Southern Foodways Alliance

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Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) is an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, dedicated to the documentation, study and exploration of the foodways of the American South. Member-funded, it stages events, recognizes culinary contributions with awards and a hall of fame, produces documentary films, publishes writing, and maps the region’s culinary institutions recording oral history interviews.[1] The group has about 800 members, a mixture of chefs, academics, writers, and eaters.[citation needed]


John T. Edge, a writer and commentator, has served as the director of the SFA since its foundation in 1999.[2] A journalist, John Egerton, was one of the group's founders.[2] In 2007, the SFA established the John Egerton Prize [3] to recognize annually selected "artists, writers, scholars, and others—including artisans and farmers—whose work in the American South addresses issues of race, class, gender, and social and environmental justice, through the lens of food." John Martin Taylor was also a founding member.[citation needed]

Annual awards[edit]

The annual Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award is made jointly by the Southern Foodways Alliance and the Fertel Foundation, and honors an unsung hero or heroine who has made a great contribution to food.[4] The award was first made in 2000. The honoree receives a monetary award and a documentary film is made about them.[5]

Claiborne Award recipients:[6]


In the Atlantic Monthly, Corby Kummer described the SFA as: “this country’s most intellectually engaged (and probably most engaging) food society."[7]


  1. ^ "Southern Foodways Alliance: About Us". Southern Foodways Alliance. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Southern Foodways Alliance: History & Founders". Southern Foodways Alliance. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  3. ^ Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved May 8, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "The Ruth U. Fertel Foundation". Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award". Archived from the original on 19 December 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award". Southern Foodways Alliance: University, Mississippi. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  7. ^ Kummer, Corby (1 Oct 2005). "Sweet Home Louisiana". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved 14 November 2015.

External links[edit]