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Rank #19 in Food category

Arts
Society & Culture
Food

Gravy

Updated 7 days ago

Rank #19 in Food category

Arts
Society & Culture
Food
Read more

Gravy shares stories of the changing American South through the foods we eat. Gravy showcases a South that is constantly evolving, accommodating new immigrants, adopting new traditions, and lovingly maintaining old ones. It uses food as a means to explore all of that, to dig into lesser-known corners of the region, complicate stereotypes, document new dynamics, and give voice to the unsung folk who grow, cook, and serve our daily meals.

Read more

Gravy shares stories of the changing American South through the foods we eat. Gravy showcases a South that is constantly evolving, accommodating new immigrants, adopting new traditions, and lovingly maintaining old ones. It uses food as a means to explore all of that, to dig into lesser-known corners of the region, complicate stereotypes, document new dynamics, and give voice to the unsung folk who grow, cook, and serve our daily meals.

iTunes Ratings

421 Ratings
Average Ratings
357
27
11
10
16

Great Podcast

By localfoodlover - Oct 26 2018
Read more
I especially like the episode about the women who duck hunt!

Fantastic storytelling

By Evbooooo - Aug 21 2018
Read more
Beautiful representation of southern food and the culture that is woven through it

iTunes Ratings

421 Ratings
Average Ratings
357
27
11
10
16

Great Podcast

By localfoodlover - Oct 26 2018
Read more
I especially like the episode about the women who duck hunt!

Fantastic storytelling

By Evbooooo - Aug 21 2018
Read more
Beautiful representation of southern food and the culture that is woven through it
Cover image of Gravy

Gravy

Latest release on Dec 18, 2019

Read more

Gravy shares stories of the changing American South through the foods we eat. Gravy showcases a South that is constantly evolving, accommodating new immigrants, adopting new traditions, and lovingly maintaining old ones. It uses food as a means to explore all of that, to dig into lesser-known corners of the region, complicate stereotypes, document new dynamics, and give voice to the unsung folk who grow, cook, and serve our daily meals.

Rank #1: Booze Legends

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Striking up a conversation with a stranger in a bar is accepted, even expected. And storytelling is a big part of that engagement.

But when it comes to origin stories behind cocktails, Wayne Curtis has noticed a shift in focus over the last ten years. Hand in hand with the recent cocktail revival and the increased professionalization of bartending, an obsession with fact over fancy has emerged. “I started hearing a phrase in bars that I don’t think had ever been uttered before inside a bar: ‘What’s your source on that?’”

In this episode of Gravy, Wayne Curtis reflects on what’s lost and gained as cocktail and spirits writers—as well as curious consumers—seek out well-supported history over well-spun stories behind the bar.

Oct 05 2017

26mins

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Rank #2: What Is White Trash Cooking? (Gravy ep. 47)

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In 1986, Ernest Matthew Mickler of Palm Valley, Florida, published White Trash Cooking. It was a loving ode to his people—rural, white, working-class and poor Southerners—and their recipes: tuna casserole, baked possum, white-bread tomato sandwiches.

Mickler died of AIDS in 1988 at age 48, but White Trash Cooking continues to sell. In this episode, Sarah Reynolds explores its lasting influence. 

Oct 06 2016

27mins

Play

Rank #3: The Mason Jar Pickle (Gravy Ep. 24)

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They’re everywhere: in your fancy cocktail bar and your down home country restaurant. In the hands of farmer’s market shoppers and 7-Eleven Slurpee slurpers. How did mason jars get to be so ubiquitous? How did they come to be embraced by the DIY canner and the hipster chicken & waffles restaurant? And what does their omnipresence tell us about the cultural cache of the South?

In this episode of Gravy, Gabe Bullard takes on the cultural politics of the Mason Jar: how it became hip, and what that hipness means.

