Monday, January 31


Just perused a smart website, the Lexicon of Sustainability.

A new language of food is emerging: Urban Apiary. Methane Digester. Locavore. Pasture-Raised.

What do these terms mean? Are they marketing tropes? Are they harbingers of future promise?

This project, with its creepy music and cool graphics and smart perspectives, asks those questions.


The SFA is participating in "Radio Free AWP," a group of twenty-four podcasts being featured as part of this year's Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. This year the conference is in Washington, DC.

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs supports more than “34,000 writers at over 500 member colleges & universities and 100 writers' conferences & centers.” 

The podcasts are free and will air from Wednesday, Feb. 2, thru Saturday, Feb. 5. Go here to view a complete schedule.

Tuesday, January 25


We're looking forward to welcoming our next group of oral history interns this summer. Last year's in-house interns, Meghan Leonard and Kevin Kim, set the bar high for those who will follow.

In addition to learning how to conduct oral histories and process interviews, interns also gain experience in creating multi-media pieces. They edit audio, curate images, and put together audio slideshows for presentation online.

The audio slideshow featured above was created by Meghan, who conducted a handful of interviews for the Mississippi leg of our Southern BBQ Trail.

Interested in gaining experience in the field of oral history? If you're a current student, we invite you to apply. Our internship application deadline is Tuesday, February 1. Visit our Internship page for more information.


The schedule for the first symposium hosted by Foodways Texas is officially online here, and SFA's oral historian, Amy Evans Streeter, will be one of their inaugural presenters. Together with Elizabeth Englehardt, who has been a longtime SFA member and collaborator (remember those Texas barbecue oral histories?), the two will be on a panel entitled "What's in a Name? The Ways of Food in Texas."

Other events at the the Feb. 25-26 event in Galveston include a dockside dinner hosted by Tim Byrne of Smoke (Dallas), a photo exhibit on oyster culture by Jody Horton, and a discussion of Asian Texans and Tejanos on the Gulf Coast. For a full schedule of events, including info on the other meals, click here to visit the Foodways Texas website. Registration is online and open to the public, with an early bird rate available to anyone who registers before February 4.

Monday, January 24


The Southern Foodways Alliance has grown in ways that none of the founding members could have imagined. We have collected over 500 oral histories, produced almost 30 documentary films, and we continue to celebrate and educate on the diverse foodways of the American South through field trips and symposia, Potlikker film festivals, Skillet Brigades, and other educational lectures and events.

SFA is a member-supported organization. Membership in the Southern Foodways Alliance is as important to our strength as corporate sponsorships and individual donations. SFA members feel like a family, which is a wonderful benefit, but sometimes that comfortable belonging allows us to forget that we actually need to purchase or renew memberships each year. Your membership fee covers a portion of our operating expenses, but of equal import is the support that you give our organization by placing your name among our ranks. I am writing to remind you that NOW IS THE TIME TO RENEW OR JOIN FOR 2011. Please click here to become a 2011 member today.

As a member, you receive advance notice of event registration and discounted tuition for the symposium and field trip. You receive a subscription to our Gravy foodletter—a publication that has grown from a folded piece of paper to today’s colorful booklet. Your name is also printed in our annual membership directory, which is shared with members each fall.

Membership and personal engagement in SFA will bolster your palate. It will heighten your awareness of our regional foodways, and increase your appreciation for the folks whose lifework brings great Southern food to the table. Gathered around our SFA table, you will certainly find contemporaries with common interests. And you may, as I have, make some of your best friends. I invite you to join us at the table in 2011. Please join the SFA or renew today. Click here. It’s easy.


Angie Mosier

Immediate Past President

Friday, January 21


Ever looked at the list of oysters available when ordering and been overwhelmed? What's the difference? Size? Taste? Freshness? Yes. Yes. Yes. But how do you keep up with nuances of hundreds of varieties?
Now there's a new app to help. Oysterpedia not only provides information like location, size, and flavor profile for over 200 types of North American oysters, you can also save information on oysters as you try them.
And, if the oysters happen to be from Apalachicola, you can read about the people harvesting them on SFA's oral history website.
So get out there and order your oysters with confidence!

Wednesday, January 19


Interested in creating a blog about food or reaching more people with an existing food blog? Head to Birmingham this weekend for FoodBlogSouth, a conference and workshop about, well, food blogs in the South. Bonus: There's a pre-party Friday night, Jan. 21, with our friends at Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q!

Visit the FoodBlogSouth website for more info and to register.

Tuesday, January 18


Tonight, January 18, at 7:00 p.m. SFA Oral Historian Amy Evans Streeter presents a lecture at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. For more information and to purchase tickets go here or call (601) 974-1130.


FEBRUARY 11-13, 2011

Unite with 200 college students and youth allies for three days in February for the 3rd annual Southeast Youth Food Activism Summit (SYFAS). It will be the largest youth convergence for just and sustainable food in the Southeast. With workshops, panels, speakers, and local field trips, SYFAS will be a chance to connect with other youth food activists across the region, to share stories and skills, and to ignite new ideas and opportunities for action.

No matter where you are in your own food movement--a fresh recruit or a seasoned activist--SYFAS is creating a space for a powerful, diverse, youth-driven change. We stand for a better food system. And we invite you to join us.


Thursday, January 13


On Sunday January 23 and Monday January 24, Poole’s Diner is proud to offer our fourth helping of STIR THE POT, a seasonal dinner and discussion benefiting the Southern Foodways Alliance’s documentary film initiative.

The dinner and discussion will feature two of my favorite southern chefs, Tandy Wilson and Tyler Brown of Nashville, Tennessee. I met these two through Southern Foodways Alliance.

Tandy and Tyler are on the long list of amazing chefs who inspire me to work harder and be better each day. I am honored to host them in the Poole’s kitchen, and to share their craft with you. Please join us as we experience Nashville, as told through a meal prepared by two of its most celebrated chefs.

Meet Tyler Brown…

Tyler Brown leads one of Tennessee’s highly-praised Forbes Four-Star /AAA Four-Diamond restaurants. During Brown’s tenure at The Capitol Grille, the restaurant was voted one of America’s best restaurants by Gourmet magazine. In 2010, Brown was among the semi-finalists for the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast.

Brown graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University. He was introduced to the culinary industry by his mother, who is also an accomplished chef. Brown has worked at a number of fine dining restaurants including Peninsula Grill in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Fearrington House in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Meet Tandy Wilson…

At City House, Tandy Wilson interprets the foods of Italy through the prism of the American South. Wilson is a burgeoning expert in salamis and, more recently, hand-cured hams. Tandy’s mother and grandmothers instilled in him enthusiasm and love of food. After studying at The Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Wilson took a job at Tra Vigne restaurant in St. Helena, California.

Following his time in California, Wilson traveled Italy to learn more about regional cookery. In 2005, he came home to Nashville. He opened City House after spending two years at Margot Café and Bar, also in Nashville, working with Margot McCormack. Like Tyler Brown, he was a 2010 semi-finalist for Best Chef: Southeast from the James Beard Foundation.

TnT Dinner on Sunday, January 23rd 7:00 p.m. @ Poole’s Diner

A sparkling reception with Nashville noshes

A five-course dinner with wine pairings

$150++ per person

Reservations are required and seating is limited.

Industry Potluck, Monday, January 24th 6:00-9:00 pm @ Ashley Christensen’s home

The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. As a community, it is invaluable that we share our inspirations, ideas, issues, challenges, ingredients, and yes, even our politics. I first cooked with SFA just over three years ago. There is a bit of magic to the group that is difficult to describe. I left with many new friends and the certainty that I wanted to create SFA events in the Triangle to celebrate their mission and magic.

The potluck is for everyone--restaurant industry folks, writers, beverage enthusiasts, home cooks and people with a general love for food and its history. For the potluck, we will provide a main course of “Nashville Hot Chicken”. Our friends at Fullsteam Brewery (Durham) will, once again, be pouring delicious craft brews. We are honored to have special guest mixologist Gary Crunkleton of The Crunkleton (Chapel Hill). He loves bourbon as much as we do, and he’ll be mixing us something lovely and signature to celebrate the evening. There will be music selections and stories from our guests of honor, Tyler Brown and Tandy Wilson.

Please bring a check for $35 to Southern Foodways Alliance and a dish to share that celebrates your sense of place, wherever that may be.

Special thanks to my friend Eliza Kraft Olander for underwriting all wines for the entire STIR THE POT series. We are honored and humbled by her generosity, and her ridiculously delicious wine cellar. Additional thanks to Inland Seafood for providing Springer Mountain Chickens for STIR THE POT-luck.

Reservations are required and limited for both events. Please call Poole’s to reserve.


Thank you, Ashley Christensen

Wednesday, January 12


The state of Mississippi has declared January as Culinary Month throughout the state. From the Visit Mississippi blog:
All month long communities around the state will be highlighting and celebrating notable restaurants, unique specialty items, take-home recipes and other local good eats. The state’s Welcome Centers will also join the action with displays, menus, samples and other information to help you satisfy your appetite while visiting the state.
Go to the Visit Mississippi website or check out Mississippi's Culinary Trail for more.

And, if you make it to Mississippi this month--or any month!--be sure to check out our interactive map that features the 60+ oral history interviews that we've collected in the state. If you'll be driving to Mississippi, make sure to tak advantage of the trip builder feature that's part of our map, so you can eat with oral history subjects from Virginia to Texas.

Grab a napkin and go!

Tuesday, January 11


Foodways Texas, an SFA like-minded organization that studies the food culture in its home state, is getting established this year. They've hosted launch parties to introduce themselves to the pubic and invite new members to the fold. They've also shared their documentary work, including two films: Good, Better, Best and 50 Years of Pie.

