Friday, April 25, 2008

Southern Foodways' Chicago oral histories

Posted By on 04.25.08 at 09:57 AM

Southern Foodways Alliance oral historian Amy Evans was in town this month doing fieldwork in preparation for Camp Chicago: An Up South Expedition, an event to be held May 23-25. It's an exploration of the connection between the foods of the city and the south, but no dry, academic exercise. It's going to include a tamale tour with Peter Engler, bourbon drinking with Chuck Cowdery, soul food at Edna's with the Trib's Donna Pierce, a south-side barbecue tour, a show at the Hideout, dinner at West Town Tavern with Edna Stewart, and more. Anyone with a passing interest in Chicago soul food (or the mother-in-law) will recognize some of the subjects Evans collected material from while she was here: they include Stewart, James Lemons of Lem's, Barbara Ann Bracy of Barbara Ann's BBQ, Izola White of Izola's, and John Pawlikowski of Fat Johnnie's. But if you've ever read her work in the SFA's Oral Histories Project archive--colorful in-depth discussions with Kentucky ham makers, New Orleans bartenders, Birmingham Greeks, Western Tennessee whole hog smokers, and more--you know she's going to bring plenty to the table. She's planning to post the transcripts on the SFA's site before the 23rd, but in the meantime, there's a beautifully shot flickr set from her visit.

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