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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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Ronni Lundy

Born in Corbin, Kentucky, Ronni Lundy long chronicled the people of the hillbilly diaspora as a journalist and cookbook author. Her books include Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes, and Honest Fried Chicken: The Heart and Soul of Southern Country Kitchens Butter Beans to Blackberries: Recipes from a Southern Garden, and Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes. She is the former restaurant reviewer and music critic for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, former editor of Louisville Magazine, and she contributed to many national magazines. Gourmet magazine recognized Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken as one of six essential books on Southern cooking. In 2017, Lundy received a James Beard Award for her book, Victuals.

Lundy served the Southern Foodways Alliance as editor of Cornbread Nation 3: Foods of the Mountain South. There she makes a passionate case for mountain ways and mountain people: “[L]ooking through the lens of real Southern mountain food—the methods of its growing, processing and eating—we began to see a vivid picture of a region and its people that had little in common with their most prevalent and demeaning stereotypes.” In 2009, she received the SFA’s Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award.

Date of interview:

April Grayson, Friend of the SFA


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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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