Wednesday, February 20

It's a Wrap! "A Spoken Dish" Films in Jackson

L-R: Emilie Dayan, Kate Medley, and Sara Camp Arnold. Photo by Reagan Hodge
You don't have to be a white-tablecloth chef to tell a great story about food, family, and favorite recipes. That's what inspired Kate Medley to create "A Spoken Dish," a collaborative video project between Whole Foods Market, Georgia Organics, and the SFA. Kate, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and a graduate of the UM masters program in Southern Studies, is now a multimedia storyteller for Whole Foods. Based in Durham, NC, she frequently travels throughout the South, the Mid-Atlantic, and beyond to share the stories of the farmers, ranchers, fishermen/-women, and artisans who supply Whole Foods.

In "A Spoken Dish," Kate turns her lens on men and women in Durham, Atlanta, and Jackson, and asks them to tell her about their favorite dishes, recipes, ingredients, and food memories. Her subjects include farmers, chefs, educators, musicians, artists, restaurateurs, waitresses, grocery store employees, and passionate home cooks. The series of short film clips will debut online in the late spring.

Yesterday, we met Kate at Brown Elementary School in Jackson, Mississippi. We chose the school as our filming location in part because of its Food Corps program, which includes a school garden and a nutrition-education classroom component for the students, 99% of whom come from low-income families.

Our interview subjects were:

Inez Birthfield, waitress and cook at CS's restaurant since 1978; namesake of the beloved Inez Burger
Cleta Ellington, avid home cook, painter, and editor of a community cookbook for the Jackson Catholic Diocese

Geno Lee, fourth-generation owner of the Big Apple Inn restaurant, known for its pig-ear sandwiches

Katy Simmons Prosser, head of marketing for Simmons Catfish in Yazoo City

Carol Puckett, longtime SFA member (and former board member) and culinary professional

Anna Richardson, Food Corps teacher at Brown Elementary and Rowan Middle School; a Minnesota native getting her first taste of the South

Jesse Robinson, blues musician; longtime resident of Jackson; currently collaborating on a CD of Brazilian poetry set to music 

Nick Wallace, chef at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Jackson (formerly the King Edward Inn)

Diane Williams, professional storyteller and fiber artist well as three bright, eager students from Brown Elementary and Rowan Middle School: Whitney (age 7), Osha Love (11), and Calla (11).

Camerawoman Raegan Hodge films sixth grader Osha Love with a carrot from the school garden.
 A huge thank you to our film subjects, our camerawoman, Raegan Hodge, and to the administration Brown Elementary School!

We look forward to sharing the finished film clips with you on our blog and social media later this spring.