Monday, March 29


Rhoda Adams of Rhoda's Famous Hot Tamales
Stills from Southern Food: The Movie

Greetings from the road! Joe York and I have been traveling around Arkansas for the last week working on Southern Food: The Movie. On Thursday, we had the pleasure of visiting with Rhoda Adams in Lake Village at her restaurant, Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales. We spent the day filming and putting together a short spot on the restaurant that will appear on the SFA website later this year. We made a trip to South Carolina in February and will be stopping in every Southern state this year to film spots for Southern Food: The Movie, a project that will showcase the best of Southern food produced by a span of folks, from traditionalists like Rhoda to chefs and farmers across the region. This week we will attend a wild game dinner and investigate spoonbill caviar from the White River near Dumas.   

~Alan Pike, SFA Graduate Assistant

Wednesday, March 24


On February 18, 2010, the Museum of the City of New York, in partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance and Mississippi Development Authority/Division of Tourism, hosted a discussion, focusing on how The Great Migration transformed the culinary culture of the North.

Leading the discussion were Jessica Harris, author of a forthcoming history of African-American foodways, and one of the 50 founders of the Southern Foodways Alliance.  And Ted Lee, one of the James Beard award-winning Charleston Lee brothers. Ted, along with his brother, Matt Lee, is at work on a book of essays about New York City food culture.  John T. Edge moderated the discussion.

To listen to a podcast of the talk, brought to courtesy of WNYC, visit the Ole Miss iTunes U page.  Launch the Public Site.  Click on the SFA and enjoy the lecture by Jessica and Ted!

Tuesday, March 23


I am a history professor, working on a book on civilians in the South during the Civil War. The book covers all civilians, white and black, male and female, and the theme is the struggle for material resources. There will be a chapter on food, hunger, and the increasingly desperate struggle for food, especially after 1863. I have done research in many manuscript sources, such as diaries, letters, newspapers, recipe books, the WPA Narratives.

Does anyone know of any oral traditions or family histories that mention the experience of hunger during the War? Or the memory of hunger after the War ended? I would appreciate any information, Joan Cashin, Dept. of History, Ohio State,

Saturday, March 20


Saturday March 27, in Batesville, Arkansas, the Arkansas Foothills FilmFest will screen four SFA-produced and Joe York directed films. The Southern Succulents Food Film Showcase: Films from the Southern Foodways Alliance features, among other York films, "Above the Line" and "Smokes & Ears."

Also on the bill that weekend is Les Blank, one of the directors whose work inspired Joe and the SFA. The schedule is here.

Thursday, March 18


(Image via

The SFA's new interactive map that plots oral history locations--restaurants, roadside stands and purveyors--throughout the region is featured on, a Web site dedicated to sharing national food culture news via the Internet and free email subscriptions. Go here to read the full article.

Wednesday, March 17


Hot-Dogopolis from Southern Foodways on Vimeo.

Hot-Dogopolis is aSFA Greenhouse film by Eric Feldman and Leyla Modirzadeh. Learn the story of the Greek community in Birmingham, Alabama, and see a part of their restaurant legacy in the lunch stands that make Birmingham a great Southern city for a hot dog.

We originally documented Birmingham's great hot dog tradition in 2004 with our Birmingham Greeks oral history project. Visit the project to read interviews with Gus Koutroulakis of Pete's Famous and George Nasiakos of Gus's Hot Dogs to learn more about what makes Birmingham dogs so special. 

Wednesday, March 10


(Photo via Oxford American)

The editors at Oxford American magazine have selected Cornbread Nation 5 as one of a handful of "recent food-themed books that have knocked our respective socks off." From the article:

In the ongoing effort to show that Southern cuisine is “enduring,” as editor Fred Sauceman puts it, CORNBREAD NATION 5 maintains that the proof is in the bread pudding—and in the oyster stew, the chicken mull, the sweet potato cobbler, and other marvels of the country kitchen. From Alan Deutschman’s backwoods sojourn for dry-cured ham to John Shelton Reed’s history of smoked meats and Roy Blount’s discussion of Louis Jordan’s STRUTTIN’ WITH SOME BARBECUE, no part of the pig goes unused. Beth Ann Fennelly’s essay on the economics of taste and Pete Daniel’s discussion of the USDA’s legacy of racism explore the moral dimensions of food production and policy. And Brett Anderson’s piece on Indian chow in the Crescent City and Mei Chin’s article on Asian soul food show that Southern cooking has become a multicultural fare. Local cuisine remains a strong cultural force in the South, the book opines, not only because of its long-standing traditions, but because of its willingness to adapt.

Go here to purchase CN5, if it's not already on your bookshelf.

Monday, March 8


Michael Gewin writes, "Had chance to eat lunch at Willie Mae's on Monday, March 1. Worked on the rebuilding effort in March 2006 and this was the first chance I've had to eat there since it reopened. Business was brisk with both dining rooms full and a line down the side of the building. ...Fried chicken was divine, butterbeans heavenly, red beans out of this world."

Monday, March 1

CUD to screen at Atlanta Film Festival

And the hits just keep on coming!

Joe York's short film, CUD, has been selected to screen at the 2010 Atlanta Film Festival (April 15-23) as part of the Documentary Shorts Section of the festival.

It's going to be a busy spring for CUD and Joe. Congrats again, Joe!