Life in the Trenches

A powerful scene in Pat Barker’s World War I novel Regeneration depicts a conversation between literary giants Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon as they convalesce at the psychiatric hospital at Craiglockhart, Scotland. Owen relates a poignant revelation he discovered in the trenches about life and loss: Sometimes, in the trenches, you get the sense of something, ancient. One trench we held, it had skulls in … Continue reading Life in the Trenches

SFA Longterm Servers Project: Everything you wanted to know and more.

This summer I will be working on an oral history collection for the Southern Foodways Alliance that documents the lives and work of longtime restaurant servers. Although I have recorded many interviews, this is the first time that I’ve been able to contribute to SFA’s growing library of oral histories, collections that stretch back more than a decade and are made available to the public on … Continue reading SFA Longterm Servers Project: Everything you wanted to know and more.

Spring 2019 Appearances: Creole Italian

I’ve had a lot of fun talking to readers at events since the launch of Creole Italian last August, and I’m looking forward to meeting more of you this spring. Here is some information about upcoming dates of book talks and presentations around the topic of Sicilians and Food Culture in New Orleans. February 14, 2019: (Thursday) “Touring the Spaghetti District: Turn of the Century New … Continue reading Spring 2019 Appearances: Creole Italian

Bridge at Manchac

One weekend in the summer of 2013, my wife and I decided to get out of the house and head to Middendorf’s, the famous catfish restaurant at Manchac. This is always a magical landmark for us, both culturally and geographically – the place where Coastal Louisiana meets the Deep South and the point where Lake Maurepas flows into Lake Pontchartrain. It is also the site … Continue reading Bridge at Manchac

Creole Italian Now Available: Stops & Dates of Book Talks + Press!

Nine years after I began this project, my book Creole Italian: Sicilian Immigrants and the Shaping of New Orleans Food Culture is now available! It is part of the Southern Foodways Alliance Studies in Culture, People, and Places series at the University of Georgia Press. I’m very excited to see how readers receive the work and am very thankful to the many people who have … Continue reading Creole Italian Now Available: Stops & Dates of Book Talks + Press!

Avebury National Trust Stone Circle

One of the more magical places that we visited in the summer of 2017 was the ancient stone circle at Avebury in Wiltshire. Maintained by the National Trust, it was our introduction to touring the English countryside after taking the Holyhead ferry from Dublin and driving to our accommodations in neighboring Hampshire. It is true that the stones are ancient but I found the contours … Continue reading Avebury National Trust Stone Circle


Our trip through the English countryside in the summer of 2017 left Jess and I terribly moved by the juxtaposition of its profound beauty with its deep and often troubled history. Reminders of the long human inhabitation of Britain are everywhere, punctuated by driving down a hedgerow hemmed lane only to round a corner into an eleventh century churchyard. A photograph that Jess took as … Continue reading Continuity