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Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,016
Registered: ‎07-29-2014

Renowned chef / civil rights activist has passed

[ Edited ]

remarkable woman!

 

 

Chef and civil rights activist Leah Chase, who was known as the 'Queen of Creole Cuisine', broke segregation laws by seating black and white patrons together, and fed Martin Luther King Jr and others dies at the age of 96

 

  • Chef Leah Chase passed away Saturday night surrounded by her family at the age of 96
  • She was a praised chef known as the 'Queen of Creole Cuisine' and ran Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Dooky Chase's was the first white-tablecloth restaurant for black patrons
  • She took over the restaurant from her father-in-law in 1946 transforming it from a simple sandwich shop into a fine dining experience
  • She and her husband broke segregation laws by seating black and white patrons together and used their restaurant as a civil rights meeting place
  • Her Southern dishes won her national acclaim and she's fed presidents, freedom riders, and activists like Martin Luther King Jr
  • She was the inspiration for Princess Tiana in the 2009 Disney film Princess and the Frog. She was also featured in Beyonce's Lemonade music video  

DailyMail.com

 

Renowned chef known as the 'Queen of Creole Cuisine' and civil rights activist Leah Chase has passed away at the age of 96. 

 

Chase was a beloved chef, praised for her soul food at the famed Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans, who broke down barriers with her cooking and violated segregation laws by seating black and white patrons together.   

 

She passed away Saturday evening surrounded by her family. 

 

Chase's family released a statement saying she was a 'believer in the Spirit of New Orleans'. 

 

'Her daily joy was not simply cooking, but preparing meals to bring people together,' the family's statement read. 'One of her most prized contributions was advocating for the Civil Rights Movement through feeding those on the front lines of the struggle for human dignity." 

 

Chef Leah Chase passed away Saturday night surrounded by her family at the age of 96
She was a praised chef known as the 'Queen of Creole Cuisine' and ran Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana

People came from far and wide for a bite of her food at Dooky Chase's Restaurant, which she took over from her father-in-law. 

 

She transformed the small sandwich shop into a state of the art Creole kitchen. Even in her 90s she dutifully attended to the restaurant every day, using a walker to greet customers and supervise in the kitchen. 

 

Locals, tourists, presidents, freedom riders, and civil right activists like Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr have passed through her restaurant doors for a taste of her Southern cuisine.

 

Ray Charles frequented the restaurant and even mentioned it in his song Early in the Morning.  

 

'I love people and I love serving people. It's fun for me to serve people.'

 

'Because sometimes people will come in and they're tired. And just a little plate of food will make people happy,' Chase said in an interview with the Associated Press in 2015. 

 

Chase's restaurant was much more than good food, she fought for equality through her meals. 

 

Not only did she create the first white-tablecloth restaurant for black patrons, but she used her restaurant as a space for the civil rights movement to strategize and to allow people of different races to mix side by side.  

 

 

She was the culinary extraordinaire behind the iconic Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans

 

She married local jazz musician Edgar 'Dooky' Chase in 1946 and together they took over his father's sandwich shop in the black neighborhood of Treme

Chase was born and raised in Louisiana during the segregated Jim Crow era and worked as a server in New Orleans' French quarter in the 40s. 

 

She married local jazz musician Edgar 'Dooky' Chase in 1946 and together they took over his father's sandwich shop in the black neighborhood of Treme.

 

They upgraded the shop into a sit-down restaurant with tablecloths and silverware and African American art gallery, emulating the fine dining experience in the French Quarter.

 

'I said well why we can’t have that for our people? Why we can’t have a nice space?' she said. 'So I started trying to do different things.'

 

In the 1960s the restaurant became one of the few public places where races were allowed to mix. It was also a key location in the civil rights movement and held black voter registration, NAACP meetings and political gatherings, according to CNN. 

