Liz Roach: Taste Adventure — Southern Foodways Alliance Summer Trip to Richmond, Virginia

Liz RoachBearing heaving platters of sea island peas, roasted mountain trout, barbeque chicken and other vittles, waiters at the Whiskey Jar displayed a sampling of hospitality along with bottles of Foggy Ridge cider and Veritas Vineyards wines.

Slipping a bite of peach trifle into my mouth, I sighed and surveyed the spoils of supper.  If this was a typical Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) dinner, I was prepared to sign up for a lifetime membership.

Many other ambrosial meals and adventures awaited at the SFA’s 2013 Summer Symposium in Richmond, Virginia.  The non-profit organization, whose members consist of chefs, cookbook writers, and other luminaries from the food world, in addition to a good number of eating enthusiasts, fosters a fellowship like no other.

From June 20-22, 2013, members shared in finger-licking good multi-course feasts, cultural forays, and delightful company.  Centered around the theme of “Women at Work,” the event put the spotlight on Richmond and its storied, delicious food culture.

Below are a few snapshots of the weekend that will give you an idea of the goodness that took place.


The opening night dinner took place at the Whiskey Jar in Charlottesville, VA


The glorious peach trifle at Whiskey Jar


Gray Wyatt shares the secrets of his famous biscuits at Perly’s Delicatessen during a Richmond walking tour


A treasure chest of a lunch from Sally Bell’s Kitchen, the venerable Richmond lunch counter  (I’m talking chicken salad on a homemade roll, deviled egg, potato salad, tomato aspic and the famous upside-down chocolate devil’s food cupcake.)


Tanya Cauthen of Belmont Butchery was one of several dynamite Richmond purveyors at The Virginia Housewife dinner, which featured dishes inspired by the cookbook of the same name.

Though published in 1838, Mary Randolph’s book features many recipes relevant for modern cooking.


Pasture bartender Beth Dixon mixes up heavenly cocktails at The Virginia Housewife dinner


The menu for the Virginia wine lunch


Breakfast: Chicken-fried croaker with buttermilk chive cornbread and hickory bacon slaw at Lemaire, inside the Jefferson Hotel


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