Phila Hach: A Chef, a Pioneer and a Bold Woman of Conviction

In partnership with Southern Foodways Alliance: The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies and explores the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. Our work sets a welcome table where all may consider our history and our future in a spirit of respect and reconciliation.


This short film offers a glimpse into the colorful life of Chef Phila Rawlings Hach. She is the star of Kitchen Kollage, the first television show starring a woman in the South.

Hach looks back on her achievements, which included authoring 17 cookbooks, opening up the famous Hartland Hill Inn and adjoining restaurant in her native Tennessee, and catering for 1,700 United Nations delegates, where she served BBQ and "smuggled" Mint Juleps. She also talks about her assistant Martha Morman, who was the first African-American to appear on television.

Phila Hach as a stewardess
Phila (then Rawlings) Hach, pictured as an airline stewardess in 1948. | Southern Foodways Alliance

"I've never asked for anything but I've been in the right place at the right time," Hach said. "I'm just a bold woman of conviction."

Phila passed away in 2015 at the age 89.

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