Guest Lecture

The Birth of Southern Cooking: Food, Politics, and Mary Randolph

Event Information

  • Friday, July 7, 2023
  • 6:00 pm - 6:45 pm
  • Adam-Kuckhoff-Str. 35, SR 2
  • 06108 Halle (Saale)

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The Birth of Southern Cooking: Food, Politics, and Mary Randolph

Prof. Christopher Hendricks (Georgia Southern University)

Abstract of Lecture

The Southern United States is known the world over for its unique cuisine. Foods such as fried chicken, corn bread, gumbo, and black-eyed peas are staples of the Southern diet reflecting the influence of European, African, and Native American cultures. A key figure in the development of Southern cooking was Mary Randolph (1762-1828). A member of an important Southern family and a cousin of President Thomas Jefferson, Randolph published The Virginia House-Wife in 1824. This was the first regional American cookbook; the first published work on Southern cooking; and some food scholars credit it with being the first authentically American cookbook, period.  The story of Randolph and her cookbook provides a fascinating look into Southern culture, food traditions, household organization and management, and women’s position and role in society.


Bio Sketch

Christopher E. Hendricks is Professor of History at the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University in Savannah, where he has been teaching since 1993.  He has worked extensively in archaeology, historic preservation, and museum interpretation with many organizations including the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Old Salem, Inc., and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.  He is the author of numerous publications, including The Backcountry Towns of Colonial Virginia and Old Southern Cookery. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History and English from Wake Forest University and his Master of Arts and Doctorate in History from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he specialized in early American history and material culture.

The guest lecture will begin at 6.00 pm.


Everybody is welcome to attend!