Experience authentic Gullah culture through the eyes of a true native.
Started Apr 2, 2009
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Celebrity chef, television personality, and cookbook author Sallie Ann Robinson is a sixth-generation native of Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, renowned for her culinary expertise, entertaining presentations, and knowledge of southeastern United States Gullah culture.
Robinson has maintained a notable presence on national television and in popular magazines for more than a decade. Her television appearances have been many and include the December 2008 pilot for Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Dixie Divas in the Kitchen. She has also made guest appearances on such noted programs as The QVC Show, The 700 Club, CN8’s Your Morning Show, and The Food Network.
In addition to her high visibility as a recognized television personality, Robinson has been a frequent favorite subject of magazine and newspaper journalists. Some have profiled her as an author while others have focused on her ongoing efforts to preserve the legacy of Gullah culture. Articles showcasing her life and work have been presented in such publications as: the 2005 Old Farmer’s Almanac; Southern Living (April 2005 and Sept 2004); National Geographic (Dec 1987); (2004); Hilton Head Monthly (May 2008); and The South Magazine (Oct-Nov 2006).
Ironically, Robinson first attained national prominence as a character named Ethel, one of the students portrayed in famed author Pat Conroy’s novel, The Water Is Wide. Since its publication in 1972, the novel has inspired stage adaptations as well as two major movie productions, all of them helping to introduce the world to Robinson via her fictional alter ego.
Additionally, portraits of members of Robinson’s family, including her grandmother, Lovinia Robinson, are featured in Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe’s 1982 book Daufuskie Island: A Photographic Essay. Moutoussamy-Ashe’s title can be compared to works by the late Savannah photographer Jack Leigh, and like his, it successfully documented a unique culture at a time of important historical transitions.
In 2003, the University of North Carolina Press published Robinson’s first book, Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way. The book successfully combined sea island recipes with personal memoir and drew critical praise from diverse reviewers. Publishers Weekly noted the following: “This book honors a love of her childhood and her family, and that love is intertwined with food. Introducing most recipes are reminiscences of loading the wood stove, trips to the store, fishing for sheepshead, washing clothes on a washboard and cooking "long pots" (slow-cooked meals).” And PW Daily for Booksellers observed that, "Robinson shares her memories and recipes from a culture and place outside the normal realm of everyday America and provides a provocative glimpse of a time gone by. . . . Beautiful photographs…”
The University of North Carolina Press followed up on the success of Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way with the publication of Robinson’s Cooking the Gullah Way, Morning, Noon, and Night in 2007. Once again, critics and readers alike praised the author for the storytelling quality of memoir in the book, the authenticity of the recipes, and the tasty results achieved when trying them.
Robinson worked with other natives of Daufuskie Island during the late 1980s to launch Daufuskie Island Day, which is observed on the fourth Saturday in June. The event has become an annual one that pays tribute to the history, customs, dialect, and distinct culture of the island natives. Similarly, Robinson started the Daufuskie Island Tours in June 2008. The tour might be described as edutainment that allows participants to enjoy a boat ride from either Hilton Head or Savannah to the island. The tour of the island itself consists of visits to Robinson’s former dwellings, island churches, schools, a library, museum, and the beach, providing a rare and yet comprehensive experience of the Gullah culture.
Hello everyone I've been looking forward to starting cooking classes in Savannah Ga. Come join us Patt Gunn and I and have a grand time watching the ways of the Gullah/Geechee folks cooking, storytelling, sounds and ways. Classes will be starting on October 18, 2014 at 215 West Liberty Street in Savannah Georgia. Come join us and have a bucket of laughs while tasting and learning how to cook your food the way you would like it to taste the Gullah way. If you have any question call me at…Continue
Posted on September 5, 2014 at 9:34pm
Hello Everyone its been a while since I have visited this site, last year when my mother passed it really took a lot out of me. Like many we want our folks to stay always but knowing that's not life is it's not easy when they go. I truly miss having conversation with my mom talking about the good old days on Daufuskie Island. My home where I have had my best years.
Theses days I moving forward with my writing that keeps me going and cooking the way she taught me so well. Thanks for…Continue
Posted on July 17, 2014 at 1:03am
I had a gran time in Tulsa Oklahoma with Pat Conroy. Folks was wonderful to us and we felt like a King and Queen. They welcome us with big wide open arms and pampered us the whole time. It was truly an experience in the mid-west and I can't wait to go…Continue
Posted on September 23, 2012 at 7:42pm
Hey, Hey Daufuskie Day is coming and I hope to see many of you there this year. LOOKING FORWARD..
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 10:29pm
Wow wasn't that show on Savannah and Daufuskie something. I am proud to say that I did it and appreciate everyone whom watched it. I am now enjoying the comments of Girl you show did hacked that racoon up. Well when you were raised to eat certain things that was cooked after a hard days work you were not given much choice, you eat it. Andrew was so much fun to work with, and the crew was just as much fun. I thank each and every one of you that watched it and from me to you you are the best…Continue
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 10:19pm