Project introduction by John Hunter Allgood, University of Mississippi student. [Part of a paper written for a documentary fieldwork class in cooperation with the Southern Foodways Alliance.]
Greek life at University of Mississippi is a pretty big deal. A large percentage of the student body is involved in the sororities and fraternities on campus. Many of those guys and girls live at the houses, and many of them live elsewhere; but they all have one thing in common: they all eat at their house. Hundreds of students are moving through the breakfast, lunch and supper lines every day, and that means a lot of food to cook. Behind every food line stands the men and women that slice, dice, and sweat every day to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of a bunch of hungry college kids with some ferocious appetites.
Some of the men and women have been working the same houses for generations, some have followed their mothers and grandmothers into their profession, and some now have family of their own working with them. But, the relations go beyond individual houses. One house is tied to the other with friendships grown out of years of trading stories and jokes, helping one or the other, sharing ideas and recipes, and simply being there together. There is a distinct feeling of family among these [men and] women, and there is a lot to learn from them.
This project was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council.
Project Contributors: John Hunter Allgood, John T. Edge, Amy Evans, Mary Beth Lasseter and Kendra Myers