Music & Food: The Double Essence of Appalachia with Susi Gott Seguret
Food and music in Appalachia have always been intertwined, as illustrated in the titles of a multitude of fiddle tunes and ballads: “Bile ’em Cabbage Down”, “Groundhog”, “Old Joe Clark”, “Mountain Dew”, “Cornbread, Molasses & Sassafras Tea”, “Shortenin’ Bread”, “Walkin’ in My Sleep”, “Leather Britches”, “The Crawdad Song”, and endless others.
Music and food are two elements we will always need for survival, whether we live in Appalachia or in any other part of the globe. Food feeds our body while music feeds our soul.
Pig pickin’s and ramp festivals, turkey shoots, ’lasses boilin’s, must all have their musical component to be complete, be it in the form of a hired band or an impromptu breaking into singing as the appearance of stars announces the cool of evening.
From Cecil Sharp to Bascom Lamar Lunsford to the Sodom Ballad Singers, Madison County has long contributed to the international folklore surrounding both music and its culinary subjects.
Susi Gott Séguret has been intimately involved with food and flavor since, as a toddler she first felt the burn of a radish, just pulled from the soil, still speckled with black earth, and washed it down with a gulp of fresh spring water that flowed out from under a moonshine still. Founder and director of the Seasonal School of Culinary Arts held in Asheville, Ithaca, Sonoma and Paris, she also orchestrates the Asheville Wine Experience, the Asheville Truffle Experience and the Appalachian Culinary Experience.
Originally from Madison County, Susi honed her culinary skills in France, where she resided for over 20 years, earning a diploma in Gastronomy and Taste from the Cordon Bleu and the Université de Reims. Her articles, reviews and photos have appeared in numerous publications. Including her recently released Appalachian Appetite: Recipes from the Heart of America and a weekly column in the News Record & Sentinel. Passionate about elements of taste and style, and how they extend from our palate into our daily lives, Susi strives to blend food, music, words and images into a tapestry for the senses.
As a fiddler, dancer, singer and songwriter, Susi is also a long-time veteran of Appalachian history, dance and musicianship. A prize-winning fiddler (Fiddler’s Grove 1978, 1985) and songwriter (MerleFest 1996), she toured with Nashville’s Eddie Adcock and Talk of the Town in the mid-’80’s, participating in the Masters of Bluegrass tour, accompanying Bill Monroe, Jim & Jesse, Ralph Stanley and Mac Wiseman, with appearances at the Lincoln Center and on multiple TV and radio programs. She was also fiddler and dancer for a series of State Department tours during this time period, spanning West Africa and Central & South America, in conjunction with Mick Moloney, Liz Carroll, Mike Seeger, Robbie O’Connell, the Green Grass Cloggers, and others.
Currently based once again in her native Madison County, you can learn more about Susi by visiting the following websites: www.schoolofculinaryarts.org, www.appalachianculinary.com, www.ashevilletruffle.com, www.ashevillewineexperience.com, www.susigott.com.
Appalachian Evenings are free of charge and all are welcome.