P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2000
June 10, 2000
Feed the Stomach and the Soul with Sylvia Woods' Soul Food Picnic
(June 10, 2000 -- North Adams, MA) On Saturday, June 17, at 5 pm MASS MoCA offers a unique chance to learn southern cooking at its best from the most celebrated soul food chef in the country, Sylvia Woods, cookbook author and proprietor of Sylvia's, the premier soul food restaurant in New York City. Sylvia will share great recipes and wonderful stories of her extended and close-knit family, from Sylvia's mother's recipe for "the absolute best southern fried chicken" to her sister-in-law's old-fashioned collard greens to her cousin Virginia's coconut layer cake.
Her compelling rags-to-riches story begins in rural South Carolina where she and her family picked beans to make a living. Woods and Herbert, her husband of more than a half century, moved to New York in 1963. They scrimped and saved and started a small luncheonette in Harlem. That luncheonette has grown into Sylvia's, a landmark restaurant in New York City. New Yorkers and tourists alike - including occasional celebrities and royalty -- pack Sylvia's every day not only for mouth-watering soul food, but also for the welcoming family atmosphere. Sylvia's also has a line of food products sold in supermarkets across the country and they have recently opened a branch of Sylvia's Restaurant in Atlanta.
Woods first book was Sylvia's Soul Food: Recipes from Harlem's World-Famous Restaurant (Hearst Books). For her second book she returned to her childhood home of Hemingway, South Carolina, and held a cook-off between her family and old friends, the people who taught her to cook. She compiled the recipes into her most recent book Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook: From Hemingway, South Carolina to Harlem (William Morrow). Every one of the 125+ recipes in this book includes a story. Sylvia says that when growing up in Hemingway, "whenever and wherever we came together, we brought our favorite dishes, recipes both new and old. And wherever there was food, there were cooks talking about how they prepared it-always swapping ideas and sharing new techniques. Through generations of these exchanges, we found ways of making the food we ate taste even more delicious, go farther, and look better. In doing so we unknowingly created a legacy."
In addition to cooking lessons, visitors who attend the Soul Food Picnic with Sylvia Woods will get a complimentary personal picnic of items prepared for the event under Woods' supervision. The event is sponsored by Philip Morris Companies, Inc.
After the cooking demonstration, MASS MoCA's dramatic Courtyard D will be transformed into an outdoor dance club for a Rhythm & Blues Dance Party featuring the Uptown Horns at 7:30 pm. Dance instructor Felicia Swoope, arranged by Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, will make learning the steps easy.
Tickets to the Soul Food Picnic with Sylvia Woods, which includes dinner, are $18. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office at 87 Marshall St. in North Adams from 10 am until 6 pm daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Myers
(413) 664-4481 x8113
MASS MoCA 87 Marshall Street North Adams, Mass. 01247 413.MOCA.111