Oct 22 2015

25mins

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Rank #4: The New Old Country Store (Gravy Ep. 36)

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Every week, Cracker Barrel provides 4 million Americans with a studied version of down-home Southern food and hospitality. The dumplins and the chicken-fried steak. The country knick-knacks and the rocking chairs. What are we really consuming, culturally, along with the hashbrown casserole? In this episode of Gravy, Besha Rodell ponders the restaurant chain, the trickiness of Southern nostalgia, and how all of that has ended up informing her understanding of family.

Apr 21 2016

26mins

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Rank #5: Separation of Church and Coffee

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How many of us would be lost without our regular coffeeshop? In the age of wifi and telecommuting, cafes have become more than purveyors of lattes and cappuccinos. They’re the office, the community hub, and the conference room as much as the provider of our caffeine fix. And now—are they also a surrogate for the church?

In cities and towns across the South, an increasing number of the folks offering up latte art and high-end pourovers are devout Christians. Is it an unlikely and subtle tool for proselytizing? Or a more nuanced expression of 21st Century Christianity, intertwined with social events and professional endeavors. We sent writer T Cooper to explore the coffee scene in the famously bible-minded city of Knoxville, Tennessee, to find out.

Jun 29 2017

28mins

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Rank #6: Comfort Food

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This week, we bring you Gravy's first foray into fiction. It's a story of macaroni and cheese and maternal love, set in the fictional Canard County, Kentucky. 

Robert Gipe is the author of the novels Trampoline and Weedeater. He teaches and coordinates the Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community College. 

This is the last episode of our summer season. After a short hiatus, Gravy will return with new episodes in the fall. 

Aug 09 2018

22mins

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Rank #7: The Southern Story of Coca Cola (Gravy Ep. 51)

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You might think of Coca Cola as an iconic American brand… and you’d be right. But: it was born in the South. How did Coke’s Atlanta birthplace shape what the soft drink became? And how has Coke shaped the South? It’s a story that includes many surprising twists turns, from Civil War wounds to temperance movements, racist fears to philanthropy, small town soda jerks to Peruvian coca farmers.

Dec 01 2016

25mins

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Rank #8: The Chili Powder Cheat: A Tex-Mex Story

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Texas: the land of BBQ, breakfast tacos…and of course Tex-Mex. But what if we told you Tex-Mex wasn’t created by a Texan or Mexican, but a German immigrant? On this episode of Gravy, we tell you the story of William Gebhardt, the inventor of chili powder.

Gebhardt loved the chili con carne of the streetfood sold in the plazas of San Antonio. He adapted it back at his café, but quickly ran into a problem: chili peppers proved expensive and difficult to import. So he devised a solution. Gebhardt dried the peppers in an oven and used a hand-cranked coffee mill to grind them into a dust. He then mixed together the ground peppers with cumin seeds, oregano and some black pepper until he reached the right flavor. The end result? Gebhardt’s Eagle Chili Powder.

As it spread, chili powder came to define the taste of Tex-Mex. Chili, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos are all dishes built on the spice. And today, Tex-Mex dominates; traditional cuisines of the region are less popular.

Gebhardt’s history is a typical inventor tale. But he essentially took what poor Mexican-American streetfood vendors made, changed it and sold it for wider consumption. And boy, did Gebhardt market the heck out of it. Gebhardt’s slogan was “that real Mexican tang.”

Ryan Katz looks into the issue of chili powder’s authenticity.

Mar 22 2017

29mins

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Rank #9: Ironies and Onion Rings: The Layered Story of the Vidalia Onion

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If you know and love the Vidalia onion—an onion sweet enough, its fans say, to eat like an apple—you likely also know it as a product of Georgia, as proudly claimed as the peach. But the story of the Vidalia’s popularity is far more complex than just one of a local onion made good. In this episode of Gravy: an onion’s success story, born of clever marketing, government wrangling, technological innovation and global trade.

Jan 26 2017

28mins

Play

Rank #10: Mahalia Jackson's Glori-Fried Chicken

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In addition to her work as an international recording artist and civil rights activist, the Queen of Gospel entered the restaurant business in the late 1960s with Mahalia Jackson’s Glori-fried Chicken. The fast food chain was more than a brand extension for the star; it was the first African American-owned franchise in the South. Producer Betsy Shepherd tells how Mahalia used the gospel bird to push for economic empowerment in the black community.

