Food is culture. It’s a part of any people’s culture. And when we talk about the South, you talk about hospitality, food becomes an intricate part of the presentation of the hospitality.
A native of Pennsylvania, Joe Randall realized while stationed in Albany, Georgia, in 1963, that there was something special about Southern food. After leaving the Air Force, Randall spent much of the 1960s working in restaurants. Since then, Randall has served as executive chef at the Cloister Restaurant in Buffalo, New York, and the Fishmarket in Baltimore.
Along with Toni Tipton-Martin, he is the author of the A Taste of Heritage Cookbook, an homage to African American culinary achievement. He has served as faculty at four schools, including the Savannah College of Art and Design. In 2000 he opened Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School in Savannah, devoted to the preaching the “gospel of authentic Southern cuisine to all comers.”
Date of interview: March 9, 2005 Interviewer: Orlando Montoya, Friend of the SFA