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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

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Nathalie Dupree

At the age of nineteen, Nathalie Dupree told her mother that she wanted to be a restaurant cook. “Don’t do that to me,” her mother told her, adding that ladies don’t serve the public. She moved to London, where she took classes at the Cordon Bleu, and then ran a kitchen in Majorca.

With her then husband, she opened Nathalie’s Restaurant in Social Circle, Georgia. That led to teaching classes and compiling recipe booklets for Rich’s Cooking School in Atlanta, beginning in 1972, where she taught over 10,000 students. She began writing columns for the local newspaper and appearing on local television. A public television cooking show followed; this ahead-of-its-time program featured her documentary travels throughout the nation in search of rare and unheralded food finds.

All the while she was publishing cookbooks, nearly twenty in total, including the bestsellers New Southern Cooking (1986) and Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking (2012). Her work and leadership inspired the careers of countless writers and cook. One of the preeminent food writers and culinary personalities in America, Dupree currently lives in Charleston.

Date of interview:

Rien Fertel

Rien Fertel

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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.


Alex Raij Txikito

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