folkways (1946)
4. "Shortnin' Brea" Lee Dorsey from the CD Working in the Coal Mine (1966)
5. . "All Right Mr. Dankeyman" sung by cotton press caller Clifford Blake from the Louisiana Foklife Record Series LP (out of print) Cornbread for Your Husband, Biscuits for Your Man (1980)
6. "Give Him Cornbread" Beau Jocque from Give Him Cornbread Live on Rounder Records (2000)
7. "Black Coffee" Peggy Lee from the LP Black Coffee (1953)
8. "The Cajun Coffee Song" Moon Mullican King of Hillbilly Piano Players: Moon's Rock (1969)
9. "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" Lloyd Price (1952)
10. "Sugar in My Bowl " (Bessie Smith) sung by Nina Simone on various collections (1967)
11. "You're the Cream in My Coffee" Nat King Cole Trio (1946)
12. ""(If I Don't Love You) Grits Ain't Groceries" George Jones (year?)
13. "Grits Ain't Groceries" (Titus Turner) Little Milton on Chess Records (1968)

Monday, November 9


Smokes & Ears, SFA's film about 2009 Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame winner Geno Lee, is online now. The film by Joe York, is underwritten by The Fertel Foundation and is produced by the SFA and the University of Mississippi's Center for Documentary Projects.

Friday, November 6


Culinary Historians of Atlanta
invite you to join them for
Eating History: Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine

Monday, November 16, 2009 @ 7:30 p.m.
Admission is free and open to the public
Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts of Atlanta

Food historian Andrew F. Smith will recount—in delicious detail—some of the major moments that made contemporary American cuisine, as described in his brand new book, Eating History: Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine, from Columbia University Press. The style of American cooking, along with the ingredients that compose it, has never been fixed. With a cast of characters including bold inventors, savvy restaurateurs, ruthless advertisers, mad scientists, adventurous entrepreneurs, celebrity chefs, and relentless health nuts, Smith pins down the truly crackerjack history behind the way America eats.

Location: Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts of Atlanta, located at 1927 Lakeside Parkway, Tucker, GA 30084. This is just off Northlake Pkwy, close to I-285 between Lavista Rd. and Lawrenceville Hwy.

Thursday, November 5


The SFA works hard to showcase that food not only reflects culture, food is culture.

On the Sunday morning of the 2009 Southern Foodways Symposium, Ballet Memphis made our point for us. And they made it well, by way of a performance of "Pork Songs," choreographed by Trey McIntyre.

It was a singularly beautiful moment in a symposium full of beautiful moments.

Above, the troupe dances to the song "Gimme, Gimme Chitlins" by Huey Piano Smith. Funding for the performance was provided, in part, by LOFT. Photo by Pableaux Johnson.

Wednesday, November 4


October's Viking Range lecture, by Warren Belasco, is now available online. Special thanks is due to to the University of Mississippi's Center for Documentary Projects, who recorded and edited the film for the SFA.

Wednesday, October 28


Preparations are being made somewhere north of Oxford for the Egerton boys, elder John and his nephew John, to hold forth at a Nov. 1 celebration of ham, beaten biscuits and bourbon at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum in New Orleans. SoFAB, a budding exhibit hall and food research center in the Riverwalk complex near the French Quarter, is a close and collaborative friend of our SFA family, and the senior Egerton (as well as other SFAers) has served on their board.

The Egertons are old Kentucky hands with aged ham and beaten biscuits—two of the most venerable and beloved foods in the repertoire of the Bluegrass State. Bourbon, of course, is better known, but the triple treat has been served together since Senator Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser, tried in vain to prevent the Civil War with ham biscuits and brimming shot glasses of Elijah Craig's distilled spirits back in the 1850s.

This New Orleans gig conflicts with SFA's annual symposium, but the Egertons will pass through Oxford on Saturday, Oct. 31—Halloween afternoon—and do a wet run of their schtick in Oxford from 5 to 6 p.m. Symposiasts are invited to drop by, say hello, and taste a sample. Details available at the symposium.

Contributed by John Egerton

Tuesday, October 27


SFA invites the public to a morning celebration
of food and music
Bendiction by writer and humorist Roy Blount, Jr.
Chitlin Ballet performance by Ballet Memphis
Keynote by Nick Spitzer of NPR's American Routes

Sunday, November 1
10:00-11:00 a.m.
Lyric Theater
Oxford, Mississippi

This Sunday morning event, part of SFA's annual Southern Foodways Symposium, is free and open to the public. It is funded, in part, by a grant from the Lafayette Oxford Foundation for Tomorrow, and we thank them.

Monday, October 26


The SFA Symposium begins on Friday. To download the schedule of events, click here. It's sold out, we're happy to report, but we want to share the experience as much as possible. To that end...
--For all of you who Twitter, use #foodways to record thoughts on the weekend.
--And look out for podcasts, to be posted online after the event so everyone can have access to the program presentations.

Wednesday, October 21


The Southern Foodways Alliance is humbled and honored to announce we have been chosen as a recipient of a 2009 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award. "Introduced in 2005, the Awards recognize the outstanding efforts of individuals and organizations that are working to preserve the world's natural and man-made treasures." Fellow honorees this year include the Museum of Islamic Art and the Rainforest Alliance, among others.

We're thrilled to be recognized for fulfilling our mission of documenting, studying, and celebrating the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. We'd love T+L to come on down and enjoy a hot tamale, bbq sandwich, or plate of fried pickles--we know just the place(s).

Look for this SFA shout out in the November issue of Travel + Leisure.

Tuesday, October 20


This past Saturday, Southern Foodways Alliance members gathered at the Peachtree Road Farmer's Market in Atlanta, GA to form a Skillet Brigade! We launched this initiative last year so that SFA members in different cities could flex their collaborative muscles to respond to community needs.

Recently, severe flooding destroyed homes and property all over the Atlanta area. Several local farmers lost some or all of their property and crops for the current season, and the waters have negatively affected the condition of their soil. Two of the farmers affected are SFA members, Judith Winfrey and Joe Reynolds of Love is Love Farm in Douglasville, GA. (They are pictured above, with Nick Pihakis and Brian Lyman of Jim N Nick's.)

In an effort to aid the local farmers who were touched by the destruction, the Peachtree Road Farmer's Market, along with the Cathedral of St. Philip, SFA corporate sponsors Jim 'N Nick's BBQ, and Holeman and Finch/Restaurant Eugene got together with a team of local SFA members to sell BBQ plates, with all of the money going toward the flooded farmer's fund.

Atlanta members, Judy and Don Spruill, Jim Auchmutey, Steven Satterfield, Michael O'Connor, Sawyer Riley, Gena Berry, Ashley Hall, Kate Barney, Angie Mosier and Gina Hopkins gathered to work the event.

All of the food was donated by Jim 'N Nick's BBQ and Holeman and Finch/Restaurant Eugene and fresh lemonade from Via Elisa.

By the end of the day we had raised $6,000 toward the fund.

Thursday, October 15


SFA hosted over 150 guests at the second annual Viking Range lecture, featuring Professor Warren Belasco. Soon, SFA will post video of the lecture online. Be on the lookout. Pictured here, L to R: Elise Lake, Ted Ownby, Minjoo Oh, Melissa Hall, Warren Belasco, Jane Crump, LeAnne Gault, John T Edge, Mary Beth Lasseter, and Julie Pickett.

Wednesday, October 14

Eat BBQ to support the Peachtree Road Farmer Fund

What feels better than helping a neighbor in need? Doing it on a full stomach! If you will be in the Atlanta area this Saturday, Oct 17, come out and eat Jim 'N Nick's BBQ, and help raise money for the Peachtree Road Farmer Fund. Proceeds will benefit the farmers recovering from the recent floods, including SFA members Judith Winfrey and Joe Reynolds.

Monday, October 12


The Bourbon Mall in Leland, Mississippi, a favorite stop on the Tamale Trail for fried hot tamales, burned to the ground in the early morning hours of October 7. Surrounded by fields of soybeans and sunflowers, its remote location was not only its charm, but its downfall. The cause of the fire is not yet known. We don't know what the future might hold for this Delta icon, either, but we're certainly glad we captured its history. Read our 2005 oral history interview with owner Mark Azlin right here.

