Linh Garza | Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar

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: The Lives and Loaves of New Orleans


Linh Garza

Dong Phuong Bakery

“Everything that’s savory has to have a pinch of sweet and everything that’s sweet has to have a pinch of savory.” That’s the motto of Huong Tran. She opened Dong Phuong Bakery in the early 1980s, after a short run of cooking and selling classical Vietnamese baked goods out of her home. She operated out of the professional kitchen of her mother-in-law, owner of Dong Phuong Oriental Restaurant, one of the first Vietnamese eateries in the Greater New Orleans area.

Tran’s father ran a bakery in Sóc Trăng, Vietnam, where she learned the art of making moon cakes, flaky pastries filled with mung-bean paste and a salted duck egg yolk. A few years later, her husband, De Tran, tinkered until he came up with the perfect bánh mì loaf, the traditional Vietnamese French-style bread. That loaf launched the Bakery’s sandwich counter, which now offers seventeen different types of sandwiches, stuffed with everything from French cold cuts (#1) to barbecue chicken (#9) and Chinese sausage (#17).

More recently, Dong Phuong has become regionally known for their king cakes, the brioche-style pastry ring served throughout the Carnival season. The traditionally-sweet cakes come slathered in cream cheese, here: sweet with a pinch of savory.

Date of interview:

Rien Fertel

Rien Fertel

Download Transcript

Other Project Interviews



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

Let’s Stay in Touch

Sign up for the SFA newsletter to have the latest content
delivered directly to your inbox.