The Southern Foodways Alliance is collaborating with, among other entities, the Ruth U. Fertel Foundation and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, on The Gulf Coast Foodways Renaissance Project. This initiative chronicles the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the foodways of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, while concurrently tracking the rebirth of the New Orleans restaurant industry. The interviews featured here are from the first phase of the project. A film and other media explorations are posted at www.southernfood.org.
In November 2005, Laura Westbrook, director of the Louisiana Regional Folklife Program at the University of New Orleans, volunteered to begin collecting interviews. She visited bakers, vintners, cheese makers, and fishermen, gathering the stories of the purveyors of the unique foodstuffs that predicate Gulf Coast cuisine. Together, these oral histories offer a portrait of Louisiana’s unique foodways and underscore our responsibility to support the people behind them.