|Graphic by Emily Wallace|
1. We were excited to hear of Richard McCarthy's new position as the executive director of Slow Food USA. Since 1995, McCarthy has been the director of the Crescent City Farmers' Market in New Orleans and served as an adviser to hundreds of markets across the nation as the director of the non-profit Market Umbrella. He was featured in a 2010 issue of Gravy about the BP Gulf Oil Spill and also spoke at our 2011 symposium on the cultivated South. Richard is thoughtful, compassionate, and creative; full of business sense and people sense. We look forward to watching Slow Food USA evolve and flourish under his leadership.
2. Earlier this week, legions of fans marked the birthday of Elvis Presley, who would have been 78 years old on January 8. (Or maybe he is 78 and hanging with Tupac on an island paradise? We're not sure.) No doubt many of the faithful observed the occasion with a somber peanut butter and banana sandwich or a Fool's Gold Loaf. Others chose to display his likeness on a cake, with mixed results. If you've got a velvet Elvis portrait in your living room, why not have one in red velvet on the dining table?
3. We're enjoying the smart, engaging new(-ish) website American Food Roots. Possibly the best feature is its state-by-state organization of stories, great for those doing research on a specific place—or those with a lot of state spirit. For starters, check out recent posts on oyster roasts in South Carolina, vegetables at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, and catfish in Mississippi.
4. If a six-pack isn't your style, we've got you covered this week. For those who prefer grape over grain, check out this genius infographic (did we mention we love an infographic?) to help you expand your oenological horizons.
5. Kat Kinsman of CNN's Eatocracy shares her 8 most food-stained (read: best-loved and most-used) cookbooks. Two of them are Charleston classics; one old and one new.
6. Today's New York Times includes its annual round-up of the top places to visit this year—it's always one of the most addictive, wanderlust-inducing ways to spend a January morning. This year there are 46 destinations on the list, including Houston and Washington, D.C.: two Southern(-ish) destinations that are garnering renewed attention for their respective food scenes.
Chaser: If you dig lists as much as we do (see #5 and #6), and if your productivity at work has already sunk to Friday-afternoon levels, check out the 2013 Saveur 100. The annual, global roundup includes a handful of Southern restaurants and iconic dishes: shout-outs include the cannoli at Angelo Brocato's in New Orleans and the stewed tomatoes from the late, great Hap Townes in Nashville. (Want to know more? Click on the links—both Hap Townes and Arthur Brocato, grandson of Angelo Brocato, are SFA oral history subjects!)