For his work in chronicling and championing the cause of civil rights in America, and for his contribution to our understanding of the power of the common table, the John Egerton Prize recognizes artists, writers, scholars, and others–including artisans and farmers and cooks–whose work, in the American South, addresses issues of race, class, gender, and social and environmental justice, through the lens of food.
The prize identifies people whose early- to mid-stage work would benefit from greater freedom, support, and exposure. Nominations are solicited in the spring of each year. No self-nominations are accepted. Awards are announced each autumn. Direct questions to [email protected]
—live or work in the American South;
—exhibit exceptional creativity;
—apply the rubric of food to their work;
—have the potential to make a genuine difference in one or more fields; and
—stand to truly benefit from a $5,000 investment in their work.
—Ann Cashion, chef, Washington D.C.
—Ashley Graham, food systems investor, New Orleans, LA
—Edward Lee, chef, Louisville, KY
—Chuck Reece, editor, Atlanta, GA
—John Simpkins, law and government, Washington, DC
—Judith Winfrey, farmer, Atlanta, GA
Ex Officio members of the jury committee are:
—John T. Edge
In 2018, SFA offered two prizes. One went to Fresh Future Farm in North Charleston, South Carolina, while a second was awarded to The Neighbor’s Field in Comer, Georgia.
The 2016 John Egerton Prize, awarded at the 19th Southern Foodways Symposium, goes to documentary filmmaker Jon-Sesrie Goff, for his documentary film After Sherman.
The AFS facilitates conversations among contemporary Appalachian farmers, scholars, writers, chefs, producers and just plain interested parties to see how such traditions can become part of diversified local economies.
The 2014 John Egerton Prize winners were Chuck Reece, of The Bitter Southerner, and Toni Tipton-Martin, author of The Jemima Code.
In 2013, SFA awarded the Egerton Prize to Cynthia Hayes of Savannah, Georgia, for her work with the Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network.
Greg Asbed, on behalf of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), accepted the 2012 John Egerton Prize.
In 2011, SFA awarded artist Phil Blank with the John Egerton Prize. His work celebrates and explores foodways, music, class, and race struggles in the South.
Calvin Head, director of the West Holmes Community Development Organization in the Mississippi Delta, received the SFA’s 2010 John Egerton Prize.
The Southern Foodways Alliance awarded the inaugural John Egerton Prize to Hayley Downs and Julie Kahn for their work on the documentary film Swamp Cabbage.