ATLANTA – (March 13, 2013) –
One month from today, on Saturday, April 13, 6:00 p.m., at the City Club of Buckhead, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia, The Edna Lewis Foundation will host its second annual birthday fundraiser to celebrate the birth of Edna Lewis.
About The Edna Lewis Foundation
~Founded in 2012, The Edna Lewis Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity, a Georgia non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia.
~The Edna Lewis Foundation is at the center of African-American’s culinary lives. A chef, cookbook author and teacher, Edna Lewis was a champion of Southern cookery who helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts.
~The Edna Lewis Foundation continues in the same vein and will offer a variety of events and programs designed to educate, inspire, entertain, and promote a deeper understanding of Southern culinary culture and heritage.
The programs include:
~Food awards programs
~Culinary scholarships and publications
In addition to establishing and maintaining The Edna Lewis House in Atlanta, Georgia, as a performance space and cooking school for visiting chefs, the Foundation will create a robust online community and host tastings, lectures, workshops and food-related art exhibits in Atlanta and around the country.
If you would like to join the foundation and obtain more information on the life and legacy of Edna Lewis, please visit www.ednalewisfoundation.org.For specific inquiries, feel free to email the foundation directly at email@example.com.
provided by mixologist Clay Livingston and Chef Art Smith of the Southern Art and Bourbon Bar.
With a fine bourbon cocktail or assorted wine, guests will enjoy an
hors d’oeuvres reception:
duck confit and dried fruit empanadas with muscadine and pomegranate sauce
salmon blt on brioche
crab and smoked gouda mac and cheese
pickled seafood w/ jalapenos and radish in a mason jar
Chef Charlie Hatney
City Club of Buckhead, Atlanta, GA
Later in the evening, the dinner menu is sure to tantalize taste buds with:
roasted kabocha squash and fuji apple soup with cardamom crème fraiche and prosciutto cracklings
prepared by Chef Kevin Mitchell
(Culinary Institute of Charleston, Charleston, SC)
lamb belly…roasted garlic “hummus”, pickled radishes & fennel
prepared by Chef Todd Richards
(The Shed at Glenwood, Atlanta, GA)
creole cured salmon, arugula, frisee, pecans, parsnips, bourbon vinaigrette and cornbread crouton
prepared by Chef Duane Nutter
(Lushlife Restaurant Group, Atlanta, GA)
thyme & rosemary crusted pheasant breast, hopping john rice cake with ramps, kale & mustard greens ragout in a onion brûlée with natural jus
prepared by Chef Darryl Evans
(City Club of Buckhead, (,Atlanta, GA)
lemon chevre cheesecake, macerated wild berries, blackberry sorbet,
and mint syrup
prepared by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
(Your Resident Gourmet, Atlanta, GA)
As highlighted at the first annual birthday reception, Chef Joe Randall, of Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School in Savannah, Georgia, launched the official creation of The Edna Lewis Foundation in January 2012,”The Foundation is dedicated to honoring, preserving and nurturing African American’s culinary heritage and culture,” said Chef Randall, “and to elevating the appreciation of our culinary excellence.”
Chef Randall is the chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees and has ensured that Atlanta remains the Foundation’s headquarters, a city that is the de facto capital of the south and where Ms. Lewis spent many of her later years. Thus, Chef Randall and the foundation board of trustees will continue to hold the Atlanta birthday celebration in her memory, “This year we celebrate the birth of a beloved culinary legend and do so in southern-style with the help of Art Smith, Clay Livingston, Chef Darryl Evans and a team of credible African American chefs who have looked to Edna Lewis as a culinary inspiration and matriarch within the industry,” said Randall. “On April 13, we will sip a little bourbon and enjoy celebratory southern dishes that we believe Edna would agree are fitting for her birthday.”
Net proceeds from the birthday celebration will benefit The Edna Lewis Foundation and its programs.
Who Was Edna Lewis?
Edna Lewis, the granddaughter of a former slave, was the author of three seminal cookbooks that, to quote The New York Times, February, 2006, “revived the nearly forgotten genre of refined Southern cooking while offering a glimpse into African-American farm life in the early 20th century.” Ms. Lewis died in 2006 at the age of 89.
Her cookbooks include: The Edna Lewis Cookbook (1972), The Taste of CountryCooking (1976) and In Pursuit of Flavor (1988). Among her many awards were: “Who’s Who in American Cooking,” (Cook’s Magazine, 1986); “Dr. Edna Lewis is lauded as one of the great women of American cooking. A specialist in Southern Cooking, She received an honorary Ph.D. in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University-Norfolk College of Culinary Arts,
May 26, 1996”; “James Beard Living Legend Award” (their first such award, 1999), and being named “Grande Dame” (Les Dames d”Escoffier, 1999).
Ms. Lewis was born in 1916 in Freetown, Orange County, Virginia, one of eight children. Her grandfather, an emancipated slave, helped found the community, hence its name. The family lived on a farm that had been granted to her grandfather and central to the family’s life was food in all its phases: growing, foraging, harvesting and cooking. Without any modern cooking conveniences-everything was cooked over wood and, lacking measuring spoons, baking powder was measured on coins-food preparation called on creativity, resourcefulness and ingenuity.
At 16, after her father died, she left Freetown for Washington, D.C., and then New York City where her culinary journey got off to a rocky start with her first job ironing in a laundry. She had never ironed before and was fired after three hours. She may not have ironed but she had sewed, and quickly found work as a seamstress. She copied Christian Dior dresses for Dorcas Avedon (the wife of photographer Richard Avedon), made a dress for Marilyn Monroe and became well known for her African-inspired dresses.
The Cookbooks and Cooking
During the 1970s Ms. Lewis broke her leg, and she made the most of her inability to move about freely by writing her first cookbook, The Edna Lewis Cookbook. But it was her second cookbook, The Taste of Country Cooking, that became her most famous. Her editor for this book was Judith Jones, the Knopf editor who also edited Julia Child. This second cookbook was the first-ever cookbook written by an African American woman about African-American cookery that gained national fame. And many of her chapters on fresh local foods and seasonality predate the locavore movement in America. Her second cookbook was completed during her husband’s illness and subsequent death.
Ms. Lewis returned to restaurant cooking and her last job was as chef at Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn. She retired in 1992. Shortly thereafter, she and a group of friends founded the Society for the Revival and Preservation of Southern food.Dr. Edna Lewis is lauded as one of the great women of American cooking.
Want to Join the Edna Lewis Foundation and Attend Her Birthday Celebration?
Calling all corporate, food and wine enthusiasts and food and beverage professionals, if you would like to join the foundation and obtain more information on the life and legacy of Edna Lewis, please visit:
www.ednalewisfoundation.org or email the foundation directly at
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone