Foodways Texas Annual Symposium


Part of the mission of Foodways Texas is to gather and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas. Our most celebratory gathering, our family reunion, is our annual symposium. Yearly, we come together in one of the great cities of Texas and host a 2-3 day event which is a balanced offering of panels and speakers on academic, cultural, and popular subjects related to food history, food trends, important ideas, cultural identity and traditions…foodways. All meals are included in the symposium ticket price and include breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared by the state’s most notable and interesting chefs and restaurants. We would love for you to join us. We hope that even if you arrive not knowing a soul in the room, you will leave with a new foodways family. We are a member based organization and it is the interest of our members that feed our ever growing and ambitious pursuit to preserve the unique food heritage, culture and history of Texas.



Shrimp and Grit: Food and Community Along the Texas Gulf Coast

8th Annual Foodways Texas Symposium
Save the date: April 12-14, 2018
Houston, Texas

Now that we’re through the holidays and Camp Brisket (which is the ULTIMATE holiday in our minds), we’re diving in headfirst for this year’s Foodways Texas Symposium. This is the first year we’ll be in Houston proper, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate and discuss all things Gulf Coast with our dearest supporters. More details will be posted soon. Please consider joining us!

The Gulf Coast was the first site of European exploration in Texas with the remains of the ill-fated Narváez Expedition landing somewhere on or close to Galveston Island in 1528. Their experience in the first year along the Texas Gulf Coast prompted Cabeza de Vaca and other survivors to later call the area, Isla de Malhado, or roughly, Island of Misfortune. While the Texas coast today features a massive oil industrial complex, several of the largest ports in the world, and two sites for outer space exploration and research with NASA and SpaceX, the coastal regions have always boasted unique and varied foodways that require stewardship of and respect for their environments. The weather can be harsh and unforgiving as de Vaca noted nearly 500 years ago, but the abundance of the region has kept folks returning even after terrible disasters.

The 2018 Foodways Texas symposium, “Shrimp and Grit: Food and Community Along the Texas Gulf Coast,” focuses on the joys and struggles of life on the Texas Gulf Coast as seen through its foodways. From Port Isabel to Orange, Gulf Coast Texans fish, farm, ranch, eat, celebrate, and regularly rebuild. With “Shrimp and Grit, we will explore the effects of hurricanes and other natural calamities on the food supply chain and the communities along the coast, we will note the histories of prominent and hidden food industries, and meet folks who make food and feeding communities their life in the region.

We look forward to many fascinating conversations with all of y’all in this upcoming symposium. Join us!


2017 7th Annual Foodways Texas Symposium

Texas Food Routes

April 27-28, 2017
Fort Worth, Texas

We are excited to announce that “Texas Food Routes,” the 2017 Foodways Texas Symposium, will be held in Fort Worth on April 27-28. Mark your calendars! “Texas Food Routes” will explore the simple fact that food moves people. Civilizations all over the world have followed animal migrations and seasonal food patterns, carried preserved and commodity foods long distances for both sustenance and trade, and traveled through grocery stores and to restaurants in order to satisfy their hunger. As such, “Texas Food Routes” will cover the interplay of food, foodways, and mobility in Texas history and in its contemporary society. We will investigate topics such as the railroad and railcar dining, the interstate system and food distribution, and the migration of peoples and foods across Texas. The Symposium will feature a kickoff chuckwagon dinner on Thursday evening, as well as a full Friday of speakers, panels, and meals prepared to fit the symposium theme by notable chefs in the north Texas region. We are so pleased to be in Fort Worth this year and hope to see a lot of new faces amongst our ever-growing Foodways Texas family.

2017 Foodways Texas Symposium Schedule

Veterans of past symposia might notice that we have scaled back the symposium to 1 ½ days this year. We do so for several reasons including greater access to the event, a tighter program, and the flexibility it will afford us to plan more events each year around the state. The change will allow us to lower the ticket price as well. Members will pay $200 and non-members $225, which as usual will include not only the panels but all meals and plenty of drinks. Tickets will go on sale February 1st at 10 am. If you have questions about the change, please contact us at

Texas Food Routes
April 27-28, 2017
Fort Worth, Texas

Tickets Available Now (click the red button below)

Foodways Texas Members: $200
General Public: $225

Hotel Accomodations

We are always eager to make connections with new sponsors for our Symposium, so if you would like to be involved as a key sponsor for the event, please contact Marvin Bendele at

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