Today, tickets to their first annual symposium go on sale. The Gulf Coast Gathering is scheduled February 24-25, 2011, in Galveston, Texas. For tickets, and more information on the schedule, visit Foodways Texas online at

Friday, January 7


RIDE THAT PIG TO GLORY from UM Media Documentary Projects on Vimeo.

Ride That Pig to Glory is Joe York's most recent film for the SFA. It's a profile of South Carolina pig farmer and tango enthusiast Emile DeFelice, owner of Caw Caw Creek Pastured Pork.

This film was made possible by funding from the Biltmore Estate.

Go here to view more SFA films, including Phat Tai, which traces the path of fishermen from Indonesia to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Louisiana, and premiered at our 2010 Global South symposium in October.

Thursday, January 6


Photo courtesy of Salon/iStockphoto

On, Francis Lam wrote about his new year's resolution to avoid "cheap chicken" in 2011. The resolution (manifesto, if you will) brings up an interesting dilemma; one that I think many of us run into as we try to navigate our food and its sources.

"Which is more important to me? To stop having my money support chicken that is mass-produced at unbelievable scale, poisoning the earth and water for hundreds of miles, that is treated brutally? Or to have that chance to meet the many Charles Gabriels, the taco truck cooks and the noodle shop owners and all the other working-class cooks whose cuisines I adore and whose stories I want to hear and help tell?"

I wish the answer was clear-cut and easy. (I personally don't think you have to put both feet in one camp.) But it means that the answer to this will look different to different people.

I think the best thing about a new year's resolution is that it gives us pause. We stop going through the motions of our busy lives to think through some of the decisions we're making (especially the "passive" decisions). Here's to a thoughtful and deliberate 2011. Cheers!


In this short video, New York Times contributor Amy Harmon shares the story of Buddy Greco and his son, Aaron, of Delacroix, LA. It's a tale of old ways, new problems, and life on the water as told through the relationship of a father and son.

Read Harmon's NYT article about the Grecos here.

Wednesday, January 5


We're sorry to share the news of the passing of Bill Tinker, one of the subjects of our Louisville Barroom Culture oral history project, whom we lost on December 4 at the age of seventy-three. Tinker was a fifty-year patron of Check's Cafe in Louisville's Germantown neighborhood, the neighborhood he called home for seven decades. In his later years, Tinker became a walking encyclopedia of neighborhood history. He organized the Schnitzelburg Walk, which is an annual night of progressive tavern hopping in the Schnitzelburg part of Germantown. In 2007, he was recognized as Schnitzelburg's Number One Citizen.

For those of you who joined us on our 2008 field trip to Louisville, you'll remember Tinker and his friends from Check's who led us on an abbreviated version of the Schnitzelburg Walk. You'll also remember Billy Reynolds, a bartender at Check's and one of Tinker's best friends, who also joined us that night. Watch the audio slideshow above to hear both men talk about their time at Check's Cafe.

The Louisville Courier-Journal printed a wonderful tribute to Bill Tinker after his passing, which you can read here.


Yesterday, Jackson Free Press named Amy Evans Streeter their "person of the day." And we couldn't agree more! Amy is the SFA Oral Historian and travels throughout the South to record the stories behind the food. She speaks about documenting Southern food and culture, saying "our intent is to start conversation through food, and use food as a way to get to conversations about race, class, gender and other aspects of who we are as people and more specifically southerners."

You can read the full article here.

And you can see Amy in person at Millsaps College's Arts and Lecture Series on January 11 at 7pm.

Tuesday, January 4


Image borrowed from the KnowLA Web site,

The newly launched online encyclopedia, KnowLA, just released this entry, by SFA member Rien Fertel, on the history of Louisiana cookbooks. An excerpt from his article is below, or read the full entry by clicking here.

No other state has produced as sizable a body of cooking literature like that of Louisiana’s. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, several Louisiana cookbooks collected the diverse cooking styles of Creole New Orleans. Crescent city cookbooks continued to represent Louisiana throughout the next century; a multitude of cookery texts published by whites and African Americans, home cooks and professional chefs, and community organizations and businesses provided recipes that filled the pots and pans of kitchens both regionally and nationwide. In 1971, Time-Life’s Foods of the World series identified Louisiana as the only state worthy of its own cookbook, elevating Creole and Cajun to the height of other international cuisines. In the following decades, Cajun cookbooks, exemplified by Paul Prudhomme, and the food of Acadiana reached unprecedented levels of widespread popularity.

KnowLA is a self-described "comprehensive, dynamic online reference guide to the history and culture of Louisiana." It is available free of charge to anyone with Web access. Visit them at

Monday, January 3


Film Screening: it’s grits! with filmmaker Stan Woodward

Wed, January 19, 2011

5:00 pm - 7:30pm

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Pleasants Room, 2nd Floor, Wilson Library

Discover the common thread that connects the South’s people across all social, economic, political and racial boundaries – grits! it’s grits! is an uproariously funny, insightful and poignant personal documentary.