Legendary Chef Leah Chase has died

Photo courtesy Jesuitnola.org

Chef and restaurateuse Leah Chase, of Dooky Chase Restaurant, died on Saturday, at 96-years-old.

Chase was a local, being born and raised in Madisonville, Louisiana.

In the early ’40s, during the segregated Jim Crow era, Chase worked as a server in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
After she married local jazz musician Edgar “Dooky” Chase Jr. in 1946, the couple took over his father’s bustling sandwich shop in Treme.
They transformed it into an elegant sit-down Creole restaurant and African American art gallery.

There, she broke New Orleans’ segregation laws by seating black and white patrons together.

She fed presidents and Freedom Riders.

She helped mend the country’s divisions, one meal at a time.

In her seven-decade culinary career, Leah Chase did far more than introduce thousands to Creole cuisine.


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