I am headed down to Oxford, Mississippi early Thursday morning to attend the 10th annual Symposium of the Southern Foodways Alliance — The State of Southern Food. Needless to say, I’ll provide plenty of reports on the Symposium when I’m not dining on fried catfish, hot tamales, koolickles, Memphis barbecue, pig ears or sipping bourbon. I’ll be rubbing elbows with the likes of Alice Waters, John T. Edge, Shirley Corriher and a slew of other food dignitaries, some of whom are actually my friends (yes, I’m an unapologetic name dropper). Most of all, I’ll be sharing stories and enjoying convivial feasts with a lot of people who are passionate about food — Southern food in particular. So you’ll get stories about my side trip to the Mississippi Delta in search of hot tamales. I’ll also get to tell you about finally sampling some real Memphis barbecue. And, of course, there will be lots of stories about Southern food.