2020 Smith Fellow: Erick Williams | Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar


Each year, the Southern Foodways Alliance celebrates men and women whose lifework enriches Southern food culture. Seven SFA awards and honors recognize these cultural standard bearers.

2020 Smith Fellow: Erick Williams

Erick Williams is the owner and executive chef at Virtue Restaurant & Bar in the heart of the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago. His work combines his background in fine dining, his love of Southern cuisine, and his studies of the Great Migration. As a Chicago native, Erick has embedded himself into the culinary scene beginning with his time as executive chef at mk The Restaurant in the River North neighborhood. Since opening in November 2018, Virtue has received national recognition, including a three-star review by the Chicago Tribune. He’s also been named one of “16 Black Chefs Changing Food in America,” by the New York Times.



The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

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