NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)- She’s one of the great matriarchs of the Creole cuisine scene in New Orleans. We’re talking about Ms. Leah Chase from Dooky Chase’s, where she’s been cooking creole dishes since the 1940’s.
So who better to talk with on Thanksgiving than her about her food and traditions.
News with a Twist Reporter Kenny Lopez tells her Thanksgiving tale.
Thanksgiving is a chef’s dream for Ms. Leah Chase at Dooky Chase’s.
“I do turkey, fish, duck, and tutti frutti pork, which is pork with apricot jelly,” she said.
This 92-year old chef’s Thanksgiving menu is a gumbo of greatness!
“We have to stew the meat, and put chicken meat in there, all that good stuff,” Chase said.
Growing up in the country, Leah’s Thanksgivings were never like they are now.
“We were so poor. We didn’t even celebrate Thanksgiving when I was a little girl. Everyone worked on Thanksgiving Day, so it wasn’t a big day. I was so happy when I moved to New Orleans and I found out it was a big day, and everyone cooked a lot of food,” she said.
So what does Leah recommend to never cook on Thanksgiving Day?
“Please don’t cook red beans and rice. It used to be in New Orleans that you only cooked red beans and rice on Mondays, but now visitors want to eat them, so we have to serve them other days, but I’ll never serve red beans and rice on a Sunday or on Thanksgiving or on Christmas,” she said.
On Thanksgiving, Leah’s reflecting on gratitude.
“I have so many people to thank. I’ve started writing cards. Some of the people I’m thanking don’t even realize what they’ve done for me,” Chase said.
For Leah life is about helping and serving others.
“Its that everyday person that comes your way that you must be grateful for. I’m grateful to the people of New Orleans for helping bring back my business after the storm. I owe so many people, I can’t afford to die,” Chase said.
Leah loves to make people happy with her cooking.
“You’re work here on Earth is what you can do to make the world better. Everyone has to eat, and all I can do is cook, so I make them happy,” she said.
Dooky Chase’s is located at 2301 Orleans Ave. For menu items, click HERE:
Leah Chase is known as “The Queen of Creole Cuisine”.