Wednesday, January 17


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


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


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 or call (504) 523-4662.

Saturday, January 6


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

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