NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -- Willie Mae Seaton passed away last week at the age of 99. The funeral mass started at 10 a.m. on Friday at the Saint Peter Claver Catholic Church. Many paid their respects from locals to world famous chefs. Her family spoke with WGNO before the service:
"She was a legend and I am going to really miss her," said Jerea Seaton, Willie Mae's granddaughter.
"I want them to remember her as a nice, cool lady who cooked really really good food. Who was loving, caring, family-oriented," said Danielle Seaton, Willie Mae's great great granddaughter.
"We miss you, we love you, and you're home now. That's it," said Kaeyana Seaton, Willie Mae's great great granddaughter
Willie Mae was truly a household name in New Orleans. She was known as a culinary mecca, the 'Goddess of Fried Chicken'. She won the James Beard award in 2005. Her fried chicken, called the best in the nation, was featured on TV shows and in major publications.
Countless celebrities have dined at Willie Mae’s Scotch House in the Treme. President Barack Obama just ate there last month, while in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina’s 10th anniversary. Willie Mae’s restaurant was destroyed following the storm, but the community and fellow chefs worked hard to get the place back up and running in 2007.
Now her great grand daughter Kerry Seaton Stewart runs the family business. Willie Mae Seaton is also survived by 7 grandchildren, and even has great great great grand children. We spoke with some of them today, about Willie Mae's legendary cooking ability:
"I asked her for her recipe, but she wasn't going to give it up!" said Danielle Seaton.
"Her bread pudding because I know I am never going to eat nothing like it no more. And her breaded pork chops. I am going to miss my grandmother," said Jerea Seaton.
Willie Mae Seaton will be buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery.