About the Film
Every year Brunswick, Georgia, holds a festival called Stewbilee to celebrate their invention of Brunswick stew--a claim also made by Brunswick County, Virginia. Stew-masters from far and wide in Georgia gather--and often stew-masters from Virginia too whenever a "Stew War" competition and stew cook-off occurs--gather and compete for awards for best stew under a strict "Cook Off Rules." A panel of judges is invited to sample-taste the stews and vote for the ones they prefer. After learning that folklorist Dr. John Burrison was invited to be a judge at the festival, Stan asked Burrison, who had served as advisor on a number of his films, to join him as he documented the festival. Together, prior to the festival, they explore the lore and folklife of the Brunswick, Georgia, claim to the origin of the stew. They come up with surprising stories of authentication that attribute the origin to both African American Sea-Island cooks and a longer tradition of stews cooked by the coastal Indian peoples.