Celebrity Chef and Author Line-Up Announced for Literary/Culinary Mash-Up Welcome Dinner to Kick-Off the 2019 Delta Hot Tamale Festival on October 17th, 2019
Once again, Julia Reed has put together an outstanding line-up of chefs and authors for the 2019 Literary/Culinary Mash-Up Gala Welcome Dinner. The Greenville, MS native said "she is ecstatic about this year's line-up (which includes actress and photographer Jessica Lange) and the opportunity it provides to share the Mississippi Delta with the world." So far, this year's line up includes the following:
John Alexander, a painter and native of Beaumont, TX, has made his home in Manhattan and Amagansett, NY since the late 1970s. He has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and around the world. In 2007, a major retrospective of his work opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. His drawings and paintings reside in the permanent collections of institutions including: the Dallas Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as well as in many other distinguished public and private collections worldwide. His books include John Alexander: A Retrospective; One World, Two Artists: John Alexander and Walter Anderson; and Human/Nature, The Ridiculous and Sublime: Recent Works by John Alexander.
Hugh Balthrop is founder and creative director of Sweet Magnolia Gelato Co., based in Clarksdale, MS. A former art gallery owner in Washington, DC, he followed “the love of his life” to the Delta in 2000 and started making ice cream for family and friends. After attending a course in ice cream-making at Penn State and studying under a gelato master, he launched Sweet Magnolia, putting a Southern twist on traditional Italian techniques and using locally sourced ingredients, including Mississippi grass grazed milk and cream, honey, sorghum, pecans, eggs, blueberries, and pound cake. Sweet Magnolia Gelato is available in more than 100 retail locations across the South and bears the tagline “Created by us, inspired by y’all.”
Roy Blount, Jr. is an author and humorist, panelist on the hit National Public Radio show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! and columnist for Garden & Gun magazine. Blount’s books include Crackers, Roy Blount’s Book of Southern Humor, and Feet on the Street, Rambles Around New Orleans. His latest book, a collection of essays titled Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations was published by Farrar Straus in 2016.
William Dunlap, artist and writer, is a Mississippi native who now resides in McLean, VA and Coral Gables, FL. Dunlap’s work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Mississippi Museum of Art, and United States embassies throughout the world. Dunlap is also a noted curator, lecturer, and journalist who has contributed to many national magazines and books, including his own Dunlap, an overview of his work. His latest book, His first work of fiction, Short Mean Fiction, Words and Pictures, was published in April 2016. His most recent book, with Jane Livingston, isPappy Kitchens and the Saga of Red Eye the Roosterand was published in July 2019.
Cole Ellis was born and raised in Cleveland, Mississippi, where he is chef/owner of Delta Meat Marketand Bar Fontainein the brand new Cotton House Hotel.After graduating from the Culinary Institute of Charleston, he worked at a series of Charleston’s top restaurants, including the Hominy Grill and Magnolia’s. Before returning home in 2013 to start his market, restaurant, and catering business, Ellis served as chef de cuisine at Nashville’s famed Hermitage Hotel for seven years.
Huger Foote is a photographer with deep Delta roots who was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He has held numerous solo exhibitions in London, New York, Paris, and other cities, including his hometown, and his photographs hang in many public and private collections. A collection of his work My Friend from Memphis was published in 2000 and features text by William Eggleston and film director Bernardo Bertolucci. His latest monograph, Now Here Then was released in October 2015. He resides is upstate New York.
Jason Goodenough was born in Atlanta but spent his childhood between Manhattan and London. After graduating from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS, he earned a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Goodenough has since worked with legendary Philadelphia chef Georges Perrier and Iron Chef Morimoto and did a stint as a private chef in South Dakota while also working in leading New Orleans restaurant kitchens. In 2014, he opened the critically acclaimed Carrollton Market in Uptown New Orleans. In 2017, he was named Chef of the Year by New Orleans magazine.
Jessica Harris is a retired professor of English at Queens College in New York and the founder of the Institute for the Study of Culinary Cultures at Dillard Universtiy in New Orleans, where she lives part time. A noted author and culinary historian, Dr. Harris is an expert on African and Caribbean cuisines. She is a founding member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and a member of the Board of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans. She also has been inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. Her books include Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons: Africa’s Gifts to New World Cooking and High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America. Her latest book, My Soul Looks Back: A Memoir, was published in May 2017 and recalls a lost era—the vibrant New York City of her youth, where her social circle included Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and other members of the Black intelligentsia.
John Huey is former editor-in-chief of Time Inc., a position in which he was responsible for all of the company’s digital, print and video content, including the magazines Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Essence, and Southern Living. He now contributes to both Southern Living and Garden & Gun, for which he produces a popular podcast called Whole Hog. He and his wife Kate reside Charleston, SC and the mountains of North Carolina.
Jessica Lange was born in Cloquet, Minnesota and won a scholarship to study art and photography at the University of Minnesota. Lange left college early, traveling extensively in the United States and Mexico, and ending up in Paris, where she studied mime. She then moved to Manhattan where she modeled and waitressed at the fabled Lion’s Head Tavern in Greenwich Village. Lange’s first film role was in Dino Di Laurentiis’s King Kong. Subsequent films included Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz (in a role written specifically for her) and The Postman Always Rings Twicewith Jack Nicholson. Lange is thirteenth actress in history to win the “triple crown” of acting, having won two Academy Awards (for best supporting actress in Tootsieand best actress in Blue Sky), three Prime Time Emmy Awards (for Grey Gardensand American Horror Story), and one Tony (forLong Day’s Journey Into Night). She is also the winner of a Screen Actors Guild Award and five Golden Globes, and has won wide critical acclaim for her starring roles in the films Francesand Sweet Dreamsand the television series Feud, in which she played Joan Crawford.
