About: Sallie Ann the Gullah Diva

Sallie Ann 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, The Food Network, and on Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman.

Don’t be angry and complain, do something about it!

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: National Geographic (Dec 1987); Southern Living (April 2005 and Sept 2004);The South Magazine (Oct-Nov 2006); Hilton Head Monthly (May 2008); 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 cooking demonstrations, subsequently posted on YouTube.

Pat And I 

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. He also included her in two more of his other books. Additionally, portraits of members of Robinson’s family, including her grandmother, Louvinia Robinson, and mother Albertha R. Stafford are featured in Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe’s 1982 book Daufuskie Island: A Photographic Essay.


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 has moved back home to her beloved island Daufuskie and is a Council women on Daufuskie Council Board, A Tour Guide and a CNA (certified nursing assistant). Since 1988 she has enjoyed caring for elder folks in their home, giving lots of TLC, encouraging people to be active, sharing stories, and cooking great meals to sooth their soul. She still finds time to volunteer and write.  Be on the look out for more of her love for Daufuskie, food and more…

“Pop always said, nothing gets done when you are lying in bed.”