Meet Bill Ferris of Southern Foodways Alliance

Meet one of the founders of SFA and preserver of Southern food culture.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

I'm Bill Ferris. I teach History, Folklore and Southern Studies, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and I also work as Senior Associate Director at the center for the study of the American South. The whole history of food in the South is largely contained in the memory of elders, especially elder women. And today those recipes are being served in nouvelle cuisine, in a much more expensive and fancy way, but. The recipe for food, is and always will be in the memory, of Southerners. The SFA is critical to southern food. It is an academy of study, of preservation, and of celebration of southern food. Nothing like it exists in any other region in our nation. And like Southern living, only the American South could sustain and preserve traditions in the way that SFA does. I think the Southern personality associated with food that I most admire. Is Craig Claiborne, who grew up as a child in his mother's boarding house in Indianola, Mississippi. And watched as she served guests and kept their family together as the head of her family. And Craig Claiborne became the first male food editor of the New York Times. He took food to a whole new level. Not only the oat cuisine, the French and fancy foods we associate with restaurants He also went into the little pizza joints, the sandwich shops. And he reviewed them all with equal care. If Craig were coming to my home, I would serve him grits eggs, and Benton's bacon. Home cured bacon. A familiar down home breakfast that he would understand. And I would give him a hoe cake to eat with it.
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