Coincidentally, John Currence, chef-owner of City Grocery Restaurant in Oxford, and SFA filmmaker Joe York, made a short film about their recent trek to the Bourbon Mall for Garden & Gun magazine. You can view the film on the magazine's website.

Wednesday, October 7


A number of our SFA friends and family were affected by the the recent flooding in and around Atlanta. SFA member Judith Winfrey, of Love is Love Farm in Douglasville, Georgia, writes:

Storms like these are a good reminder that we always need to support our local, family farmers. Buy directly from farmers at farmer's markets as often as you can. It's a risky job, sometimes, and farmers need you behind them.

Ours is not the only Atlanta farm feeling the impact of this "weather event." We know that the Bray Family Farm, Cane Creek Farm, Fairywood Thicket, Hope's Garden, and Split Cedar Farm suffered losses and damage as well, and suspect that there are others. Please reach out to those farmers if you know them and offer what you can.

Now is the time for Skillet Brigade action. SFA-ers can help with relief in one of several ways. For those in or near the Atlanta area, SFA board president Angie Mosier will be in touch about work opportunities. There are also fundraising relief efforts that you may support:

October 5-11 - Rosebud is hosting a week-long dine out to raise money for the Georgia Flooded Farms Relief Fund. Dine at Rosebud anytime between Monday, October 5 - Sunday, October 11 and a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to this important fund.

October 11 - Woodfire Grill is having a 4 course dinner with wine pairings to benefit Love is Love Farm and the Georgia Flooded Farms Relief Fund.

October 13 - Pig Pickin' at the Farmer's Atlanta Road Market to benefit farmers affected by the flood. They'll be cooking Berkshire shoulders donated by Gum Creek Farms in a La Caja China cooking box. 100% of all donations in exchange for food will be given to farms as they recover from a total loss of crops and livestock from the flood.

October 17 - The Peachtree Road Farmers Market is selling Jim N' Nick's BBQ plates from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Peachtree Road Farmers Fund.

More events are added daily, so check back with Slow Food Atlanta often.

We know that not all of you can hop in your car and drive to Atlanta easily. For those outside of the Atlanta area who wish to help, Slow Food Atlanta has set up a fund to help Georgia's flooded sustainable farmers. All contributions to this fund will be tax deductible. For more information, visit Or click here to donate now.

The SFA thanks you, in advance, for your support of relief efforts.

Monday, October 5


The SFA is pleased to announce that the annual symposium is sold out. For those who are attending, a schedule of events is now posted online here. And, for those who are unable to celebrate with us, be on the lookout for podcasts of the event in mid-November.

SFA Prelude Dinners have just been announced, and registration is open for those who'd like to dine in Oxford on Thursday night. For menus and information on tickets, click here. Tickets are $45 per person, plus tip.

Thursday, October 1


DEXTER WEAVER - WEAVER D'S from Southern Foodways on Vimeo.

Another interview from the SFA oral history archives that celebrates the intersection of music and food. Dexter Weaver of Weaver D's in Athens, GA, has a way with sweet potatoes. He also has a way with words. His trademark saying, “Automatic for the People,” pushed him into the limelight when the Athens-based band R.E.M. used the phrase as the title for their 1992 album.

Read our interview with Dexter Weaver in its entirety right here.

Learn more about this year's symposium, the theme of which is Music & Food, here.

Wednesday, September 30


Please read the following dispatch from Judith Winfrey, SFA member and Georgia farmer:

"As many of you know, we at Love is Love Farm have been hit by record floods which turned the Aneewakee Creek bordering the western side of the farm, into a raging river that tore through 2/3 of the fields, downing huge trees, ruining most of our fall and winter crops, destroying equipment and washing away our topsoil. So many have expressed a desire to help, and we are humbled and grateful to see this vibrant good food community in action. In many ways we feel like we've experienced 2 floods, one of destruction, and one of support. It is moving and beautiful to be in the midst of the latter."

To help Judith and other farmers, Slow Food Atlanta has set up a fund to help Georgia's flooded sustainable farmers. All contributions to this fund will be tax deductible. For more information, click here.

If you are a farmer who has been impacted, or you know one who has, please contact Jonathan Tescher at Georgia Organics ( GO is conducting a survey of farmers and compiling data to share with the Department of Ag.

