We, The Local Palate, that is, would be hard to imagine if it weren’t for John Egerton. His definitive book Southern Food: at Home, on the Road, in History made us all think differently, and it was he who founded the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi in 1999.
In short, he saw Southern food as important and persuaded us to agree with him. The culinary landscape is a different place today because of it.
Egerton died yesterday in Nashville. He was 78, and he will be sorely missed. We are saddened by this news, but we will always remember his contribution of opening our eyes to the beauties of collards and cornbread and passing them around the table.