The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food
Randall Kenan, editor
At the intersection of food and story, The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food offers a collection of essays about the best meal, food and memory, a family tradition, a cherished food ritual, a dreaded food ritual, a favorite recipe, the worst recipe, the worst meal, the funniest meal. These stories explore the state’s changing foodways alongside traditional foodways—from an award-winning dumpling food truck in Raleigh and a statewide explosion in international food emporiums to memories of a favorite muscadine pie at a now boarded-up restaurant Down East and an well-annotated inventory of a mother’s recipe box. The Carolina Table includes a humorous story about Celia Rivenbark’s teenaged adventures in waitressing at the only sit-down restaurant in her town; a piece by Michael Parker about his mother (a busy professional woman with not much interest in food) writing a weekly cooking column for his father’s newspaper; Wayne Caldwell’s vivid journey back to Ruby’s kitchen—his mother’s special sanctuary. Writer and farmer Tom Rankin describes taking his goats to be slaughtered by a halal butcher from Afghanistan in Sanford. John McElwee takes us to the annual celebratory Blue Monday shad fry along the Cape Fear River. Some of North Carolina’s favorite writers and chefs regale us with stories: Lee Smith, Frances Mayes, Daniel Wallace, Marianne Gingher, Wiley Cash, Bridgette Lacy, Jill McCorkle, Jaki Shelton Green, Michael Malone, and Marcie Cohen Ferris. It also includes stories by chefs Vivian Howard (of PBS’s A Chef’s Life) and Crook's Corner’s popular chef Bill Smith, and noted cookbook author Nancie McDermott and nationally acclaimed food-truck purveyor Sophia Woo.