Sep 05 2019

24mins

Play

Rank #11: Southern Food Gets Christopher Columbus-ed

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So much of our national culture—food, music, dance—has come from the South. Where would American dance be without Jane Brown? Where would American music be without Robert Johnson, the Delta blues player? Where would American modern food be now if you didn't have grits and fried chicken and biscuits on every menu around the country, from fine dining restaurants to fast food establishments?

But what happens if these cultural expressions become so generic as to no longer be associated with anywhere in particular?

Mar 09 2017

33mins

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Rank #12: Wanting the Bourbon You Can’t Have (Gravy Ep. 35)

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When it comes to a certain kind of bourbon, it doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have—you can’t get it unless you’re exceptionally lucky or you’re willing to break the law. In this episode of Gravy, we teamed up with the podcast Criminal to bring you the story of the cult of popularity surrounding Pappy Van Winkle… and how it’s driven some to crime. The Pappy frenzy has law enforcement, bartenders, and even the Van Winkle family themselves wringing their hands.

Apr 07 2016

26mins

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Rank #13: Going Whole Hog in Israel

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When you think about Israeli cuisine there are a few things that may come to mind; hummus or shawarma, shakshuka and baba ganoush. What probably doesn’t come to mind is pork. After all, Israel is the self-proclaimed home for Jews in the Middle East. A large portion of the population follows kosher law, which outlaws pork, shellfish, and mixtures of meat and milk.

On this episode of Gravy we go global to explore the spread of a prolific Southern food to an unlikely place: pork barbecue in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. We’ll take a look at the state of pork back home as well, learning about the relationship between Jews and pork in the American South, and how the nature of trayf barbecue is changing below the Mason Dixon line, as well as abroad.

Jun 15 2017

28mins

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Rank #14: Hostesses of the Movement

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This week’s Gravy podcast looks at hostesses of the Civil Rights Movement. They were school teachers, church ladies and club women who were not direct in their assault of segregation, but nonetheless played a vital role in the change that was to come.

While others hit the streets, marching, singing protest songs, and risking arrest, these women made their contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in their kitchens. They opened their homes to the architects and strategists of the Movement, providing home cooked meals, places to rest, and safe rooms for plotting attacks on Jim Crow.

Rosalind Bentley is a longtime journalist, but she didn’t know how a very special aunt became one of those stealth contributors. She traveled to Albany, Georgia to learn more about how that aunt became one of the Hostesses of the Movement.

Aug 10 2017

39mins

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Rank #15: Reclaiming Native Ground

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For centuries, the bayous and lowlands of coastal Louisiana have fed the Point-au-Chien Indian Tribe. From cattle to crabs, oranges to okra, the fertile landscape provided almost everything they needed to eat. But now, the land is disappearing,  and the Point-au-Chien are joining together with other tribes to figure out what to do next. In this episode of Gravy, Barry Yeoman reports on the rich food traditions of tribes in South Louisiana, the threat to them posed by coastal land loss, and intertribal efforts towards solutions.

Feb 09 2017

29mins

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Rank #16: A Table for All?

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At the FARM Café in Boone, North Carolina, diners can pay $10 for meal—or they can pay nothing. The restaurant, one of dozens of its kind, follows a pay-what-you-can model. Guests can dine regardless of their finances. It's an attempt to address food insecurity.

While some have dismissed these restaurants as limited-scale, feel-good attempts to address serious hunger issues, the cafés do foster a sense of community. 

Irina Zhorov reported and produced this episode. 

Feb 21 2019

19mins

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Rank #17: Kimchi and Cornbread

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When you sit down for a meat and three in Montgomery, Alabama, say at the Davis Café, you choose from the menu and you get one plate all for you, but at a Korean table in Montgomery – or anywhere – your plates are all shared. And there are many of them. Meat and six or seven, you might say.

