Food was always extremely important in my house. My mother, as I told you many times before, started me out at five. I was not tall enough to stand up to the stove but she put me on top of a pot and that’s where I began to learn.
Kathy Starr has long worked to preserve the heritage and cooking knowledge her mother so adamantly passed on to her. Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1954, Starr grew up in a family that, while sometimes short of money, was never short of food—even if that meant constantly reinventing dishes to suit the ingredients at hand.
Her cookbook, The Soul of Southern Cooking, is a collection of classic Southern dishes that span generations of her family, and were passed down through her grandmother, Frances Fleming Hunter, who ran the Fair Deal Café in Hollandale, Mississippi. Starr who now lives in Snellville, Georgia, will soon finish work on her doctorate.
Date of interview: March 31, 2005Interviewer: Angie Mosier, SFA Member