2013 Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame: Alzina Toups | Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar


Each year, the Southern Foodways Alliance celebrates men and women whose lifework enriches Southern food culture. Seven SFA awards and honors recognize these cultural standard bearers.

2013 Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame: Alzina Toups

Each fall, the Southern Foodways Alliance, with support from the Fertel Foundation, honors an unsung hero or heroine of traditional Southern foodways with the Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award. This year’s Keeper of the Flame is Alzina Toups of Galliano, Louisiana, who has quietly built a devoted following for the traditional Cajun fare she serves out of her no-frills restaurant.

Alzina’s offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience. In Mrs. Toups’s own words, it’s more of “get-together place” than a traditional restaurant. She entertains only one party per mealtime and accepts no walk-ins. While she’s currently renowned for specialties such as crabmeat lasagna (she boils and picks her own crabs) and fig tart, Mrs. Toups has a vast repertoire that spans two cookbooks and numerous composition notebooks stacked in the corner of her kitchen.

Read SFA’s oral history with Alzina Toups in the link that follows.



The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

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