2009 Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame: Geno Lee
Gene “Geno” Lee, proprietor of the Big Apple Inn, in Jackson, Mississippi, is a fourth generation Farish Street restaurateur, famous for pig ear sandwiches and smoked sausage sandwiches.
His great-grandfather, Juan Mora, founded the spot in 1939 and his family has long fueled the blues scene on Farish Street. (His father and Sonny Boy Williamson were fishing buddies.)
For 2009, the SFA focused on the interdependency of food and music. The story of the Big Apple Inn showcases that relationship.