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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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Gerald Patout

Arnold LeDoux Library - Louisiana State University

Even as a young librarian with a case of wanderlust, Gerald Patout never quite left his home base of Acadiana. While living in New York City, for example, he worked for the Domino Sugar company—a providential match, seeing as Gerald grew up in one of Louisiana’s most influential sugar-producing families. Also in New York, he taught Cajun cooking classes. Eventually he made his way back to Louisiana, first working at the Historic New Orleans Collection in the French Quarter for a decade, and then returning to Acadiana to direct the Arnold LeDoux Library on the LSU campus at Eunice. That last move brought him closer to many things of value: family, a slower pace of life, and boudin. As an academic, Gerald offers perspective regarding the cultural import of Cajun boudin, as well as theories about its invention. As an eater, he tells us where to get some and how to serve it.

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.


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