Since the Hyundai plant opened in Montgomery in 2005, Koreans have been moving there, some for work at the plant, but others because they see the growing community of Koreans and Korean businesses in this small capital city in Alabama. So, a small southern K-Town is cropping up in the strip malls along the Eastern Boulevard.

Reporter and producer, Sarah Reynolds travels to Montgomery to eat at several Korean tables. And Chef Edward Lee joins her – a Korean–American chef who made his name in Louisville, Kentucky. He borrows from Korean and American Southern cuisines to make collards and kimchi, grits and galbi. What’s happening in Montgomery reveals a shared hospitality and love of food between these two cultures.

Sep 21 2017

33mins

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Rank #18: An Apple Quest (Gravy Ep. 43)

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You’ve heard of explorers discovering new lands, but new… fruits? Fruit exploring has a long and abundant history, including in the American South, a region once rich in apple orchards. In this episode of Gravy, a couple of young fruit explorers scour the South on a hunt for the perfect cider apple. Reporter Mary Helen Montgomery takes us on their search, and along the way delves into the little-known story of apple-growing and cider-making in this region.

Aug 11 2016

26mins

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Rank #19: The Leftovers In A Coal Miner's Lunchbox (Gravy Ep. 44)

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For decades, Ronnie Johnson woke up in the late afternoon, and fixed a lunch to bring with him 2,000 feet underground, as he worked all night in a coal mine. In this episode of Gravy, his son, Caleb, tells the story of the evolution of his father’s lunchtime ritual, as the mining industry in Alabama has changed.

Caleb tells a personal narrative of his dad’s lunches and the logistics of eating a meal so far underground, but it’s also one of a family reckoning with a changing economy, and the story of coal’s impact on Alabama.

Aug 25 2016

31mins

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Rank #20: Hungry in the Mississippi Delta

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While civil rights activists worked in Mississippi in 1964, they encountered a poverty they could never have imagined. People were hungry, starving to death from malnutrition, particularly in the Mississippi Delta.

Doctors and medical professionals, including Dr. Jack Geiger, joined together to form the Medical Committee for Human Rights. Geiger founded a community health center in Mound Bayou, Mississippi where he and his medical team wrote prescriptions for food, started a farm cooperative, taught nutrition classes, and ultimately reduced hunger in the region.

This episode was produced by Sarah Reynolds.

Mar 08 2018

37mins

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Harassment and the Service Economy

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In restaurants, economics and sexual harassment are intimately entwined. Restaurants, along with hotels, have the highest rates of sexual harassment of any industry. For a tipped worker, in particular, how and how much one gets paid can determine how empowered one feels to respond against harassment. We delve into why restaurants pay servers just $2.13 per hour and how that affects how they deal with bad clients. And we look at why money might not be the only culprit when it comes to harassment.   

Dec 18 2019

20mins

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Spinning Carolina Gold Rice into Sake

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For much of the 19th Century, Carolina Gold rice was a favorite of American rice growers, before disappearing in the early 20th Century. Brought back to life in the 1980s, it again occupies a much beloved, if niche, place in the South's canon of heirloom ingredients. Now, Hagood Coxe, a daughter of a Carolina Gold farmer, wants to make sake, a Japanese rice wine, out of the grain.

Dec 11 2019

20mins

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Are prison diets punitive? A report from behind bars

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Is prison food causing problems for public health? Gravy investigates.

Dec 04 2019

23mins

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Access Denied: Cooperative Extension and Tribal Lands

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Cooperative extension is a century-old government program that places agricultural agents in counties to educate and work with farmers. But for years, agents failed to show up for Native American communities.

Nov 27 2019

23mins

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Preserving Community Canneries

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Community canneries–facilities, often subsidized by local government, where people can in bulk–are closing. With groceries easily available even in rural communities, there's less need. And with busy schedules, people have less time for the labor-intensive process of canning their own food. But people who continue to use the still-operational canneries, like Arnold and Donna Lafon, find community and pride in the practice.