 

'Nobody bothered them once they were in here. The police never, ever bothered us here,' Chase said. 'So they would meet and they would plan to go out, do what they had to do, come back -- all over a bowl of gumbo and some fried chicken.'

 

'It was a haven for them to refresh themselves with wonderful gumbo and it was a place where they could strategize after a hard day’s work,'

Chase's longtime friend Sybril Morial, who was courted by her late husband Ernest 'Dutch' Morial, the city's first black mayor, at Dooky Chase's said. 

 

When civil rights leaders landed in jail, she'd send them food, sniffing her nose at the prison food they'd be forced to eat.  

 

But Chase wasn't one to boast, saying simply she did what she thought she had to do. 

 

Chase's talent in the kitchen and contributions to her community earned her a slew of accolades including from the prestigious James Beard Foundation, the NAACP and Southern Foodways Alliance. 

 

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum even has a permanent gallery named after Chase. 

 

Chase's career was so admirable she inspired the character for Princess Tiana in the 2009 Disney film The Princess and the Frog. Heart

 

She was also included in Beyonce's music video for Lemonade, which featured a myriad of empowering black women. 

 

At the celebration of her 90th birthday she famously said: 'I like to think we changed the course of America in this restaurant over a bowl of gumbo.' 

 

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell led tributes to the beloved chef on Saturday. 

 

'Leah Chase was a legend, an icon and an inspiration. It is impossible to overstate what she meant to our City and to our community. At Dooky Chase’s Restaurant: she made creole cuisine the cultural force that it is today,' she tweeted. 

 

'Leah Chase served presidents and celebrities, she served generations of locals and visitors, and she served her community. She was a culture-bearer in the truest sense. We are poorer for her loss, and richer for having known and having loved her. She will be badly missed,' she added. 

---

 

"Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,003
Registered: ‎05-23-2015

Re: Renowned chef / civil rights activist has passed

What a great legacy, Rest In Peace Leah Chase . 🌺

" You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,618
Registered: ‎10-09-2012

Re: Renowned chef / civil rights activist has passed

Magnificent. 

 

May she rest in everlasting peace.

 

@feline groovy  Thank you for posting this.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,963
Registered: ‎05-23-2011

Re: Renowned chef / civil rights activist has passed


@feline groovy wrote:

remarkable woman!

 

 

Chef and civil rights activist Leah Chase, who was known as the 'Queen of Creole Cuisine', broke segregation laws by seating black and white patrons together, and fed Martin Luther King Jr and others dies at the age of 96

 

  • Chef Leah Chase passed away Saturday night surrounded by her family at the age of 96
  • She was a praised chef known as the 'Queen of Creole Cuisine' and ran Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Dooky Chase's was the first white-tablecloth restaurant for black patrons
  • She took over the restaurant from her father-in-law in 1946 transforming it from a simple sandwich shop into a fine dining experience
  • She and her husband broke segregation laws by seating black and white patrons together and used their restaurant as a civil rights meeting place
  • Her Southern dishes won her national acclaim and she's fed presidents, freedom riders, and activists like Martin Luther King Jr
  • She was the inspiration for Princess Tiana in the 2009 Disney film Princess and the Frog. She was also featured in Beyonce's Lemonade music video  

DailyMail.com

 

Renowned chef known as the 'Queen of Creole Cuisine' and civil rights activist Leah Chase has passed away at the age of 96. 

 

Chase was a beloved chef, praised for her soul food at the famed Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans, who broke down barriers with her cooking and violated segregation laws by seating black and white patrons together.   

 

She passed away Saturday evening surrounded by her family. 

 

Chase's family released a statement saying she was a 'believer in the Spirit of New Orleans'. 

 

'Her daily joy was not simply cooking, but preparing meals to bring people together,' the family's statement read. 'One of her most prized contributions was advocating for the Civil Rights Movement through feeding those on the front lines of the struggle for human dignity." 

