by Jeff Allen
The always entertaining Southern Foodways Alliance, a national organization dedicated to the exploration and preservation of Southern eats, rolled into town for its annual "field trip", which includes a variety of lectures, dinners, tours, and otherwise raucous fun. I spent last evening hosting a table of registrants at FIG, along with SFA member and cook book author Matt Lee of Lee Bros. Boiled Peanut fame. Mike Lata put out an impressive spread and the word from John T Edge, the director of the SFA, heaped much praise on Mickey Baskt and Charleston Grill for their efforts last night.
I ate a dish at FIG that I've never tried before, a big chunk of pork shoulder that had been braised until almost falling apart, then crusted with herbs and seared until crispy and golden brown -- definitely something to check out. Everyone else raved about their dinners as well...
I encourage anyone interested in Southern food to join the SFA. They pull in a great bunch of people to their events and do some seriously good work, like their recent effort recording the oral histories out at Bowen's Island. The annual symposiums held at SFA headquarters in Oxford, Mississippi are the stuff of legend.