Among the upcoming Project Threadways Symposium events is a dinner with chef Cheetie Kumar, with small bites by chef Angie Mosier and dessert from chef Lisa Donovan this Saturday evening at The Factory. Cheetie Kumar is a Raleigh, North Carolina-based chef and sometimes rock star. (She tours with her bands, The Cherry Valence and Birds of Avalon, and owns the music venue, Kings.) Her James Beard nominated food is a blend of her native Indian flavors and traditional Asian, Eastern European, and Southern American foods. Both Lisa and Angie are longtime supporters of The Factory and its dinner series, having hosted their own event a couple of seasons ago. Angie is a chef, food stylist, photographer, and all-around Southern food expert. Lisa is a renowned baker and James Beard Award winning writer who is currently writing a book—so be on the lookout.
The dinner will be an homage to the traditional factory floor lunch. When Natalie recorded oral histories of textile factory workers, almost all of them talked about lunch. The communal meal at factories was a time to share family stories, laugh, talk, and create strong bonds and their own unique community. For so many, these bonds have lasted long beyond factory closings.
The appetizer courses will be the chefs’ version of potted meat and cheese spread along with tamales. (View this Southern Foodways Alliance film about the Mississippi tamale here.) The main course will be a meat and three-style dinner with a shake-and-bake style chicken, a nod to local cafeterias and cafés, like the former Southland restaurant—a staple eatery in our community that has served everyone from visiting rock stars to factory workers for over three decades. Dessert will be hand pies with coffee and hot tea.
P.S.: Discover more about the history of textile in our community, including more about Tee Jays, in our Project Threadways Exhibition in partnership with the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area.