Tanner Latham

Authentic South Host

Tanner spent the first 10 years of his career in print as a travel and features writer for Southern Living magazine in Birmingham, Alabama.

He then transitioned into multimedia reporting, using sound, video, and photography to tell his stories.

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Tanner is a world traveler, folk art collector, foodie, and he always tries the local beer on tap.

Ways to Connect

Tanner Latham / WFAE

Carolina Panthers fans will be making their way west to the Bay Area of California this week for Sunday’s Super Bowl. But there are several fans that already live there. And throughout the season, many of them have packed into a little sports bar in San Francisco each week to cheer on their beloved team in unison from nearly 3,000 miles away.

Kelley Libby

For years, at historic plantation sites across the South, the focus was on the big house and not on the slave cabins. But cabins like that are now being resurrected by a program called Slave Dwelling Project on the grounds of Montpelier, James and Dolley Madison's home in Virginia. 

Chef Vivian Howard

Jul 11, 2014
Tanner Latham

Vivian Howard is the chef at Chef and the Farmer in the small Eastern North Carolina town of Kinston. She also "co-stars" with her husband Ben Knight on their Peabody Award-winning PBS show “A Chef’s Life.”

Tanner Latham

To Eat A Pig, Pt. 2

Jun 6, 2014
Charlene Dy

In To Eat A Pig, Pt. 1, we met Sean Kelley, a writer who set out to raise a couple of pigs for the purpose of butchering them himself. He was so adamant about that mission that he even named the pigs Lunch and Dinner. This episode picks up at the point where Dinner had grown to over 300 pounds, and Sean was finally ready to slaughter her.

To Eat A Pig, Pt. 1

May 23, 2014
Tanner Latham

Sean Kelley is a journalist, and in this show, he begins telling us the sometimes comic/sometimes tragic story about raising a couple of pigs so that he could slaughter, butcher and eat them just learn about that entire process firsthand.

"We know everything about pork and beef and poultry. We know nothing about pigs and cows and chickens," he says. 

Tanner Latham

Chef Hugh Acheson is one of the most celebrated and influential chefs in the country.

The Newest New South

Mar 7, 2014
Tanner Latham

“Folks started talking about the New South after the Civil War," says Tom Hanchett, staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte. "Where we are now is the newest of the New Souths, the Newcomer South.” Tom speaks about the ever-evolving South, especially as it relates to food, from a booth in El Pulgarcito, a Honduran-Salvadoran-Mexican restaurant on the east side of the city.

Special music in this episode courtesy of Charlotte-based band UltimaNota.   

Tanner Latham

Cynthia Graubart attained culinary celebrity status last year when she won a James Beard Award for the cookbook she co-wrote with famed Southern author Nathalie Dupree. It’s called Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, and it is amazing. It took four years to write, and it weighs six and a half pounds. It’s got 750 recipes and another 650 variations on the standards. It is becoming itself a standard--a bible--for any Southern cook.


Eudora Welty was one of the South’s most beloved writers, and her fiction is still a study in detail and dialogue and wit. Her settings were often Southern, but her themes were universal. Eudora won multiple awards in her lifetime, including a Pulitzer in 1973 for her novel The Optimist’s Daughter. She passed away in 2001.

The audio you hear of Eudora in this episode is part of folklorist Bill Ferris' recent book The Storied South, which is a collection of interviews with iconic writers, musicians, historians, photographers and artists. 

I first featured Bill in Episode 10, and we talked extensively about his 40-year career and how the South has perfected the art of storytelling. 

In this episode, Bill returns to tell us about his close friendship with the famous Southern writer. 

Tanner Latham

Bestselling novelist Cassandra King talks about her new book Moonrise as well as her writing relationship with her husband, famous author Pat Conroy. 

"Being married to another writer was just like dropping a little fat kid into a candy store."   


Preeminent Southern folklorist Bill Ferris has spent the last 40 years documenting the South in print, photography and film. His latest book, The Storied South, is a collection of interviews with some of the South's (and country's) iconic writers and artists, including Alice Walker, Alex Haley, Robert Penn Warren and Eudora Welty. We discuss the book, the importance of story and how Bill defines the South. 

Miss Biscuit

Aug 9, 2013
Tanner Latham

One of the highlights of Knoxville’s International Biscuit Festival  is the Mr. & Miss Biscuit Pageant. This episode profiles Liz Barr, the reigning Miss Biscuit 2013. Her win was surely secured after she performed an interpretive dance to an original love song...about a biscuit.

The pageant's talent competition was serious. One guy ate a spoonful of flour. There was a woman who carved a butter sculpture to resemble the Sunsphere, one of the city’s iconic landmarks.

Tanner Latham

Birmingham, Alabama, singer-songwriter Josh Vasa of the band Sanyasi talks about his Indian heritage, writing, and the value of cheesy lyrics.

Indian Pass Raw Bar

Jun 21, 2013
Tanner Latham

The Indian Pass Raw Bar is the anchor of the community in the Florida panhandle. It sits on County Road 30A, just southeast of Port St. Joe and west of Apalachicola. It’s an institution in this part of the world and has been here since owner Jimmy McNeill's grandparents opened it in 1929. People come for the oysters and the unusual 'honor system' code, but they also come for Jimmy, the unofficial mayor of Indian Pass.  

This episode features the song "372" by Pressed And.

Tanner Latham

Les Thomas wrote his way across the South. His travel writing, for Texas newspapers,  Southern Living magazine and beyond, has spanned over 45 years. He's a giant of a man with an innate curiosity.  

"I've always liked to ask questions," he says. "That's been part of my life, I guess. I've probably asked way too many beyond patience, but I don't know how you find out things unless you ask." 

Tanner Latham

In our food-obsessed culture, we likely never think about what's on the menu at an eating disorder clinic. A couple of chefs bring their inventive cuisine and gregarious personalities to Magnolia Creek, a treatment center in rural Alabama. The episode features the song "Pour Traverser" by the Birmingham-based band War Jacket. 

Tanner Latham

Barbara Nottingham has been running the Happy Hollow Gift Shop in Medicine Park, Oklahoma, for almost 40 years. Its live rattlesnakes and an abundance of tchotchkes draw most of the visitors who have come to the area to tour the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

Tanner Latham

This episode features James “Ooker” Eskridge, a waterman who has lived on Tangier Island, Virginia, his whole life. Ooker talks about being the Chesapeake Bay island’s mayor (population 450), the dwindling interest in working in the seafood industry, and the island’s distinct Cornwall, England-tinged accent.

Hungarian Blues

May 17, 2013
Tanner Latham

Little G Weevil is a Hungarian-born Blues musician living in Kennesaw, Georgia. When he talks, you know he had to come from Budapest. But when he sings, it’s like he’s stepping right off of Beale Street in Memphis.

This is his story.