Monday, September 28


On October 13 at 6:30 p.m., in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory, the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, will stage the second annual Viking Range Lecture. The event is free and open to the public.

This year’s Viking Range Lecturer,
Warren Belasco, Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, is author of Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry; Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food; and Food: The Key Concepts. He is the editor of the journal Food, Culture, and Society.

Each year the Viking Range Lecture, underwritten by the
Viking Range Company of Greenwood, Mississippi, brings scholars, writers, and artists to the Ole Miss campus. Each lecturer, regardless of discipline, uses food as a vehicle for a greater understanding of self, community, and culture.

Food studies is booming on college campuses across the country. Yet many academics who work in the field labor under a debt of pleasure. As nineteenth century botanist, Jean-Henri Fabre wrote, “History celebrates the battlefields whereon we meet our death, but scorns to speak of the plowed fields whereby we thrive; it knows the names of King’s bastards, but cannot tell the origin of wheat. That is the way of human folly.”

Belasco will ask the basic question, "Why study food?" And he will answer, in part, that “food is the first of the essentials of life, the world’s largest industry, our most frequently indulged pleasure, the core of our most intimate social relationships.”

The SFA’s mission is to document, study, and celebrate the food cultures of the American South. That mission is grounded in the notion that food is a lens through which a region as vast and diverse as ours can be seen and understood. Simply put, what and where and how a Southerner eats speaks volumes about who he or she is.

Food: The Key Concepts, Warren Belasco argues that food is more than just a device for understanding a culture. Food is the culture. Belasco knows that to fully understand food requires a complex interdisciplinary understanding of anthropology, sociology, economics, politics, and agricultural science.

Understanding food is more than just an academic exercise. It requires that consumers recognize the food choices they make are governed by the competing considerations of identity, convenience, price, and, increasingly, responsibility.

It’s that last consideration Belasco finds so compelling. He asks students to think about food, not just in terms of monetary value or emotional significance, but in terms of global consequences. In an increasingly global-focused American South, such questions resonate.

For more information or questions, e-mail

Tuesday, September 22


Amy Evans, SFA oral historian and collector of the interviews featured here on the Trail, talks tamales in the October issue of Saveur magazine. The Tamale Trail is also featured as one of their Web exclusives, an online section that elaborates on subjects that appear in the magazine.

After you've read about Delta tamales, spend some time with the other culinary treasures Saveur has highlighted from the Magnolia State. Better yet, head to Mississippi and taste for yourself!

Friday, September 11

Hoppin’ John Bluegrass & Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention

This is sure to be a weekend of pickin' and grinnin'. Not only can you compete in musical and dance competitions, you can also show off your culinary skills with the black-eyed pea. Or just sit back, enjoy, and cast your vote for best hoppin' john. Bring a tent, your favorite instrument, and your best recipes to Shakori Hills, situated on 72 beautiful acres of ancient trees in Silk Hope, North Carolina.

Hoppin’ John Fiddlers’ Convention is sponsored by Shakori Hills, Inc., a non-profit formed in order to provide an environment for community building through arts and education for Chatham County and beyond. For more information, visit or call 919-542-1746.

Tuesday, September 1



In anticipation of this year's symposium, the theme of which is Music & Food, we'd like to reintroduce you to our oral history project that documents the music of the Carter Family, as well as the homemade food that flies out the concession window at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, every weekend. The traditional Appalachian staples of soup beans and cornbread are at the top of the menu, but so is egg salad that’s made from Janette Carter's recipe and a menagerie of cakes that are baked by women in the community.

Go here to view the project in its entirety.


Mama Dip's been sharing the love for eight decades (and counting!). Besides feeding her community's hungry bellies, she also has been feeding the souls of those in need. In 2007,we were honored to share Mama Dip's story and oral history as part of our Chapel Hill Eats. Her family has created the "Share the Love" fund to inspire and encourage underprivileged youths, in celebration of her 80th birthday. You can get in on some of that lovin' by attending Mama Dip's 80th Birthday Celebration Fundraiser at The Barn at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, NC on 9.20.09.

Friday, August 28


In 2008 Francis Lam conducted interviews for the SFA on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in an effort to document Biloxi's ethnic shrimping communities, a project completed through generous support from Louisiana Foods. That fieldwork is now part of our online archive. Listen to the interviews here, and view more photographs from the project on our Flickr page.

