Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition: New Orleans, LA
The Southern Foodways Alliance honors the men, women and establishments who have served New Orleans as Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition.
“The heroes of our cuisine are often unsung and uncelebrated women and men,” said Lolis Eric Elie, one of the organizers of the 2005 SFA New Orleans Field Trip and the primary force behind the awards. “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 the Tabasco Guardian of Tradition award, to be awarded at each Southern Foodways Alliance Field Trip.
“In this way we hope to bring attention to those cooks, chefs, restaurateurs and others in our various regions whose work has helped keep alive Southern foodways. We hope to remind, them, the world, and ourselves of their crucial importance in maintaining those traditions on which our cuisine, our region, and our identities are built.” Each of the Tabasco Guardians of the Tradition was presented with a special award designed by artist and MacArthur Grant recipient John T. Scott. And, of course, we collected their stories.
JOHN T. SCOTT 1940-2007
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of artist John T. Scott. Mr. 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 Sara Roahen.