Nov 20 2019

19mins

Play

Mahalia Jackson's Glori-Fried Chicken

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In addition to her work as an international recording artist and civil rights activist, the Queen of Gospel entered the restaurant business in the late 1960s with Mahalia Jackson’s Glori-fried Chicken. The fast food chain was more than a brand extension for the star; it was the first African American-owned franchise in the South. Producer Betsy Shepherd tells how Mahalia used the gospel bird to push for economic empowerment in the black community.

Sep 05 2019

24mins

Play

Where Mexico Meets Arkansas

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Menudo, sopes, gorditas, tortas, gringas, huaraches, mangonadas, and alambres are just some of the specialty dishes of De Queen, Arkansas, population 6,600. A majority of the town's residents are Latino. Many of them migrated from Mexico to southwest Arkansas for jobs in poultry processing plants. Producer Betsy Shepherd attends Fiesta Fest, the town’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, to sample local food and music and to hear stories from the men and women who make it.

Aug 29 2019

23mins

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A Taste of Dollywood

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Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s Appalachian-themed amusement park, draws millions of country fans and thrill seekers to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, every year. The tourist attraction features roller coasters, live music, folk art demonstrations, and a Dolly museum in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Recently, the park has started marketing itself as a culinary destination. Producer Betsy Shepherd goes on a Dollywood tasting tour to gain insight on her musical idol and experience Dolly’s vision of the mountain South.

Aug 22 2019

24mins

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Electric Tofu

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In the early 1970s, two hundred hippies from San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood resettled in rural Tennessee. They founded a vegetarian commune and agricultural operation called The Farm. With help from their neighbors and a psychedelic soundtrack from their house band, the back-to-landers got their social experiment off the ground and produced some of the first vegan cookbooks and commercial soy products in the United States.

The Farm outlived the Flower Power era to become a model of environmental sustainability and community farming that is still thriving nearly 50 years later. Producer Betsy Shepherd tells how tempeh, experimental rock, midwifery, and the antinuclear movement grew from a seed of West Coast counterculture planted in Southern soil. 

Aug 15 2019

26mins

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Biscuit Blues

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Delta blues found its voice and audience on the airwaves of KFFA’s King Biscuit Time, a daily broadcast out of Helena, Arkansas. Bluesmen like Sonny Boy Williamson and Robert Lockwood Jr., who would go on to become legends, interspersed their own songs with advertising jingles. King Biscuit Time, which launched in 1941, gave unprecedented exposure to African American musicians while selling everyday grocery staples like flour and cornmeal. And it's still on the air. Reporter-producer Betsy Shepherd travels to Helena to tell the story for Gravy. 

Aug 08 2019

24mins

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The Magical, Meandering Life of Eugene Walter

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Eugene Walter (1921–1998) of Mobile, Alabama was a novelist, a poet, a playwright, an actor, a costume designer, and a food writer, among myriad vocations and avocations. He had a deep love for the Mobile of his youth, which nurtured his creativity and informed much of his writing. He spent thirty years in Europe, acting in and translating films, hosting and carousing with artists, actors, and literati. Mobile called him home for the last chapter of his life. His surviving friends agree: Walter changed everyone he met. Twenty-one years after his death, producer Sara Brooke Curtis asks: Why don’t more people know about him? 

May 30 2019

25mins

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When Menus Talk

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What do restaurant menus have to say about the identity of a restaurant or the point of view of the chef? It turns out, menus are more nuanced and revealing than we might suspect. They reveal narratives that extend far beyond the bill of fare. They are collectors' items and rich historical documents. They are highly curated and sometimes distinctly engineered texts. They may impact the dining experience more than you think. Reporter Sara Brooke Curtis explores menus as text and menus as literature.

May 23 2019

20mins

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Cooking Up Social Change with Julia Turshen

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Can cookbooks be a vehicle for social change? What can or should cookbook writers offer readers beyond recipes? Writer and cookbook author Julia Turshen takes her roles very seriously. She crafts accessible, affordable recipes and coaches readers via social media. She uses her platform to build community, foster equity, honor identity, and pay homage to the cooks and writers who came before her. 