In addition, Francis, a regular contributor to Gourmet magazine, will be making posts about the project on Gourmet's blog throughout the next few weeks. Go here to read his latest entry.

Thursday, August 27

SFA at the Decatur Book Festival

On September 6, from 5:00-5:45 at the Decatur Book Festival, join SFA members and friends for a panel discussion, "Kenyan Black-eyed Peas and Mexican Potlikker: Exploring Atlanta's Edible International Cultures." Panelists include Christiane Lauterbach, Nassima Neighbors, Warren St. John, and moderator John T Edge.

Following that panel, the Decatur Book Festival will stage a picnic, featuring, among other SFA friends, Taqueria del Sol. There will be music. There will be pickled okra. There will even be a pickled okra contest. Join us.

Monday, August 24

B's Barbecue added to Southern BBQ Trail

Donna McLawhorn, Judy Drach, and Tammy Godley and a plate from their restaurant, B's Barbecue

In Greenville, NC, just down the street from a brand new medical complex on the East Carolina University Campus and tobacco fields, stands B's Barbecue. This family-run joint serves up Eastern North Carolina whole hog barbecue and barbecued chickens until they run out of food each day around lunchtime. The lines grow both inside the restaurant and outside at the walk-up window from 8 am to early afternoon with all sorts of Greenville residents. I spent an entire day with the McLawhorn sisters and the rest of the crew at B's Barbecue, and the interview has been added to the North Carolina leg of the Southern BBQ Trail (more NC interviews coming soon!). You can view the project here and photos from B's on the SFA's Flickr page.

Alan Pike
Graduate Assistant, Southern Foodways Alliance

Wednesday, August 19


On Sunday, August 30th at 6:30pm, join us for A Taste of New Orleans at the Zin Restaurant's Eastside Farm in Healdsburg, CA.

The evening dinner will include a viewing of the documentary Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans. Following we will host a Q&A with Director Dawn Logsdon, Co-Director/Writer Lolis Eric Elie, and Producer Lucie Faulknor.

Kindly hosted by Sheana Davis of The Epicurean Connection, Jeff & Susan Mall of Zin Restaurant and Zin Restaurant's Eastside Farm.

Menu includes: Kettle-cooked Gumbo with Chicken and House-made Andouille Sausage; Pulled Pork Sliders; Delice de la Vallee Cheese with Eastside Farm Arugula Pesto; Creole Mustard Aioli Eastside Tomato Salad; Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce; New Orleans Rum "Ray Gun #69"; and Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca.

Tickets are $50 and available through: Zin Restaurant Healdsburg 707-473-0946 and Readers' Books Sonoma 707-939-1765

Proceeds for the event will be donated to the Southern Foodways Alliance .

Event location: Zin Restaurant's Eastside Farm 10900 Eastside Road, Healdsburg, CA.

Rodney Strong Vineyards, New Orleans Rum, Sonoma Springs Brewery, Stanley Mouse, The Epicurean Connection, Victorian Garden Inn, Zin Restaurant & Zin Restaurant's Eastside Farm.

Monday, August 17


Potlikker Athens is just around the corner. If you're an out-of-towner arriving on Friday night, August 21 or you're a local looking to spend time with SFA friends, consider joining Hugh Acheson and his crew at Five and Ten for a late night rye beer and rye whiskey dinner.

Reservations for the $50 (plus tax and tip) dinner may be made with the restaurant via the Web.

Featured eats and drinks include Ben Wheatley’s roasted duck and andouille gumbo; Terrapin Rye Pale Ale; tomatoes, tiny rye croutons, buffalo mozzarella and boiled dressing; Terrapin Rye Squared Imperial; prime beef deckle steak with pickled chanterelles, pimento cheese grits and rye; Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye; peach crisp with vanilla ice cream; and a special guest-star rye whiskey, too.

Friday, August 14


Every thirty minutes Louisiana loses the equivalent of one football field of wetlands. Louisiana has 40% of the nation's wetlands and is experiencing 90% of this nation's wetlands loss. Since the erosion began, Louisiana has lost a total of 2000 square miles of wetlands, (1.2 million acres). The loss of Louisiana’s wetlands is equivalent to the size of 42.5 cities of San Francisco. Wetlands are not only an important environmental habitat, but they also provide essential barrier protection from hurricanes.

