Dr. David S. Shields is the Carolina Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina and the chairman of the Carolina Gold Rice (CGR) Foundation. He has published 13 books in three fields: early American literary culture, American performing arts photography and food studies. In October 2017, the University of Chicago Press published his historical collection of American chef biographies, The Culinarians; Lives and Careers from the First Age of American Fine Dining. In 2015, the press published Southern Provisions: The Creation and Revival of a Cuisine, chronicling the emergence in the 1800s of a distinctive set of foodways along the southeastern coast of the United States.
As chair of the CGR Foundation, Shields provided the research that enabled Glenn Roberts and Dr. Brian Ward to recover and put into commercial production classic southern ingredients such as benne, sea island white flint corn, purple straw wheat, purple ribbon sugar cane, the Carolina African runner peanut and Carolina Gold Rice. He is the Southern Foodways Alliance “Keeper of the Flame” and heads Slow Food’s Ark of Taste for the South.