Martha Giddens Nesbit, a native of Valdosta, Georgia, has had careers in both food writing and education. Her first career was as a newspaper editor for the Savannah Morning News, where she was food editor, lifestyle editor, columnist and restaurant reviewer. She also wrote a food column, Savoring Savannah, for Savannah Magazine for over a decade.
She taught preschool at her church, Isle of Hope United Methodist, for 5 years and discovered that she loved teaching, prompting a career change at age 40. She became interested in charter schools after serving on a middle school task force at the request of the Savannah Chatham County Board of Education. She and a group of friends formed a 10-member steering committee and lobbied to change the Georgia law to allow for the creation of Georgia’s first start-up charter school, Oglethorpe Charter School, which opened in 1999. She worked for the school until her retirement in May of 2013.
Martha never lost her taste for food writing, however. She has participated in the writing of several cookbooks, including, Savannah Celebrations, published in September, 2010, and Dishing Up Hope, with all proceeds going to higher education for the children who live in group homes in Tapachula, Mexico, where Mrs. Nesbit has volunteered as a cook for six summers. Martha also assisted Paula Deen with the writing of four of cookbooks from 2005-2010. Her food memoir, Nibbles and Scribbles, will be published in the fall of 2019. Nibbles and Scribbles is a series of essays, each with corresponding recipes, about the people and places who influenced her cooking and eating, enhanced with photos from Nesbit’s family files and those of the Savannah Morning News. The book is enriched with the artwork from Savannah painter Sharon McIntosh, whose love of the coastal region
Martha has been married to Statesboro native Gary Nesbit for more than 40 years and has two grown sons (both married to terrific women), two granddaughters, and one grandson. Her passions are her family, food (cooking and eating), church, bridge, and travel. She particularly likes lobster rolls in Boston and anywhere in Maine. She can catch an Atlantic blue crab on a hand line with a chicken neck, boil, and pick it. Her specialties in the kitchen are heritage cookies and seafood of all kinds.