Southern Food & Beverage Museum
The Recipe For A Good Story.
The non-profit Southern Food & Beverage Museum aims to celebrate and document the foodways, culture, folkways and drinking of the American South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. SoFAB also hosts special exhibits, demonstrations, lectures and tastings that showcase the food and drink of the South.
Their exhibits aim to educate the public about how food and drink have been shaped by the history of the Southern United States. One such exhibit is Dirty Pages: Nashville Women and the Recipes that Tell Their Stories. This multi-media exhibit involves photos and stories celebrating shared, passed-down food memories and the abundant variety of Nashville’s food traditions and cultures. Another exhibit called Tujague's: 160 Years of Tradition takes visitors on a journey through the history of Tujage’s Restaurant via photos, awards and memorabilia. Guests can take a look at the restaurant’s origins and family tree; learn about the importance of the Tujague’s bar (the oldest stand-up bar in America and home of the Grasshopper cocktail); uncover the ghosts of Tujague’s (some who are said to still be present in the restaurant today); and get an appreciation of the patrons’ significance on the restaurant’s longevity.
Aside from permanent and traveling exhibits, SoFAB also hosts a number of programs which actively aims to educate and share knowledge about Southern food traditions. Kids In The Kitchen provides hands-on training for children 7-11 years old, and 12-15 years old. Each summer they also host SoFAB Kids Culinary Camp, which is a week-long, half day camp dedicated to teaching nutritional literacy through food preparation, games, and, the best part, eating! Roughly a hundred kids each year are educated about cooking and healthy eating. Furthering their reach into the community, the Paul C.P. McIlhenny Culinary Entrepreneurship Program is designed to encourage food start-up businesses in the area and to offer educational business training for aspiring chefs and other culinary professionals.
$1,000 will allow SoFAB to have better programming and to enhance exhibits and to improve the visitor experience. $2,000 would provide an additional free day for the community. $5,000 would allow an employee to travel to participate in national organizational meetings to learn and improve services to the community.
Their goal in the next five years is to be known as “The Smithsonian of Food”. With a library, a National Culinary Heritage Register, and food policy programming SoFAB is on it way. In the meantime, you can donate to their Screens For Good campaign to help their cause.