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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 annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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ORAL HISTORY

Brent Tranchina


Barracuda

Brent Tranchina, born in 1983, grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. Growing up in an Indo-Trinidadian-Cajun household, Tranchina was interested in food and cooking from an early age. He studied anthropology and food insecurity in college. After he completed his graduate studies during the Great Recession, so he got a job cooking in restaurants throughout New Orleans. Tranchina made a career out of it, working in kitchens in California and New Orleans. In 2019, he was a part of the team that opened Bywater American Bistro.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced restaurants to close, Tranchina reflected deeply on the ways in which cooks never rest from their jobs. During lockdown, he pursued creative projects and sold fresh, homemade pasta out of his home. By early summer 2021, he began working with a fellow industry friend who owns Barracuda cooking meals World Central Kitchen. In early summer 2021, Tranchina returned to work as a cook at Bywater American Bistro. World Central Kitchen work combined with the Bywater American Bistro kitchen job proved to be an unsustainable combination. He chose to leave Bywater American Bistro. He cooks at Barracuda.

Date of interview:
2020-11-30

Interviewer:
Rien Fertel

Photographer:

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