Saturday, April 10, 2010

John T Edge at "Beard on Books"


Southern food culture has found its Boswell in John T. Edge.  Whether the topic is fried chicken, apple pie or race, John T. writes in a compelling and engaging manner.  Few things can trump reading John T. Edge.  One of those is hearing him speak, which I had the privileged to do so on Thursday.

The periodical, "Oxford American", recently published its second food edition.  John T. served as guest editor for this volume.  He was invited to speak at the monthly "Beard on Books" event at the James Beard House.  "Beard on Books" is a series of events where authors read from their food related publications and engage in a conversation with the audience.  These events are usually well attended, but John T. brought in a standing room only crowd.

John T. started off with telling the audience about pitching his first article to the "Oxford American".  He was going to New Orleans to work as a Lucky Dog vendor.  Lucky Dog is the ubiquitous food cart found throughout the French Quarter.  They took a chance on him, and now five James Beard Award nominations later, it appeared the gamble paid off.

John T. had some of the other contributors to the issue with him to read from their pieces.  Tod Kliman's piece on the ever in motion chef Peter Chang was a standout.  An award winning chef back in his homeland of China, Chef Chang moves from non-descript Chinese restaurant to non-descript Chinese restaurant almost on a whim.  This leads to a gustatory hide and seek game for the author, eager to eat more of Chef Chang's creations.

It left me salivating to devour the rest of the stories in the issue.

1 comment:

Trix said...

How cool! Whenever I see the lucky Dog cart mentioned I always think of Ignatious Reilly in Confederacy of Dunces ... "Just one more..." (And I'm back from Vienna, and had many Gruner Veltliners! I must hear the story of your scary hike.)