Sara Brooke Curtis reported and produced this story. 

May 16 2019

18mins

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Catering: Behind the Pipe and Drape

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Have you ever been to a wedding and wondered, how do hundreds of plates of food arrive at the right destinations at the right time—often without an on-site kitchen? This is high-concept cooking, done without a net. Cookbook authors Matt Lee and Ted Lee spent four years immersed in the catering industry and wrote a book about their experiences and revelations called Hotbox. In this episode, with the Lee Brothers as her guides, reporter-producer Sara Brooke Curtis steps behind the scenes.

May 09 2019

23mins

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JoAnn Clevenger: New Orleans’ Uptown Girl Scout

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JoAnn Clevenger is a hospitality archetype. She lives to serve and breathes life into every service encounter. For the past thirty-six years, she’s nurtured a haven for guests and staff at Upperline, her New Orleans restaurant. In an era where chef-driven, trend-surfing restaurants are the norm, how does an old-school institution thrive? Clevenger’s empathy and attitude are the keys to her own success. Reporter-producer Sara Brooke Curtis has the story. 

May 02 2019

25mins

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Spring Season Trailer

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The spring season of Gravy, featuring 5 episodes reported and produced by Sara Brooke Curtis, begins on May 2. 

With John T. Edge and Melissa Hall as your cohosts, you'll:

Sneak behind the pipe-and-drape with the Lee Brothers for a look at the catering industry. Monkey around Mobile with the ghost of Eugene Walter. Behold the quiet power of cookbooks with Julia Turshen. And more.

Available at southernfoodways.org and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Apr 22 2019

3mins

Play

A Table for All?

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At the FARM Café in Boone, North Carolina, diners can pay $10 for meal—or they can pay nothing. The restaurant, one of dozens of its kind, follows a pay-what-you-can model. Guests can dine regardless of their finances. It's an attempt to address food insecurity.

While some have dismissed these restaurants as limited-scale, feel-good attempts to address serious hunger issues, the cafés do foster a sense of community. 

Irina Zhorov reported and produced this episode. 

Feb 21 2019

19mins

Play

Pop-Up Identity

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Chefs stage pop-up dinners to tell stories, many of them focused on identity. Whether's it's to highlight African American chefs, develop a platform for Indian American chefs in the South, or focus on Appalachia's food history, the dinners weave identity into the courses. 

For chefs, pop-up dinners are opportunities to network and build camaraderie. For diners, they have the potential to educate. Ultimately, these events aim to shift identity narratives. 

This episode was reported and produced by Irina Zhorov. 

Feb 21 2019

20mins

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Home-Cooked Expectations

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In the United States, home cooked meals with the family are revered almost to the point of fetishization. Dinners are seen as moral imperatives for happy, healthy families. Women, in particular mothers, have been tasked with serving up meals rich with meaning.

Yet, as authors Sarah Bowen, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott write in Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won't Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It, many American women are not happy with their cooking lives. Due to economics and schedules, many mothers are not able to feed their families in the way they've been told they should, which leaves them feeling anxious and inadequate. 

Irina Zhorov reported and produced this episode. 

Feb 21 2019

23mins

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Bottled Myth

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Legal moonshine—funny as that sounds—has exploded in the South. Instead of on creek banks, it's now produced in gleaming distilleries. But it's the same old stuff: strong, unaged liquor. To sell it, the story is just as important as the hooch. Family-owned distilleries mine their histories to stand out in a market crowded by hillbilly nostalgia. 

Irina Zhorov reported and produced this episode. 

Feb 21 2019

21mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

421 Ratings
Average Ratings
357
27
11
10
16

Great Podcast

By localfoodlover - Oct 26 2018
Read more
I especially like the episode about the women who duck hunt!

Fantastic storytelling

By Evbooooo - Aug 21 2018
Read more
Beautiful representation of southern food and the culture that is woven through it