Photos by Collin Richie

Sicily meets south Louisiana in a delicious confluence of family, food and culture

The story of Italians in Baton Rouge stretches like a parade route across the city. The perfume of olive oil and garlic-infused tomato gravy signals proximity to an Italian kitchen where the coveted recipes came from the old country to this new place where immigrants landed, joining family members who came before them. Accompanied by devout faith and an equally strong work ethic, good ingredients and a treasure trove of cooking expertise, Louisiana became home and was infused with Italian influence. 

The writing down and sharing of recipes is not the Sicilian way. It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that, a “cook with love” philosophy that is passed down from the greatest of grandmothers to continuous generations. The stories of the three Sicilian families below detail their journeys, with faith as a constant, as they passed down deeply rooted traditions and have cooked up a century of delicious food. Click the photos below to read the full stories.