Widely considered the finest actress of her generation, she is also an accomplished photographer, who has exhibited her work all over the world. Her books include 50 Photographs, Jessica Lange: In Mexico,and Jessica Lange: Unseen.Her most recent, Highway 61, which documents her personal journey along one of America’s most historic and defining routes, will be published on October 1, 2019. In 2009, she was presented with the first George Eastman House Honors Award for her photography. She is also the author of the children’s book, It’s About a Little Bird.
Jane Livingston was born in Upland, California. From 1967 to 1975, Jane served as curator of 20th-century art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.From 1975 to 1989 she was associate director and chief curator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. While there she organized ''Black Folk Art in America: 1930-1980,''a show that isolated for the first time the achievement of self-taught black artists and marked an explosion of interest in African American art.
Since then, Livingston has organized numerous shows, including a ground-breaking traveling exhibition of the quilts of Gee’s Bend that, according to Smithsonianmagazine, “transformed the way many people think about art.” In 2007, she curated a retrospectitve of John Alexander’s work for the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Her books include: The Art of Richard Diebenkorn; The Paintings of Joan Mitchell; The New York School: Photographs 1936-1963, Black Folk Art in America 1930-1980; and John Alexander, A Retrospective.Her most recent book, with William Dunlap, is Pappy Kitchens and the Saga of Red Eye the Roosterand was published in July 2019.
Beverly Lowry was born in Memphis and grew up in Greenville, Mississippi. She is the author of six novels, including Daddy’s Girl and The Track of Real Desires, and four nonfiction books, including Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life. Her latest book, Who Killed These Girls: The Unsolved Murders That Rocked a Texas Town was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2016. She lives in Austin, Texas and is work on a new work of non-fiction based in the Delta.
Julia Reed, a native Greenvillian, is a columnist for Garden & Gun. She is the author of eight books including: Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena; But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria; Julia Reed’s South, Spirited Entertaining and High Style Fun All Year Round; and South Toward Home, Adventures and Misadventures in my Native Land. Her most recent book, published by Rizzoli in May 2019 is Julia Reed’s New Orleans.With close friend Keith Smythe Meacham, she is a partner in Reed Smythe & Company,maker of uncommon artisanal goods for the house and garden. She is also the proprietor of the soon-to-open Brown Water Books in downtown Greenville.
Stephen Stryjewski Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation “Best Chef South,” Stephen Stryjewski is Chef/Partner of New Orleans’ award winning restaurants: Cochon; Cochon Butcher; Pêche Seafood Grill; Gianna; Calcasieu a private event facility; and La Boulangerie a neighborhood bakery and café.In 2015, Stryjewski and his business partner Chef Donald Link created the Link Stryjewski Foundation to address the persistent cycle of violence and poverty, as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in New Orleans. (http://www.linkstryjewski.org)In 1997, Stryjewski graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and went on to work for some of the most notable chefs and restaurants in the country, including Michael Chiarello at Tra Vigne and Jeff Buben at Vidalia. A self-described “Army brat,” Stryjewski moved frequently growing up, and has since traveled extensively in the United States and Europe. He resides in New Orleans’s Irish Channel with his wife and two daughters.
Calvin Trillin began his career in the Atlanta bureau of Timemagazine and has written for The New Yorker for more than 50 years. He has been called “perhaps the finest reporter in America” as well as “a classic American humorist.” His About Alice—a 2007 New York Timesbest seller that was hailed as “a miniature masterpiece”—followed two other best-selling memoirs, Remembering Dennyand Messages from my Father. His columns have been collected into five books, including Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin, which was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2011. His most recent book is Jackson, 1964, And Other Dispatches on Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America.
Malcolm White, a native of Stone County, Mississippi, is the executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, a position he previously held from 2005 to 2012, after which he became director of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division. While leading the Tourism Division, White developed and implemented plans to create economic growth and opportunities through tourism and the creative economy and promoted the state as a travel destination and film location. Prior to his tenure at MAC, he worked in the hospitality industry, running the hugely popular restaurant Hal and Mal’s, and founding special events and festivals throughout the state. White has been a member of and served on the committees of numerous civic organizations. He is involved with South Arts, the Mississippi Blues and Country Music Trails, and Downtown Jackson Partners, and is past chairman of the Mississippi Blues Commission. In 2015, he published Little Stories: A Collection of Mississippi Photos. His most recent book is The Artful Evolution of Hal & Mal’s, an illustrated reminiscence of the restaurant’s history and characters was published in spring 2018.
Rebecca Wilcomb is the chef and part owner of Gianna, the latest jewel in the Link Restaurant Group’s New Orleans empire. Located in the Warehouse Dsitrict, the Italian-centric restraurantopened in Spring 2019 to much critical acclaim. Wilcombe is the former chef de cuisine at Herbsaint where she was the 2016 James Beard Award Winner for Best Chef South. She was also the 2015 winner of the Delta Hot Tamale Festival in the Celebrity Chef category.
All proceeds from these events go to further the preservation and revitalization work that is being performed in downtown Greenville, Mississippi. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Literary/Culinary Mash-Up page.