Athens Eats

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Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition: Athens, GA

The Southern Foodways Alliance honors the men, women and establishments who have served Athens as Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition.

“The heroes of our cuisine are often unsung and uncelebrated women and men,” said Lolis Eric Elie, SFA founder. “Their considerable skills tend not to be rewarded with the type of fame and fortune that is increasingly part and parcel of the white table cloth world of celebrity chefs and destination restaurants. Still, we recognize that they are the essential elements, the foundations of American cuisine in general and Southern cuisine in particular. So we have established Tabasco Guardian of Tradition awards.”

In 2006 the SFA staged Camp Athens, a series of lectures, outings, and meals that celebrated food culture in Georgia. Each Tabasco Guardian of the Tradition was presented with an award designed by artist and MacArthur Grant recipient John T. Scott. And we collected their stories.

Featured here are two Georgians, telling the stories of their lifework. Meet Dexter Weaver, who started catering from his home kitchen before opening his namesake restaurant, Weaver D’s. Read about Angelish Wilson, whose father, M. C. Wilson, opened Wilson’s Soul Food Inc. on Athens’ legendary Hot Corner in 1981.


JOHN T. SCOTT 1940-2007
John T. Scott, a native of New Orleans and recipient of a prestigious McArthur “Genius” Fellowship, created the print we use to celebrate the life and work of our Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition.


Interviews and photographs by Amy C. Evans.

Interviews

Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods - Dexter Weaver - Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition: Athens, GA - Athens Eats

Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods

Born in Athens, Georgia, in 1954, Dexter Weaver grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where he tended an urban garden at his family home and began catering from his mother’s kitchen. When Dexter moved back to Athens in the early 1980s, he brought his culinary talents and entrepreneurial spirit with him, cooking for events and selling dinners from his home on the weekends.

Wilson's Soul Food - Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition: Athens, GA - Athens Eats

Wilson’s Soul Food

M. C. Wilson worked for the railroad in Colbert, Georgia, and cut hair on the side to make some extra money. In 1954 he retired from the railroad and opened Wilson’s Styling Shop on Hull Street in downtown Athens, a part of town known as Hot Corner for its century-long history of being a hub for African American-owned businesses.