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Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) Field Trip

The Southern Foodways Alliance documents and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the American South.

This is achieved through symposia on food culture, production of documentary films, publishing, and through oral histories that preserve, promote, and chronicle regional culinary standard bearers. This includes everyone from white tablecloth chefs and fried chicken cooks to barbecue pitmasters and peanut farmers.

Lewis Shuckman and guests The SFA held their 10th Annual Field Trip in Louisville, Kentucky, focusing on the River City’s barroom culture. During their July 2008 stay, attendees visited a variety of locations, including The Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel, 610 Magnolia, Bourbon Barrel Foods, Flabby’s, the Pendennis Club, Proof on Main and Lilly’s. In addition, Shuckman’s Fish Co. & Smokery and Muth’s Candies were among several experiential learning sites during the field trip.

Bartender Joy Perrine, photo courtesy of Amy Evans SFA Oral Historian Amy Evans visited Louisville in January to conduct interviews, shoot portraits, and gather historic photographs to document Louisville’s legendary bar culture. In this Louisville Life feature, she tells us more about the organization, their field trip, and their oral history initiative. The Louisville Barroom Culture Oral History Project was funded by the Greater Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Ms. Evans says some of her favorite local food and drinkways are Kentucky country ham, Benedictine spread, and Old Fashioned cocktails.

In this segment we also talk to Dr. James C. Klotter, the State Historian of Kentucky, who was a guest lecturer during the SFA’s field trip. Dr. Klotter sheds more light on Louisville’s distinctive flavor in foodways and drinkways.

A native Kentuckian, Dr. Klotter received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. He is a past executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society and is a professor of history at Georgetown College.

Bourbon Barrel Foods products The SFA is a member-supported organization of more than 800 people. Chefs and academics, writers and eaters: all are active participants. Louisville has a large membership base.

The SFA’s 2008 field trip was not their first visit to the Commonwealth. Read about their Kentucky Bacon Oral History Project.

Learn more about Proof on Main here. And, watch our Louisville Life Etcetera on local food and drink.

Program 308
Louisville Life features the Southern Foodways Alliance, the Weber Group's imaginative theme-park creations, the history of the oldest Masonic home in North America, Elvis and more. (#308)