So for those of us who didn't register, at least we can know what those in the know will know at the end of the conference. Here's the agenda:
For much of our region’s history, we’ve understood the South to be a land of Native American, West African, and Western European peoples. Over the course of this long weekend, we’ll stage talks, dinners, and performances that complicate that prevailing concept.
Linkages between Cuban and Southern cookery will get their due. And the concept of grounded globalism gets a vetting.
We will explore the influence of new arrivals, like Vietnamese crawfish cooks who work in the Cajun tradition. We will dig deeper into the stories of tamale makers who, since the early years of the 20th century, have rolled and tied one of the totemic foods of the Mississippi Delta.
Curious eaters will encounter barbacoa de cabeza, catfish bao, skillet-fried kibbe, and five spice-boiled peanuts. Curious drinkers will sample bourbon-spiked horchata and lemongrass-infused beer.
But we won’t overlook the import of early immigrants. African botanical, intellectual, and idiomatic gifts to the Americas will be honored by way of lectures on rice. And on Sunday morning we’ll stage two dramatic homages to African and African American street food vendors.
These events provide opportunities for thinkers, writers, cooks, and eaters to come to a better understanding of Southern culture and Southern cookery. Lectures and performances, staged on the University of Mississippi campus, as well as in Oxford, at the Lyric Theatre and the Powerhouse, are amplified by informal lunches and dinners, served in and around the town.
As a taste of what are missing and a hint of what we can expect in future years, click here for a clip of SFA superstar (supperstar?) and frequent spokesman John T. Edge talking on ABC's Nightline about what Southern food, and especially BBQ, is all about. I'll admit I'm so jealous I can barely type right now.