Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Caroline Randall Williams is an award-winning poet, cookbook author, and activist to name a few of the Harvard graduate’s credentials. She’s taught in two of the poorest states in the Union—Mississippi and West Virginia—and recently garnered national attention for her New York Times op-ed, “You want a Confederate Monument? My body is a Confederate Monument.” She also comes from a long line of Black women who weighed over 200 pounds and refuses to follow suit.
Mama J’s Kitchen The Soul of Richmond, Virginia A tiny restaurant in the Historic Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia gets a James Beard nomination! Story by Ginger Warder For more than a decade, Mama J’s Kitchen has been a local favorite in the Richmond culinary community. Known for its authentic
If Steve Harvey asked the contestants on “Family Feud” to name one dish that typifies Southern cooking, the number one answer would doubtlessly be fried chicken. We love a crispy eight-piece box of yardbird around these here parts, but sometimes Southerners crave poultry that’s a little more piquant.
There just maybe isn’t a bigger little food town below the Mason-Dixon Line right now than Oxford, Mississippi. After all, this is the wee burg Southern Living dubbed “The South’s Best Food Town of 2018.” This is where James Beard Award-winning powerhouse John Currence built his empire, beginning in 1992 with City Grocery, famed for its dazzling shrimp and grits. It’s home to joints like Saint Leo, a 2017 James Beard "Best New Restaurant" semifinalist and purveyor of some of the country’s finest pizza, and chef Corbin Evans’ Oxford Canteen, beloved for gut-busting goodies like beef brisket grilled cheese.