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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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Victor Pizarro

Victor Pizarro, born in 1971, grew up in Chalmette, a working-class suburb of New Orleans. Pizarro began his food and beverage career in 1986, mopping floors at a Shoney’s. Since then, he has gone on to serve in New Orleans’ hotels and restaurants. In 1991, Pizarro waited tables at the old-line institution Arnaud’s. He worked as the late-night peanut butter and jelly chef at the La Pavillon Hotel on Poydras Street in the late 1990s. Pizarro worked as a server at Bayona and for Jo Ann Clevenger at Upperline in the early 2000s.

One of the things he likes best about being an experienced server is the ability to change jobs and take longer breaks that allow him to indulge in his passion for international travel. When he is not serving customers at Gabrielle Restaurant or exploring a new city, Victor can be relied on to share passionate and hard-earned views about the state of the economy for the city’s service workers and the pressures placed upon them by short-term rentals, rising rents, and fragile infrastructure.

Date of interview:

Justin Nystrom

L. Kasimu Harris

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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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