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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.

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.
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Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Magical, Meandering Life of Eugene Walter

5/30/2019
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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:...

Duration:00:25:37

When Menus Talk

5/23/2019
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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 They are collectors' items and rich historical documents.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...

Duration:00:20:43

Cooking Up Social Change with Julia Turshen

5/16/2019
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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.

Duration:00:18:36

Catering: Behind the Pipe and Drape

5/9/2019
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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.

Duration:00:23:25

JoAnn Clevenger: New Orleans’ Uptown Girl Scout

5/2/2019
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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.

Duration:00:25:05

Spring Season Trailer

4/22/2019
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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.

Duration:00:03:56

A Table for All?

2/21/2019
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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.

Duration:00:19:18

Pop-Up Identity

2/21/2019
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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...

Duration:00:20:41

Home-Cooked Expectations

2/21/2019
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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...

Duration:00:23:58

Bottled Myth

2/21/2019
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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.

Duration:00:21:08

A New Recipe for Charlotte

2/21/2019
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Charlotte, North Carolina, has long been a banking town. These days, its dining scene is booming as well. As the city works to rebrand itself as a destination for food and drink, it has to choose which stories to tell in order to sell the place. In highlighting local, chef-driven restaurants, what is gained...and what's lost? Irina Zhorov reported and produced this episode.

Duration:00:23:01

Y'all Have Chilaquiles?

12/20/2018
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With its vibrant take on Mexican breakfast, Con Huevos restaurant is bringing Louisville, Kentucky, brand-new answers to the question of what to eat for breakfast. Answers like tortas, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, and poached eggs with chipotle gravy. Con Huevos, which opened in 2015, has quickly become one of the most popular breakfast spots in Louisville. On this episode of Gravy, reporter-producer Parker Hobson bellies up to the counter to find out why, to meet the Mexican-Americans...

Duration:00:25:41

Smoking on the South Side

12/6/2018
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Barbecue purists from the Carolinas to Texas might balk at the notion that Chicago, Illinois, has a barbecue tradition all its own. But owing to the Great Migration, and to a special piece of equipment called the aquarium smoker, reporter-producer Ambriehl Crutchfield finds that Chicago barbecue has evolved into a style unto itself.

Duration:00:16:24

Vinegar & Char

11/15/2018
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Vinegar & Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance, edited by poet Sandra Beasley, is SFA's latest book, available now from University of Georgia Press. In this special episode, you'll hear half a dozen of the poems in the collection, read by their authors. This is just a taste of the fifty-plus poems collected in the volume. Find the collection wherever you buy books.

Duration:00:15:33

Visible Yam

11/1/2018
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“For me, the hallmark of food in literature, raised to the level of art, is food interacting with character. Food as character. Food doing stuff. Food being stuff. Just as it happens with our flesh and blood, our mouths and our bellies and our memories. The best writers, the better writers, know that food is identity. Food is alive. Food is us.” Randall Kenan first delivered this talk at the 2018 Southern Foodways Symposium on food and literature in Oxford, Mississippi. A professor of...

Duration:00:18:31

The Swamp Witches

10/18/2018
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The Swamp Witches, as this group of friends call themselves, have been duck hunting together for nearly 20 years. Men are often surprised to stumble upon a half-dozen women—not in the company of fathers or husbands or brothers—out hunting. In this episode of Gravy, reporter-producer Dana Bialek goes hunting with the Swamp Witches and explores the rise in women hunters, how hunter recruitment is connected to the conservation of waterfowl habitat, and what it means to celebrate hunted game...

Duration:00:27:17

Comfort Food

8/9/2018
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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.

Duration:00:22:57

Agave Diplomacy

7/26/2018
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Bars mean different things to different people. For some, they are places to find community and discover new ingredients and flavors. They can serve as a gateway for cultural understanding. A group of bar operators in Houston, Texas, use their establishments as vehicles to foster conversation and educate their guests about our neighbors to the south in Mexico. Sean Beck, Bobby Heugel, and Alba Huerta use agave spirits to bridge gaps in divided times. Producer Shanna Farrell explores how...

Duration:00:23:32

What Is Latino Enough?

7/12/2018
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Mine is a slightly funky ancestry: a Colombian mother, a Cuban father, a combination that leads many Latinos to say, “¡Que mezcla tan rara!” But even in saying the phrase myself, it’s clear that neither tongue works comfortably for me. My Spanish is passable, sure, but it is also glaringly self-conscious, mainly because it is a first language that began to fade during a boyhood in the South, despite my parents’ best efforts to preserve it. The fact that it evolved from a first language to a...

Duration:00:29:56

Catfish Dream

6/28/2018
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When he was shut out of the industry during the 1980s catfish boom, Scott turned 160 acres of arable farmland into catfish ponds and built a processing plant of concrete and stainless steel atop the bones of an old tractor shed. In doing so, he marched into history. Scott used food as a weapon and a megaphone: feeding civil rights workers, employing dozens of his friends and neighbors, joining a class action suit against the federal government, and providing an example of perseverance for...

Duration:00:26:48