"For the Bayou" is a San Francisco Bay area non-profit dedicated to helping raise awareness and restore Louisiana's wetlands. They invite you to attend the Cajun Cup Polo Benefit on August 22 to support the cause. If you're unable to make the West-Coast-to-Athens-Georgia commute for SFA's Potlikker Film Festival, check this out!

There'll be good cajun food (in California!) and music by Zachary Richard. For more information, visit

Wednesday, August 5


Music & Food: Exploring Interdependent Cultural Expressions is the theme for the 2009 Southern Foodways Symposium, to be held in Oxford, Mississippi, October 30-November 1. Information about the event is online now. Click here to find a schedule and register online.

The annual Delta Divertissement in Greenwood, Mississippi, is already a sell-out. But there'll be activity and dinner options in Oxford on Thursday, as well, for those who are looking for local fun. Details on special dinners and a music show to follow later this summer.

Questions about the event? E-mail For your convenience, registrations are accepted online using a first come, first served system this year.

Tuesday, July 28


Click here to read more about Potlikker Athens. And go here to visit our Athens Eats oral history project, where you'll find oral history interviews with Dexter Weaver of Weaver D's and Angelish Wilson of Wilson's Soul Food Inc., two of our Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition awardees. Food from Weaver D's and Wilson's will also be featured at the film festival.


In 2006 the SFA, along with members and friends, headed to Georgia for Camp Athens, a day-long series of lectures, outings, and meals created to celebrate and learn about Southern food in Athens. Each of the Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition was presented with a special award designed by artist and MacArthur Grant recipient John T. Scott. And, of course, we collected their stories.Featured as part of the Athens Eats oral history project are two native Georgians, telling the stories of their lifework. Meet Dexter Weaver, who started catering from his home kitchen before opening his namesake restaurant, Weaver D’s. Read about Angelish Wilson, whose father, M. C. Wilson, opened Wilson’s Soul Food Inc. on Athens’ legendary Hot Corner in 1981. Go here to meet the people who are the guardians of Athens, Georgia’s, foodways traditions.

Food from Wilson's Soul Food Inc. and Weaver D's Delicius Fine Food will be featured at our Athens Potlikker Film Festival on August 22. Go here for more information and to register.

Friday, July 24


Horace Archie tends to the smoker at New Zion Church Bar-B-Q,
aka the Church of Holy Smoke, in Huntsville, TX.

As part of our ongoing collaboration with Elizabeth Engelhardt and the University of Texas at Austin's American Studies program, a group of graduate students has collected twenty new oral history interviews that document Texas barbecue. Visit our Southern BBQ Trail project to learn more about 'cue in the Lone Star State.

The group has also put together a book on the subject, Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket, which will be available this fall.

Next up on the Southern BBQ Trail: stories from Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Wednesday, July 22


It was with great sadness that the Friends of Food in the DC area learned earlier this month about the death of Karen Cathey at the age of 47. Karen was an important member of the food community. As president of her food consultancy company, Bon Vivant, she counseled food professionals, lectured and wrote a monthly column on food marketing, and wrote a syndicated weekly cookbook review called “Devouring Cookbooks.” As the founding chair of the American Institute of Wine & Food, National Capital Area Chapter, and later AIWF National Chair; and founding member of the Southern Foodways Alliance; as well as an active member of the IACP, the James Beard Foundation, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Culinary Historians of Washington DC, and the National Press Club, Karen worked tirelessly and effectively to teach about the wonderful culture of food and of wine. During the past year, she was developing Feed Our Future, an organization linking children, food, and health, until she lost a two-year battle with cancer.

On Sunday, August 9, there will be a memorial celebration of Karen’s life. If you knew Karen and would like to attend, please send an email to Carolyn Margolis, Chair, AIWF/NCAC, at, or to Francine Berkowitz at and you will be put on the list to receive a video invitation to the celebration of Karen’s life.

Tuesday, July 21


Save the Date
The Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance
presents its Third Annual Symposium
Beef: From Plains to Plate:Follow the cattlemen’s trail to savory Midwest Beef Traditions

Who: Food enthusiasts, culinary students, history students, educators, media, academics, members of the food and foodservice industry can follow the trail to another GMFA food history symposium.

