Southern Foodways Alliance Fundraiser at Zingerman's Roadhouse
Southern Foodways appears on Fridays as part of our collaboration with the Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization based in Oxford, Mississippi, that "documents and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the American South." Dig in!
Interested in Southern food but find yourself geographically challenged and living above the Mason Dixon line? Never fear—Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan is here! Zingerman's is devoted to finding (and making) the best foods in the world, and they're kind enough to ship their treasures right to your door. The Roadhouse (one of several jewels in the Zingerman crown, including the Bakehouse, the Creamery, the Delicatessen, and the Coffee Company) specializes in really good American food—their description, not mine! Alex Young, the chef at the Roadhouse, wowed us all last October during the SFA symposium with one of best oyster stews we've ever tasted.
The Roadhouse is hosting a fundraiser for the Southern Foodways Alliance featuring a meal from the Mississippi Delta. We're going to cover a lot of ground for this fundraiser. Marcie Cohen Ferris, special guest and SFA board president, is going to address the southern Jewish experience. She was born and raised in the south, and her two experiences of being both Jewish and southern have shaped her career. She worked with chef Alex to create a menu reflecting Jewish foods from the Mississippi Delta.
The Mississippi Delta is the heart of the Deep South, and Jewish settlers became a part of this rich culture in the mid to late nineteenth century. The rich delta soil, enriched by the seasonal floods of the Mississippi River, has fed the people of the Delta for thousands of years, beginning with American Indians who first populated these worlds. The catfish, barbecue, even matzoh balls and brisket, belong to the Delta—a place enlivened by those who call it home—white and black, Jew and Gentile, Hispanic, Asian, European, and Middle Eastern.
In addition to having Marcie Ferris talk about southern Jews, and southern Jewish food, her husband William Ferris, a celebrated southern scholar, is going to talk about the blues. We'll also have local blues musician Alex Johnson with us for a short performance.
All these guests are coming together to support a larger cause—the Southern Foodways Alliance. The SFA "documents and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the American South". The SFA is Kevin Bacon in a food-centric "degrees of separation" game. Many of the favorites on the Roadhouse menu are connected in some way to the valuable work that the SFA does to preserve and protect southern foodways. Eastern North Carolina pulled pork barbecue, buttermilk fried chicken from Mason, Tennessee, Anson Mills grits are just a few of the foods that come to the Roadhouse menu by way of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
The menu is online (PDF), so feel free to check it out. We're taking reservations now, so call us at 734-663-3663.
Zingerman's Roadhouse SFA Fundraising Dinner
About the author: Melissa Booth Hall, a Southern Foodways Alliance staff member, grew up in Middlesboro, Kentucky, just a few hundred yards from the Cumberland Gap. Her culinary education began at age four, when she was allowed to stand on a chair in front of a gas stove and make fried pies. She has Centre College and Chase College of Law to thank for her everything-else education. A lawyer by training, she recently figured out a way to turn her passion for food into a paying job.