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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.

< Back to Oral History project: Atlanta’s Buford Highway


Hieu Pham, owner, Crawfish Shack Seafood

Crawfish Shack Seafood

Hieu Pham is a born-and-raised Atlantan, but his parents bring a mix of Cambodian, Chinese, and Vietnamese heritage to the table. Born in 1983, shortly after his parents came to the United States as refugees from Vietnam, Hieu was often the only kid of Asian descent at his Atlanta public school. But his parents steadily encouraged close kinship with a Vietnamese community via the Vietnamese Baptist Church. It was through church camps, often held in New Orleans, that Hieu discovered Cajun cooking, crawfish boils, po-boys, and oysters on the half shell.

Once a student of interior design at Georgia State, Hieu switched gears to open Crawfish Shack Seafood on Atlanta’s Buford Highway in 2008. With the help of his parents and sister, Hieu dishes out fresh po-boys with a Vietnamese-influenced remoulade, spring rolls made with Louisiana shrimp, and a traditional Vietnamese drink of pressed sugarcane spiked with sweet Louisiana satsumas in lieu of sweet tea.

Date of interview:

Kate Medley

Kate Medley

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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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