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Comales and Cornbread: Exploring the New-Southern Latino Table in Appalachia


Highsmith Student Union, Blue Ridge Room (202/203)

March 27 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


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A roundtable discussion between foodways scholar Marcie Cohen Ferris and cookbook authors Sandra Gutierrez and Ronni Lundy, will be in the Blue Ridge Room of UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union on March 27 at 6 p.m.

The event, fourth in the Thomas Howerton lecture series, “Diverse Roots at the Common Table: Culinary Conversations in the American South,” will discuss Latin American and Appalachian foodways in North Carolina, highlighting the state’s wide-reaching culinary diversity.

This event is free and open to the public, and will be livestreamed on the University’s YouTube. To attend in-person, please register here


Marcie Cohen Ferris

Born and raised in northeastern Arkansas, Ferris’s deep attachment to the study of place and the American South is rooted in her childhood. For over forty years, she has studied, documented, interpreted, exhibited, taught, and written about the South, largely through its foodways, material culture, and the southern Jewish experience. As a professor emeritus in the Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ferris is an editor for Southern Cultures, a quarterly journal of the history and cultures of the U.S. South, and a project of The Center for the Study of the American South (CSAS). Ferris is the author of “The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region,” (UNC Press, 2014), “Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South” (UNC Press, 2005; nominated for a James Beard Award, 2006). 

Ronni Lundy

Ronni is hands-down one of the most well-known—if not THE most well-known—experts on Appalachian food. Her 2016 Appalachian cookbook, “Victuals,” won the James Beard Book of the Year award and the award for Best in American Cooking. She is the author of a number of other cookbooks, including “Shuck Beans”, “Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken” and many others. Her edited collection, “Cornbread Nation 3: Foods of the Mountain South” is required reading for anyone interested in food, literature, and representation. Ronni was a founding member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and the Appalachian Food Summit. In 2009, she received the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award. Currently she runs Plott Hound Books in Burnsville, North Carolina.

Sandra A. Gutierrez
Sandra A. Gutierrez, journalist, author, food historian, and professional cooking instructor, has taught thousands how to cook. Born in the U.S., this bilingual, award-winning journalist and author of five cookbooks is considered one of the top national experts on Latin American Foodways and on the United States Southern Regional cuisine. She is the former food editor for “The Cary News.” Gutierrez has over 3,000 original recipes and over 1500 articles published worldwide.

In 2017, Gutierrez  was awarded the M.F.K Fisher Grand Prize Award for Excellence in Food Writing. Sandra’s work and life story were featured in the Exhibit Gateways/Portales at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum from 2016-2019. In 2019, her work and culinary objects became part of the permanent FOOD exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Gutierrez is the author of “The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes that Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America & The American South” (UNC Press 2011), “Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina” (UNC Press 2013), and many others.


UNC Asheville is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. If you have any questions about access or to request reasonable accommodations that will facilitate your full participation in this event, please contact the Event Organizer (see below). Advance notice is necessary to arrange for accessibility needs.

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Prior to 5pm, any visitor (regardless of their reason for visit) need to adhere to the current practices listed on the parking website. Get your visitor parking permit here



March 27
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor Fund


Highsmith Student Union, Blue Ridge Room (202/203)