Oral History

Mildred Council - On food, business, and Mama Dip's

Interviewed by Paris Vaughn and Khristian Curry on April 25, 2012

Food is inextricably woven into Mildred Council’s life story. She grew up on a farm outside of Chapel Hill and cooked mostly out of necessity, and her main concerns were cost and practicality. She started learning from her father when she was nine years old, and as she grew up she held different jobs cooking. She worked at Bill’s Barbecue, which was owned by her in-laws, for twenty years, and then opened her own restaurant, Mama Dip’s, which has achieved national fame. Council hasn’t appreciated all of the attention, however: she was invited to cook on CBS, for example, but she “felt funny” about cooking on camera: “you see the money and the power,” she says. Older white folks who come to the restaurant in bus loads often say they like the food because “that’s what the maid cooked,” and that she reminds them of their maids. Now she’s teaching her children about the food business and stresses the importance of community, home life, and education.

Mildred Council - On food, business, and Mama Dip's

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Oral history interview of Council, Mildred conducted by Vaughn, Paris on April 25, 2012 at St. Joseph CME Church, Chapel Hill, NC.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Mildred Council - On food, business, and Mama Dip's,” From the Rock Wall, accessed June 13, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/mildred-council-2.

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