Buy Tickets
Tickets for sale online.

Join SFA as we explore storytelling in the digital era and ask timely questions about how race and gender impact which food stories get told and who tells them.

If you work as a content creator or editor and wish to gain new perspectives on your work, this event is for you. If you’re good at what you do and want to get better, join us.

In addition to big picture queries, we also showcase the practicalities of visual storytelling, investigate the digital promise of recipes, discuss how content can drive events, and deconstruct the development of personal brands.

Ever wondered what might happen if a chef and a critic shared their honest opinions about each other and their respective fields? Join us to listen in on their conversation.

Do you have a great pitch but can’t seem to get the attention of an editor? Stand up and sell at a session engineered to green light excellent stories, told across multiple platforms.

In addition to great content, we promise great food and drink. From breakfast tacos that showcase recent Latin immigrants to chili-kraut dogs cooked and served by assimilated Greek entrepreneurs, SFA has curated a roster of honest delights from the New South’s media capital.

SFA partners with underwriters who respect the autonomy of working journalists. We encourage you to explore the city and state that Food Media South calls home: Alabama Tourism Department Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Springhill Suites
2024 4th Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35233



6:00 pm — 7:30 pm | FMS Welcome Reception

Time, Inc. Food Studio

Click here for driving directions.

3854 Old Montgomery Highway*
Homewood, AL 35209
* This is not TIFS’s mailing address. Please only use this address for directions.

Explore Birmingham
SFA Curated List of Restaurants


All events at WorkPlay500 23rd St. South

8:00 | Registration & Breakfast
Mac Russell, Shindigs
Royal Cup Coffee

9:00 | Race & Racism at the Table and in the News
Brett Anderson, Nieman Fellow, Times-Picayune restaurant critic and features writer
Valerie Boyd, Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence, University of Georgia

10:00 | Visual Storytelling
Tyler Jones and Mark Slagle, 1504 filmmakers

Ava Lowrey, SFA Pihakis Film Fellow

11:00 | Recipes in a Digital Age
Ann Taylor Pittman, Cooking Light executive food editor

12:00 | The Future of Food Feature Writing
Corby Kummer, Atlantic senior editor

1:00 | Networking & Fried Chicken
Little Donkey

2:00 | Telling Your Story, Building Your Brand
Nicole Taylor, Up South Cookbook author

3:00 | Chef Meets Critic
Bill Addison, Eater National critic
Frank Stitt, Highlands Bar & Grill chef

4:00 | Pitch Me Something, People
Sara Camp Milam, Gravy managing editor
Hunter Lewis, Cooking Light editor

5:00 | Writes Like A Girl
Kathleen Purvis, Charlotte Observer food editor

6:00 | A Bite and a Sip
Sam’s Super Samwiches
Alabama Craft Beer and Spirits


 Bill Addison Bill Addison of Atlanta is the national restaurant critic for Eater. He travels worldwide in search of essential restaurants. He has been the food editor and restaurant critic at Atlanta magazine, the Dallas Morning News and San Francisco Chronicle.
 brettTWIT_1_ Brett Anderson, a 2013 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, is a restaurant critic and feature writer at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Brett has won numerous awards from the Association of Food Journalists and the James Beard Foundation. He is the current SFA board president.
  Valerie Boyd is an associate professor of journalism and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of Georgia. She wrote Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston and is currently curating and editing the journals of Alice Walker.
 Tyler Jones Tyler Jones is a filmmaker with 1504. His films for the Southern Foodways Alliance include Muddy PondThursday in Hell’s Half Acre, and JoAnn Clevenger: A Girl Scout with Gumption.
 Corby Kummer Corby Kummer is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where his work has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him “a dean among food writers in America.”
 Ava-web Ava Lowrey is the SFA’s Pihakis film fellow. Ava has been using multimedia since she was 15 to connect with a larger audience and as a means of social activism. She recently completed an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University.
Sara Camp Milam Sara Camp Milam, a former associate editor at the Oxford American, is the SFA’s editor and content manager. The SFA’s Gravy quarterly, which won the 2015 James Beard award for Publication of the Year, is her baby.
Ann-web Ann Pittman is the executive food editor at Cooking Light, where she has filled several functions over a 17 year tenure. She won two James Beard Foundation Awards: a feature writing award and a cookbook award.
Kathleen Purvis Kathleen Purvis is the food editor for The Charlotte Observer. She won first place for Best Food Column nationwide and for Best Newspaper Food Feature from The Association of Food Journalists in 2014. She also wrote two Savor the South cookbooks: Bourbon and Pecans.
 Mark-web Mark Slagle is a filmmaker with 1504. His films for the Southern Foodways Alliance include Muddy PondThursday in Hell’s Half Acre, and JoAnn Clevenger: A Girl Scout with Gumption.
Frank Stitt Frank Stitt is the chef and owner of Bottega, Chez Fon Fon and Highland’s Bar & Grill. He won the Best Chef: Southeast James Beard award in 2001 and was inducted into the the foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in 2011. He received the SFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Frank has written two cookbooks.
 Nicole Taylor Nicole Taylor, a native of Georgia, is a multimedia storyteller who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of ​​The Up South Cookbook: Chasing Dixie in a Brooklyn Kitchen. She produced If We So Choose, a short film about the desegregation of the Varsity restaurant in Athens, GA, for the SFA.
 Hunter_cropped Hunter Lewis was appointed editor at Cooking Light in 2014, after serving as executive editor of Southern Living since 2012. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Lewis considers himself a cook first and a journalist second.