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 Margolis@si.edu, or to Francine Berkowitz at fcb@si.edu 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 www.greatermidwestfoodways.com. 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 GreaterMidwestFoodways@gmail.com, Attention: Catherine Lambrecht. Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance, 280 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park, IL 60035-2620 Tel: 847/432-8255 www.GreaterMidwestFoodways.com

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.

Friday, July 10



A new documentary film that examines the popularity of red-dyed hot dogs in Southwest Virginia has just been released by East Tennessee State University. A Red Hot Dog Digest is the first in a series of films being produced by the ETSU Division of University Relations and the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services.

The new film includes archival footage of old television commercials that promoted Valleydale meats as well as interviews with proprietors of businesses along Lee Highway that depend on the red hot dog for their livelihood. The Corner Dog House in Bristol, the Dip Dog in Marion, Skeeter’s in Wytheville, and Dude’s in Christiansburg are the four Virginia establishments featured in the film.

The Corner Dog House is a walk-up business in a Bristol neighborhood that has been selling Valleydale hot dogs, once made at the company’s Bristol plant, since 1962. With a Marion address but a location the owners describe as “out in the middle of nowhere,” the Dip Dog sells some 500,000 batter-dipped, mustard-painted red wieners a year. The business opened over 50 years ago. Skeeter’s sells red hot dogs out of a building on Main Street in Wytheville where the future Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, the president’s second wife, was born. And in Christiansburg, Dude’s once tried to eliminate the red hot dog from the menu because of dietary concerns, but customers revolted, demanding that the dyed product be restored.

A year in the making, A Red Hot Dog Digest is available through the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at ETSU. To purchase a DVD copy of the film, cotact the center at (423) 439-7865 or 439-7994. For information about film screenings, contact the Office of University Relations at (423) 439-4317.

Thursday, July 9


It is with great sadness that we report the loss of one of SFA’s original fifty founders, Karen Cathey, who died on Monday after a long battle with cancer. Though classically trained in French cooking, Karen was a passionate defender of American regional foodways, most particularly of the South. For almost twenty years, through her marketing company, Bon Vivant, LLC, and nationally syndicated cookbook review column, Devouring Cookbooks, she championed the best in American cooking and food writing.

Karen’s commitment to things culinary ran deep. Involved in two previous Southern foodways organizations before helping found SFA, she was also active in national and international culinary organizations, including The International Association of Culinary Professionals, The James Beard Foundation, Culinary Historians of Washington, and The American Institute of Wine & Food, which she served as national chairman.

It was my privilege to know this lovely, remarkable, charming and funny woman and count her as a friend. She faced her final illness the way she faced everything—with bravery and dignity, and though cancer ravaged her body, it never dimmed her spirit. Her passion and loyalty for her family, friends, and fellow culinary professionals remained strong to the end.

To honor her, “The Karen Cathey Education Fund of The American Institute of Wine & Food National Capital Area Chapter” has been created. Contributions may be sent c/o Bob Sitnick, Treasurer, 6271 Park Road, McLean, VA 22101.

Damon Lee Fowler, Founding Member and Past President

Friday, July 3


Local Stories, Global Connections: The Context of Agriculture and Rural Life
Annual Meeting of the Agricultural History Society
University of Central Florida and Rollins College
June 10-12, 2010

Deadline for Submissions: October 15, 2009
Agriculture and rural life are tied to specific places, but those places are in turn bound to larger communities, often with global connections. The AHS invites proposals for papers that address the particular ways in which people and places have shaped agriculture and rural living in their local communities as well as how rural ecosystems, production, processing, and consumption tie farmers and rural people to distant people, places, and institutions. Topics from any location or time period will be welcome. In the interest of promoting understanding of the context of agriculture and rural life, the program committee wishes to encourage submissions of interdisciplinary and cross-national panels. We encourage proposals of all types and formats, including traditional papers/commentary sessions, thematic panel discussions, roundtables on recent books, and poster presentations, and we extend a special welcome to graduate students. We are able to provide up to $250 in travel reimbursement to each graduate student whose paper is accepted for the conference. We will consider submissions of full panels and individual papers, as well as paired or individual posters.

Submission Procedures
Complete session proposals should include a chair, participants, and, if applicable, a commentator. Please include the following information:
• An abstract of no more than 200 words for the session as a whole;
• A prospectus of no more than 250 words for each presentation;
• A mailing address, email, phone number, and affiliation for each participant; and
• A CV of no more than a page for each participant.
Individual submissions should include all the above except a session abstract.
Please send submissions, in Microsoft Word or RTF format, to Melissa.walker@converse.edu.
Alternatively, applicants may mail five hard copies of their proposals to:
Melissa Walker, Chair
Converse College
580 East Main St.
Spartanburg, SC 29302

Please direct questions regarding the program to any member of the program committee:
• Melissa Walker, Chair, Converse College, Melissa.walker@converse.edu
• Joe Anderson, Mount Royal College, jlanderson@mtroyal.ca
• Sterling Evans, University of Oklahoma, evans@ou.edu
• Angie Gumm, Iowa State University, asgumm@iastate.edu
• Cecilia Tsu, University of California at Davis, cmtsu@ucdavis.edu

Thursday, July 2


For those unable to attend the Craig Claiborne Celebration in New York City in early June, the panel discussion is now available for viewing online. Click here if you'd like to link via Vimeo and see the program full screen. Running time ~60 minutes.