Thursday, April 20


In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the SFA catalyzed a series of volunteer-staffed Gulf Coast work projects. They were great successes.

We began January 14, and our efforts are ongoing. SFA members volunteer their time and labor to begin rebuilding Willie Mae's Scotch House, a revered corner cafe in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. We've also helped Leah Chase of Dooky Chase restaurant in the same neighborhood.

To see a brief film about Willie Mae and the Scotch House project, go online.


The project is now at a tipping point. Unskilled volunteer labor is no longer needed. What the project needs is money. The projected cost of build-out now tops more than $100,000.

Checks, payable to the Gulf Coast Renaissance Fund, should be mailed to Mary Beth Lasseter, Southern Foodways Alliance, P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677. The fund is managed by the University of Mississippi Foundation, and contributions are tax deductible.

Read about this project:
See the PI:
See the MCA:,1426,MCA_532_4493711,00.html See CBS Evening News:
See the NYT:
See the AJC:
See the Gambit:
See the DMN:
See USA Today:

On the weekend of February 10, volunteers from Viking Range joined us, focusing their efforts on Dooky Chase. Viking also donated hotel rooms at the Monteleone for the February 3 and February 10 weekends.

To see photos from weekend one:
To see photos from weekend two:
To see photos from weekend three:
To see photos from weekend four, a grimey birthday weekend for Mary Beth:
To see photos from weekend five:

Commercial Appeal writer Leslie Kelly worked the final weekend. See photos and read her reports from the city:

Monday, April 17


The Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail offers cultural tourists a complete guide to a unique culinary experience, and we want you to join us. Head to the Mississippi Delta, which has been called "the most Southern place on earth" for its unique history, music, culture, and yes, its food. The Tamale Trail Tour will make stops in Clarksdale, Cleveland, and Rosedale. We'll visit with a handful of vendors in each locale. We will talk about the history of hot tamales in the area, get some lessons in making hot tamales, and, of course, eat some hot tamales.

Tour guide for this event will be Amy Evans, the oral historian for the Southern Foodways Alliance and chief architect of the Tamale Trail. Food & Wine named Amy one of the "top 35 under 35" to watch, and her interviews with Doe's Eat Place in Greenville recently won the Elbert R. Hilliard Oral History Award. The Hilliard award was established last year by the Mississippi Historical Society to recognize outstanding work in oral history, and is named for the retired head of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for his diligent support of the medium.

The Southern Foodways Alliance and Viking Range Corporation created the Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail, an effort to document the history, tradition, and culture of hot tamales from Tunica to Vicksburg. Visit the project online at

This Tamale Trek is sponsored by the Southern Foodways Alliance and the Office of Outreach at the University of Mississippi. Registration cost is $75 per person. The fee includes bus transportation, presentations and, of course, tamales. Download an online registration form and order your hot tamale t-shirt here: