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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

< Back to Oral History project: Lunch Houses of Acadiana


Madonna Broussard

Madonna Broussard knows her rice and gravy. A third-generation restaurant owner, Madonna is the granddaughter of Laura Broussard, who opened the original Laura’s in her own house on a secluded Northside Lafayette back street. Opened in 1968—making it perhaps the first plate lunch house in Lafayette—Laura’s served stuffed turkey wings, fried pork chops, and fried catfish and chicken. Madonna’s mother Dorothy continued the Laura’s legacy, while today her daughter serves many of the same dishes her grandmother did: spicy baked turkey wings (you’re lucky if you get one with crackling on top), enormous crispy pork chops, and just about the darkest, brownest gravy (topping rice and simmering meatballs) around. With the next generation of Broussard-family working in the lunch house, Madonna is looking forward to a future blessed with, in her words, a “Laura’s III, IV, and V.”

Date of interview:

Rien T. Fertel

Denny Culbert

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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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