Southern Foodways Alliance is a cool organization based at the University of Mississippi that, in its own words, "documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South" (you can read the entire, impressive values statement on the website). The Alliance publishes writing, produces documentaries, holds symposiums, collects oral histories, and does other important and interesting things around Southern food and cooking, and they're coming for a few Bay Area events in the next week.
When: Thursday, Aug. 15, 5-8 p.m.
Where: Heath San Francisco, 2900 18th (at Alabama), 361-5552
The rundown: Just before its Street Food Festival this weekend, La Cocina has teamed up with Southern Foodways for a reception at Heath's Mission showroom. The party will feature a documentary on Tennessee barbecue pitmaster Helen Turner as well as the unveiling of Heath's new Southern at the Table Marketplace, which will sell food from small businesses in the South including Jack Rudy, Farmer's Daughter, Shotwell Candy Company, Anson Mills, Alabama Biscuit Company, and Virginia Willis My Southern Pantry Heirloom Grits. Twenty percent of sales on Thursday will go to La Cocina, and naturally, there will be plenty of food on hand. Here's the menu:
Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q (from Birmingham, AL)
Grilled oysters with BBQ mignonette
Tanya Holland, Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side BBQ (from Oakland)
Bacon, scallion and cheddar biscuits
Smoked chicken gumbo & shrimp gumbo
Smoked brisket sliders
Fernay McPherson, Minnie Bell's Soul Movement (from SF)
Red bean & rice salad
Smoked molasses BBQ chicken wings
When: Sunday, Aug. 18, 4-8 p.m.
Where: Whetstone Cellars, 1075 Atlas Peak Rd., Napa, (707) 254-0600
Cost: $125, tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets
The rundown: This "celebration of Southern barbeculture" in Napa is basically a big pig roast party, with three chefs (Nick Pihakis from Jim 'N Nicks Bar-B-Q; Samuel Jones from Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC; and Rodney Scott from The Scott's Bar-B-Q in Hemingway, SC) preparing pit-cooked swine from the Fatback Pig Project. Accompanying the pork will be slaw, beans, potato salad, dessert, and other sides from chefs like Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood), Daniel Patterson (Coi), Stephen Barber (Homestead in St. Helena), and Drew Robinson (Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q). There will also be beer and wine, of course, plus the unveiling of a new barbecue photo exhibit featuring shots like the one above and live music from The Novelists.