What: "Beef: From Plains to Plate" – a symposium on Midwest beef foodways, from the desolate plains to meat processors who packed, wrapped and shipped their meat provisioning the global market. Innovations in refrigerated railroad cars, processing plants and portion control influenced many industrial efficiencies including Henry Ford’s automobile assembly line.

When: Friday, October 23, GMFA Fundraiser/Charter member dinner 7 p.m. Saturday, October 24, 2009, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Registration: Will Advise

Where: Kendall College - 900 North Branch (just north of Chicago Ave. and west of Halsted) Chicago, Illinois. Free parking .

Why: The mission of the GMFA is to study what Midwesterners eat and why. Visit This event builds off the success of the GMFA’s first two symposiums: "Stuffed: A Journey of Midwest Sausage Traditions" and "Sweets: A Journey Through Midwestern Dessert Traditions."

Call for Presentations: The Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance celebrates, teaches, preserves and promotes the diverse food cultures of the Midwest from Great Lakes to the Great Plains. Greater Midwest Foodways will examine the beef industry from small scale farms and local production to cattle barons and meat packer kings, from steak houses to cowboy stew and plain home cooking and everything in between. We seek presentations based on research, fieldwork, scholarship and professional experience geared towards an informed popular audience.

Proposals are welcome on topics ranging from cattle breeds, ranching and drives, from stockyards to processing and transportation to market. Beefy celebratory festivals from steakhouses to pot roast and how to get the best from your beef. GMFA welcomes any interesting beef presentations especially those off the well traveled trail.

Proposals should be one page in length and contain the following: name of presenter along with two professional references concerning presentation skills and qualifications; title or theme of the presentation; brief description of the subject matter to be discussed.

Please anticipate a presentation length of 20 minutes with extra time allowed for questions. Your preferred presentation format, i.e., interactive (Power Point), lecture, panel discussion, group presentation. Electronically submit your proposals by August 3, 2009 to, Attention: Catherine Lambrecht. Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance, 280 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park, IL 60035-2620 Tel: 847/432-8255

Friday, July 17


SFA members are encouraged to participate in Slow Food's National Eat-In on Labor Day. It's a perfect Skillet Brigade event for your SFA community.

The National School Lunch Program provides a meal to 30 million children every school day. By giving schools the resources to serve real food, we can teach 30 million children healthy eating habits that will last throughout their lives. That’s a major down payment on health care reform. By providing 30 million children with locally grown fruits and vegetables, we can dramatically reshape the way this country grows and gets its food. By raising a generation of children on real food, we can build a strong foundation for their health, for our economy’s health and for America’s future prosperity.

This year, the Child Nutrition Act, which is the bill that governs the National School Lunch Program, is up for reauthorization. Unless citizens everywhere speak up this summer, “business as usual” in Congress will pass a Child Nutrition Act that continues to fail our children. We can do better. Our leaders in Congress have to hear that everyday people in their districts refuse to accept the status quo. We have to tell them that when it comes to our children and the legacy we’re leaving them, change can’t wait.

That’s why a group of us are organizing a National Eat-In for Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2009. On that day, people in communities across America will gather with their neighbors for public potlucks that send a clear message to our nation’s leaders: It’s time to provide America’s children with real food at school.

To get the whole country to sit down to share a meal together, we’re going to need the help of all kinds of people: parents, teachers, community leaders, kids and people who’ve never done anything like this before. It’s time to get real food into schools.

SFA members are encouraged to recruit a Skillet Brigade, stage an Eat-In, and write your local representatives to encourage healthy nutrition in our nation's schools. And, if you're in Mississippi, Arkansas, or Alabama, organizing an Eat-In will help Slow Food have events in all 50 states!

Monday, July 13


Travel to North Carolina's Skylight Inn, once declared the capital of 'cue by National Geographic. A capital dome atop the building will confirm you're at the right location. The Jones family cooks whole hog barbecue in open pits over oak, and then chops it--skin and all--on a wood chopping block. This new film by Joe York was created for the Southern Foodways Alliance with support from Union Square Hospitality Group. The film debuted this past June at New York's annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party.