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.
Catering: Behind the Pipe and Drape
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.
JoAnn Clevenger: New Orleans’ Uptown Girl Scout
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.
Spring Season Trailer
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.
A Table for All?
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.