Each Spring, Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison host the New South Family Supper, a benefit for the Southern Foodways Alliance. This April, the supper celebrated the unsung heroes of the restaurant world, like dishwashers, waiters, valets, hostesses, and bussers. They are theĀ people Martin Luther King Jr called ā€œmembers of the ground crew.ā€

Diners oftenĀ overlook the folks in these rolesā€“in fact, you could argue thatĀ diners arenā€™tĀ supposed to notice them. SoĀ as participating chefs planned their New South Family Supper menus, they took pride in showcasing the “heart of the house” at the heart of their dishes.

Lawrence Njuguna,Ā Atlanta-based valet parker and gourmet, not only inspiresĀ Anne Quatrano and the other chefs in theĀ Westside Provisions District–he inspiredĀ this year’s theme altogether. We invite you to enjoy his story, documented by filmmaker Troy StainsĀ for the SFA in honor of New South Family Supper.

Lawrence of Atlanta from Southern Foodways on Vimeo.

Our most recent issue of the James Beard Award-winning Gravy magazine features fiveĀ of these heart-of-the-house recipes from Atlanta chefs, along with the story of the person or persons who inspire them. SFA members are the first to receive our magazine each quarter. You can also find previous issues of Gravy the magazine, and listen to Gravy the podcast, here.