Celebrity chef, television personality, and authority of Gullah tradition, Sallie Ann Robinson is a sixth-generation native of Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, renowned for her culinary expertise, entertaining presentations, and knowledge of the Southeastern United States Gullah culture.
Robinson has maintained a notable presence on local and 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 and on Travel Channel with Andrew Zimmern Bazaar Food.
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: Southern Living (April 2005 and Sept 2004); National Geographic (Dec 1987); Hilton Head Monthly (May 2008); The South Magazine (Oct-Nov 2006); Garden and Gun (2009), and Bon Appetit in 2012. In October, 2010, Robinson was invited by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts to lecture on Gullah heritage and do a cooking demonstration, subsequently posted on You Tube.
In author Pat Conroy’s 1972 novel, The Water is Wide reminiscence of his year of teaching 5th through 8th grades in Daufuskie Island’s tiny schoolhouse, Robinson, a student, is remembered as “Ethel.” The novel subsequently inspired stage adaptations as well as two major movie productions, all of them introducing Robinson via her fictional alter ego. Additionally, portraits of members of Robinson’s family, including her grandmother, Louvinia Robinson, are featured in Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe’s 1982 book Daufuskie Island: A Photographic Essay.
Smuttered Shrimp Pecan Crunch Cookies
In 2003, the University of North Carolina Press published Robinson’s first book, Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way. The New York Times praised it as “A fascinating cookbook; the Savannah (GA) Morning News: added: Sallie Ann Robinson is a soft Daufuskie sea ”breeze…lively. Playful and full of laughter, yet warm and soothing.
Publishers Weekly noted the following: “This book honors a love of her childhood and her family, and that love is intertwined with food. “ 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 2006. Once again, critics and readers alike praised the author for the storytelling quality of memoir in the book, (and) the authenticity of the recipes.”
Sallie Ann Robinson is also a CNA (certified nursing assistance) since 1988 and when she is not too busy she enjoys caring for elder folks in their home, giving lots of TLC, taking client’s places, sharing stories, and cooking a great meal to sooth their soul.
Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way (ISBN 0807827835, University of North Carolina Press, 2003)
Cooking the Gullah Way, Morning, Noon, and Night (ISBN 0807831506, University of North Carolina Press, 2007)