For years and years, Ruby Sharlow's restaurant was one of "the" places to get an amazing plate of food in Lafayette.
Ruby's legacy began when she decided to retire from food service at some of Acadiana's private schools.
She opened restaurants and, for over 20 years, made the stomachs of Acadiana smile.
Mrs. Sharlow doesn't need any pointers on how to create her most mouth-watering dishes. She learned all she needed to know as a little girl under the direction of her mother.
"I would watch everything that she did. We lived on a farm and she was known as one of the world's best cooks," said Sharlow. "My dad used to say, 'your mom can make a stone soup and make it taste good'."
Her legendary cooking isn't Sharlow's only accomplishment. She's been married for 66 years to Jack Sharlow and has seven children and multiple grand, great and great, great grandchildren.
But being a woman, and a black woman starting her own restaurant in a primarily white man's world, was a challenge.
"I had a very hard time," she said. "Being a black woman and a woman, because they threw everything in the book at me. I threw it right back."
While she no longer has her own restaurant, her son Tim continues Ruby's legacy by using her recipes at his successful Broussard restaurant.
And Ruby still gets that reaction, still sees that smile when someone remembers an amazing meal at one of her restaurants.
"That I really did something or fed somebody that was hungry and that they enjoyed it," she said. "That was what I wanted to do."
Miss Ruby shares some of the wisdom she's passed down to her son in the second part of this Spirit of Acadiana story. Watch below:
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