Joseph E. "Joe" Dabney of Atlanta, Georgia, is the winner of the 2005 Jack Daniel Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
The award, underwritten by Jack Daniels' Distillery of Lynchburg, Tennessee, recognizes the region's leading culinary lights, men and women whose lifework has proved a beacon for us all.
Lynne Tolley, great-grand niece of Jack Daniel himself, presented the award -- a custom portrait by Mississippi artist Blair Hobbs -- to Dabney at a ceremony on the University of Mississippi campus.
Dabney, a native of Kershaw, South Carolina, born in 1929, is the author of a number of books about the American South including Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine and Mountain Spirits: A Chronicle of Corn Whiskey from King James' Ulster Plantation to America's Appalachians.
Mountain Spirits, first published more than 30 years ago, defined the modern understanding of American moonshine. Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine, a chronicle of mountain life told by way of oral histories and recipes, won the Cookbook of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation.