Friday, September 14

SFA Founding Members to Celebrate 13 Years of the SFA This Weekend

SFA Founders' Meeting - Birmingham, AL - July 22, 1999

"We all know that this is the finest regional food in America, yesterday and today and forever. Here is our chance to keep it vibrant and to share it with one another and the rest of the world." – John Egerton, from his 1999 SFA recruitment letter

On July 22, 1999, 50 people gathered in Birmingham, Alabama, to "establish an organization that would bring together people from all over the region and beyond who grow, process, prepare, write about, study, or organize around the distinctive foods of the South." At the end of that meeting, the Southern Foodways Alliance was born.

In 2004, the SFA launched its Founders Oral History Project in an effort to preserve the history of the SFA through interviews with the organization's 50 founding members. By recruiting SFA members and friends in locations across the country to conduct the interviews, SFA supporters have had the opportunity to be more actively involved in the SFA's mission--and its history. To date, more than 40 interviews have been collected. Thirty-two of those interviews have been published to our online archive.

Menu from the SFA Founders' dinner at Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, AL
July 22, 1999

Tomorrow night, September 15, 30 SFA founders will come together again to celebrate the organization's 13th anniversary--more than a decade of work that documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. And once again, Frank and Pardis Stitt will be our hosts at Highland's Bar & Grill in Birmingham.

As we look back, we also look forward. And we hope you'll continue to join us at the table.