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Nov 22, 2013 10:43 AM

Southern Food - John Egerton

Sad, sad day. This hurts my heart.

John Egerton has died author of 'Southern Food: at Home, on the Road, in History' and 'Side Dishes', founding member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, historian and writer of one of the finest books on the civil rights movement in the period _before_ the 1954 Supreme Court decision, Speak Now Against the Day. He understood that food _is_ lived history everywhere, but especially in the south.

If you don't recognize him it's likely because he was not a celebrity. If you do, well, I guess your heart hurts too.

He was a writer of clear, powerful words. He loved all of the south, knew and faced our failings with clarity, celebrated our changes and dug into our past foodways to search out our future.

I met and corresponded with him about politics and food and he wrote a dedication in my copy of Southern Food:

'to Karen - herewith a little corn, a hog or two - and the rest is history'

please post here if you knew of him.
Please read these tributes, and seek out his work. you will be moved and changed for the better.

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  1. thank you for your post, this is very sad news.

    1. I was lucky enough to have met him and attended a seminar he led. Yes, my heart hurts, too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ChefJune

        can you tell us about that? where, when and what did you take away?

      2. Lovely post, Kariin. Very sad news indeed. He was such a nice man and a great writer. I met him, briefly, at the Capitol Grille in Nashville.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Boudleaux

          thanks, please share about that.

          1. re: kariin

            It was just a brief encounter. I think he visited the kitchen of the Capitol Grille somewhat frequently. I was walking into the restaurant and he was walking out. I recognized him and said hello. I told him I very much enjoyed his writing. He was very gracious.

        2. New post from Southern Foodways to add to those listed in the OP.

          1. Thank you for your post. John Egerton's passing is very sad news.

            I enjoyed hearing Mr. Egerton speak at the UNC Library, 13 or 14 years ago, and we discussed chocolate gravy; he signed my copy of Southern Food with this: "To Gina, who grew up on chocolate gravy."