McIlhenny Company and the Southern Foodways Alliance are proud to have hosted The New Orleans Table: Return and Recollect, a nationwide trio of events celebrating, supporting and preserving the past, present and future of one of the world’s greatest gastronomic capitals. The event series featured a collective sharing of defining food memories, conversation and tastings, and kicked off in New Orleans on August 30, 2006. It continued with events in New York City and San Francisco later that fall.
At the heart of these events was New Orleans Eats, An Oral History Project. The Southern Foodways Alliance and McIlhenny Company share a commitment to the preservation of America’s premier regional food lineages, and this project sought to capture and archive the stories of those who create, consume and celebrate food and drink in New Orleans.
“New Orleans has long been a culinary icon, but Hurricane Katrina revealed how fragile its legacy can be,” said John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance. “The collection and preservation of the stories behind the food of New Orleans is critical to maintaining the culinary soul of this great city for generations to come.”
The late Paul McIlhenny, then Chairman of the Board and CEO of McIlhenny Company, shared his enthusiasm for the project: “We share the Southern Foodways Alliance’s commitment to protect and sustain the traditions of New Orleans. This ongoing oral history project highlights the relevance of our city in the food world and helps document people’s most delicious memories of New Orleans.”