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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

Frances Chauvin, pie maker


Frances Chauvin’s grandmother taught her to bake cookies, pie crusts, and biscuits when she was about nine years old, and she’s been cooking ever since. The Welsh, Louisiana native moved to Hammond at twenty-five to raise a family. When her son and daughter-in-law decided to organize a market to revitalize the downtown area, they asked her to become a vendor, so she began baking pies to sell. After a taste of her famous pie crust, buyers from New Orleans caught on and invited her to start selling in the Crescent City, too. Business has been slow after Hurricane Katrina, and Chauvin misses seeing her regular customers. “I make one recipe at a time,” she explains. “It takes a lot of time to do all that, but if you double the recipe, the crust does not come out the same. I make each pie like it would be for my family or best guest.” 

Date of interview:
2005-01-03

Interviewer:
Laura Westbrook, University of New Orleans

Photographer:

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