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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Anthony and Megan Arceneaux

Hawk's Restaurant

Anthony Arceneaux, born in 1962, hails from Rayne, Louisiana, an agricultural community twenty miles west of Lafayette. Anthony grew up in a rice farming Cajun family, going back three generations. Throughout Acadiana, crawfish thrive in rice ponds, and the Arceneaux family often boiled crawfish they caught in their fields. In 1982, Anthony’s father, Luther, nicknamed “Hawk,” opened a boiled crawfish restaurant that he named after himself.

Hawk’s Restaurant revolutionized the crawfish business in two ways: by serving only “select”-sized crawfish, and by subjecting the crawfish to a purging process, an intense cleaning, inside and out. Now run by Anthony, Hawk’s is known for attracting people from the world over, who drive to this remote location and face hours-long waits to eat crawfish. In 2015, his daughter, Meg, born in 1982, started Hawk’s Boil Up, a mobile crawfish operation that serves crawfish fanatics in Lafayette and New Orleans.

Date of interview:

Rien Fertel

Denny Culbert

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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.


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