Before Brooklyn brunched on buttermilk biscuits and grits guest starred on West Coast menus, there was John Egerton. He died last November, but his legacy—of celebrating and preserving the diversity and complexity of Southern food—is everywhere, starting with the chefs he mentored, the farmers he championed, and the writers he influenced.
John’s book Southern Food: At Home, On The Road, In History will remain a permanent fixture in our libraries. It reveals the beautiful and brutal stories of how we came to know and love cornbread, country ham, and collard greens, while sparking conversations about race and class.
Part encyclopedia, part love letter, and part social criticism, Southern Food’s appeal is as much its in-depth accounts as it is its honesty. While much has been written of Southern food—good, bad, self-congratulatory, and nasty—Egerton’s masterpiece is the resource we turn to again and again in our work to bring Southern food that honors tradition but reflects the present to your tables.
John used his writing to set a table where all could gather over love for Southern food, and to that we raise high our glasses of sweet tea.
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