Edge interview, AJC

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Oxford Canteen in Garden & Gun 

Down an open-air passage, one block off the Square, Oxford Canteen claims a hidden cleft between masonry storefronts in Mississippi’s literary citadel. Framed by two-story redbrick walls, illumined by a crisscross canopy of light bulb strings, the jerry-rigged alley space makes the place. It helps, of course, that the owner, Corbin Evans, cooks food that’s frank and fresh and compelling, from breakfast tacos stippled with salsa verde to peanut-sauce-bathed noodles tossed with chicken and scallions.

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Penguin to Publish the Potlikker Papers! 

It's official.

The Penguin Press will publish THE POTLIKKER PAPERS, a personal history of Southern food. My newest book, the one I've been jonesing to write, tells the modern story of the region; reveals how the South came to be at the forefront of American culinary culture; and investigates how issues of race and ethnicity have shaped the place, its people, and its food.

I look forward to working with my Penguin editor Ginny Smith Younce. And I thank my agent David Black for making it happen.


The Lunch Counter in Garden & Gun 

Fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, I took a look at the past and promise of the most democratic restaurant space of all:

Lunch counters, with starburst stainless backslashes, vinyl spinner stools, and long tables of elbow-polished linoleum, are architectural and cultural icons. Everyman spaces, where lawyers and laborers sit side by side to savor burgers and fries and sweaty tumblers of tea, they were conceived as sites of workaday communion. At their best, lunch counters reflect our egalitarian ideals. The problem is, for much of the South’s history, they were not at their best. Read more...


Deep South Vadouvan in the Oxford American

"Knife and Fork" (2008) by Meryl Truett

I've gotten more positive reactions to this piece -- on commonalities in Indian and Southern cultures -- than any I've written in recent memory:

“Is that pakora?” I asked the clerk at the counter, trying to affect a deep knowledge of Indian cookery, in which fritters of eggplants, potatoes, and seemingly every other vegetable under the subcontinental sun are known by that name. “No, those are chicken nuggets,” the turban-wearing man said as he pivoted from the hot box to the cash register to sell a long haul driver a one-hitter bottle of 5-hour Energy. Read more..