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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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Dickie Breaux

Café Des Amis

Never in his first fifty years of life did Dickie Breaux, né John Richard Breaux, imagine that he would be tied to Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, by a bowl of duck gumbo—or anything else for that matter. Though he was born in that town, he spent his teenage years living in Jeanerette forty-some miles to the southeast. Or, as Dickie puts it, “a million miles away.” A preservationist and former politician, he returned to Breaux Bridge in 1991 for the historic building that now houses his restaurant, Café Des Amis, as well as his home upstairs. Dickie’s son, Brett Breaux, a professional chef, opened the restaurant with him and helped establish a menu that’s at once Louisiana-cosmopolitan (New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp and turtle soup are specialties) and traditionally Cajun (you’ll find boudin sausage and cornmeal-based coush-coush at breakfast). At the time of this interview, the café’s current chef was sourcing the boudin from Dickie’s favorite outlet: Charlie T’s in Breaux Bridge. Along with harkening to the communal boucheries of his childhood, starting the day with boudin fits the romping mood of Café Des Amis’ Saturday morning Zydeco breakfasts.

Café des Amis has closed; the restaurant Café Sydnie Mae now operates in its former space.

Date of interview:

Sara Roahen

Sara Roahen

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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.


Alex Raij Txikito

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