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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: Southern Gumbo Trail


Wayne Baquet

Wayne Baquet’s New Orleans roots stretch back two hundred years, and his family’s history in the restaurant business there is three generations strong. Wayne thought about leaving the business in 2004, when he sold Zachary’s, a restaurant once known for its fried chicken and Sunday brunches in the Carrolton neighborhood. But his passion for the food of his Creole heritage runs deep: soon he was opening a Lil’ Dizzy’s Café in the Treme neighborhood, and then another one in the Central Business District.

The Creole filé gumbo ladled out at Lil’ Dizzy’s is the same gumbo that his family has been serving at its restaurants for decades. It builds upon a pre-made, seasoned, dry roux mix that Wayne and his father developed so that they could reproduce the essence of their gumbo anywhere they traveled, be it to another family restaurant or a family reunion.

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.


Alex Raij Txikito

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