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The Search For 'Sump'n-ta-eat'

Stephanie Tyson tells the story behind her acclaimed restaurant and her new cook book

After college, chef Stephanie Tyson wanted to leave her Southern roots behind her and start life anew in the North. She left North Carolina for New York with hopes to become an actress, but things did not quite work out as planned.

After a few years of wandering, she went to culinary school, and spent time working in some “bougie” restaurants. She eventually realized that she wanted to reconnect with her Southern roots and cook food that celebrated her Southern heritage. She came back home for good and she and her partner, Vivian Joiner, opened the restaurant Sweet Potatoes in Winston-Salem.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Tyson about the story behind her acclaimed restaurant and her new book “Soul Food Odyssey” that looks at her journey to understand the food her grandmother called ‘sump’n-ta-eat'.

Tyson will be talking about her book this Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Literary Bookpost in Salisbury and this Saturday at 4 p.m. at Barnes & Nobles in Winston-Salem.

Vivian Joiner /
Vivian Joiner /
Vivian Joiner /
Vivian Joiner /

Copyright 2015 North Carolina Public Radio

Anita Rao is the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content. She has traveled the country recording interviews for the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps production department, founded and launched a podcast about millennial feminism in the South, and served as the managing editor and regular host of "The State of Things," North Carolina Public Radio's flagship daily, live talk show. Anita was born in a small coal-mining town in Northeast England but spent most of her life growing up in Iowa and has a fond affection for the Midwest.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.