In 1968, Susan Mason and her then-husband paid their first visit to Savannah. Upon driving through the squares amid full-bloom azaleas, the small-town Alabama girl knew she was home.
“I called my mother and said, ‘Mama, we’re moving to Savannah,’” recalls Mason. “She said, ‘Oh you can’t move there—it’s a closed town, socially. You’ll never be anybody in Savannah, Georgia.’”
Well, she sure showed Mama. Since starting her catering business in 1986, Mason has hobnobbed with the city’s (often the country’s) boldest-faced names, becoming herself a bit of a celebrity along the way. Just take it from one of the finest menus in town.
“I call the Pink House my office because I’m there all the time,” says Mason. “Years ago, they offered this very simple dish that I loved—angel hair pasta with an olive oil and white wine sauce, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes and shrimp. Every time I went back, I’d say, ‘Remember that special y’all had? I want that.’
“So now they’ve got it on the menu: Susan Mason’s Pasta. It’s my favorite thing to eat in the whole world. Whenever I’m there and a tourist orders it, I’ll hear the waiter say, ‘And she’s sitting right over there!’”
Written by Sarah Taylor Asquith. Photo by Christine Hall.