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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


Cesar Gonzalez

Sabor Caribe

Cesar Gonzalez was born in Maracabo, Venezuela on October 5th of 1972. Ten years ago Gonzalez came to Memphis. In Venezuela, he owned a bakery, deli, and has a background in graphic design. When he came to Memphis he worked for El Norte, a Spanish language newspaper, and as a freelancer before venturing into the food industry. His grandmother was a great cook and he credits her with passing along the flavors that he now cooks with. Three years ago, Gonzalez started by offering lunches to offices until he built a food truck approximately a year later. Little by little he saved money to purchase the equipment he needed for the food truck until opening Sabor Caribe restaurant. In the interview, Gonzalez discusses the challenges to opening a business and the transition from food truck to restaurant. Additionally, he describes the differences between Venezuelan cuisine and the food from other Latin American and Caribbean countries. His goal is to teach people about Venezuelan culture through food, to show another flavor and another culture.


Cesar Gonz√°lez naci√≥ en Maracaibo, Venezuela, el 5 de octubre de 1972. Hace diez a√Īos Gonz√°lez lleg√≥ a Memphis. En Venezuela, √©l era due√Īo de una panader√≠a, deli, y ten√≠a experiencia en dise√Īo gr√°fico. Cuando lleg√≥ a Memphis trabaj√≥ para El Norte, un peri√≥dico en espa√Īol, y como independiente antes de lanzarse a la industria culinaria. Su abuela era una gran cocinera y √©l le agradece por pasarle los sabores con los que ahora cocina. Hace tres a√Īos, Gonz√°lez empez√≥ ofreciendo almuerzos en las oficinas hasta que construy√≥ un cami√≥n de comida aproximadamente un a√Īo despu√©s. Poco a poco ahorr√≥ dinero para comprar el equipo que necesitaba para el cami√≥n de comida hasta abrir el restaurante Sabor Caribe. En la entrevista, C√©sar discute los desaf√≠os para abrir un negocio y la transici√≥n del cami√≥n de comida al restaurante. Adem√°s, describe las diferencias entre la cocina venezolana y la comida de otros pa√≠ses de Am√©rica Latina y el Caribe. Su objetivo es ense√Īar a la gente sobre la cultura venezolana a trav√©s de la comida, para mostrar otro sabor y otra cultura.

Date of interview:

Simone Delerme

Simone Delerme | Chelsea Loper | Sara Wood

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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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