Louisiana Foods | 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 annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

< Back to Oral History project: Southern Gumbo Trail


Jim Gossen and Jeff Landry

Jim Gossen, the proprietor of Louisiana Foods in Houston, Texas, is the oldest of seven children, which means that his mother needed to cook with economy. One-pot meals, Jim calls them. A single hen could feed everyone, for example, as long as it was made into a gumbo. The family never ate in restaurants during his youth spent in the Lafayette area, but many of his siblings became passionate cooks, and Jim is no exception.

After a long career in restaurants, Jim entered the wholesale seafood business. These days you won’t find him toiling behind a restaurant stove, but if you catch him at one of his homes (either in Houston, Texas, or Lafayette or Grand Isle, Louisiana), he’s likely to greet you with a pan of baked oysters, a slice of root beer-glazed ham, or hot biscuits brushed with melted butter. Jim has nothing against using store-bought roux for gumbo, except that your house won’t have that browned-flour smell. Jim’s stepson, Jeff Landry, an avid outdoorsman and an accomplished cook himself, had an appreciation for raw oysters by the age of four. To Jeff, gumbo is as much about camaraderie as it is about eating.

In 2012, Sysco Corp. acquired Louisiana Foods.

Date of interview:

Sara Roahen

Sara Roahen

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.