Martha Johnston

Martha Johnston was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her mother cooked. Her father farmed. Johnston started lending a hand in the kitchen as soon as she could reach the stovetop. After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a major in foods and nutrition and a minor in journalism, she worked briefly in restaurant management training.

Johnston became the director of Southern Living’s cooking school in 1978. In the following years, her role expanded, and she led the magazine’s food marketing operations. Interested in documenting food practices and using food as a lens to observe history and culture, she served on the SFA’s first Board of Directors.

Date of interview:

December 27, 2004


Jake York, SFA Member

Martha Johnston SFA Founder Photo
I guess because I relate life and history and what’s going on in the world of food, I look at that as a way to interpret where things are. This organization has given me a way to do that and to get involved.

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