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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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Edward Murray

Edward Murray, born in 1955, was raised in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1977, while studying at the University of South Carolina, he got a job waiting tables at the Four Flames Restaurant. There he served tableside dishes of steak au poivre, cherries jubilee, and Caesar salads. Murray graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Media Arts.

Murray continued to wait tables while he pursued an acting career in Los Angeles and New York. He honed his skills as a waiter in New York, working at restaurants like George Martin’s, Tavern on the Green, the Pen and Pencil, and the Rainbow Room. In 1988, Murray and his wife moved back to Charleston where he managed restaurants on Kiawah Island. Murray decided to go back to serving full time in order to spend more time with his wife and their young child. In 1991, he was hired to be a server at Magnolias just before it opened its doors. Over the years, Murray has served multiple generations of diners.

Date of interview:

Annemarie Anderson

Grace Beahm Alford

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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.


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