 

Chef Leah Chase passed away Saturday night surrounded by her family at the age of 96
She was a praised chef known as the 'Queen of Creole Cuisine' and ran Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana

People came from far and wide for a bite of her food at Dooky Chase's Restaurant, which she took over from her father-in-law. 

 

She transformed the small sandwich shop into a state of the art Creole kitchen. Even in her 90s she dutifully attended to the restaurant every day, using a walker to greet customers and supervise in the kitchen. 

 

Locals, tourists, presidents, freedom riders, and civil right activists like Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr have passed through her restaurant doors for a taste of her Southern cuisine.

 

Ray Charles frequented the restaurant and even mentioned it in his song Early in the Morning.  

 

'I love people and I love serving people. It's fun for me to serve people.'

 

'Because sometimes people will come in and they're tired. And just a little plate of food will make people happy,' Chase said in an interview with the Associated Press in 2015. 

 

Chase's restaurant was much more than good food, she fought for equality through her meals. 

 

Not only did she create the first white-tablecloth restaurant for black patrons, but she used her restaurant as a space for the civil rights movement to strategize and to allow people of different races to mix side by side.  

 

 

She was the culinary extraordinaire behind the iconic Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans

 

She married local jazz musician Edgar 'Dooky' Chase in 1946 and together they took over his father's sandwich shop in the black neighborhood of Treme

Chase was born and raised in Louisiana during the segregated Jim Crow era and worked as a server in New Orleans' French quarter in the 40s. 

 

She married local jazz musician Edgar 'Dooky' Chase in 1946 and together they took over his father's sandwich shop in the black neighborhood of Treme.

 

They upgraded the shop into a sit-down restaurant with tablecloths and silverware and African American art gallery, emulating the fine dining experience in the French Quarter.

 

'I said well why we can’t have that for our people? Why we can’t have a nice space?' she said. 'So I started trying to do different things.'

 

In the 1960s the restaurant became one of the few public places where races were allowed to mix. It was also a key location in the civil rights movement and held black voter registration, NAACP meetings and political gatherings, according to CNN. 

 

'Nobody bothered them once they were in here. The police never, ever bothered us here,' Chase said. 'So they would meet and they would plan to go out, do what they had to do, come back -- all over a bowl of gumbo and some fried chicken.'

 

'It was a haven for them to refresh themselves with wonderful gumbo and it was a place where they could strategize after a hard day’s work,'

Chase's longtime friend Sybril Morial, who was courted by her late husband Ernest 'Dutch' Morial, the city's first black mayor, at Dooky Chase's said. 

 

When civil rights leaders landed in jail, she'd send them food, sniffing her nose at the prison food they'd be forced to eat.  

 

But Chase wasn't one to boast, saying simply she did what she thought she had to do. 

 

Chase's talent in the kitchen and contributions to her community earned her a slew of accolades including from the prestigious James Beard Foundation, the NAACP and Southern Foodways Alliance. 

 

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum even has a permanent gallery named after Chase. 

 

Chase's career was so admirable she inspired the character for Princess Tiana in the 2009 Disney film The Princess and the Frog. Heart

 

She was also included in Beyonce's music video for Lemonade, which featured a myriad of empowering black women. 

 

At the celebration of her 90th birthday she famously said: 'I like to think we changed the course of America in this restaurant over a bowl of gumbo.' 

 

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell led tributes to the beloved chef on Saturday. 

 

'Leah Chase was a legend, an icon and an inspiration. It is impossible to overstate what she meant to our City and to our community. At Dooky Chase’s Restaurant: she made creole cuisine the cultural force that it is today,' she tweeted. 

 

'Leah Chase served presidents and celebrities, she served generations of locals and visitors, and she served her community. She was a culture-bearer in the truest sense. We are poorer for her loss, and richer for having known and having loved her. She will be badly missed,' she added. 

---

 


Brava Heart

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Posts: 559
Registered: ‎05-19-2014

Re: Renowned chef / civil rights activist has passed

Thank you for letting us know.