The Chase family is heartbroken to share the news that our Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother, Leah Chase, passed away surrounded by her family on June 1, 2019. Leah Chase, lovingly referred to as the Queen of CreoleCuisine, was the executive chef and co-owner of the historic and legendary Dooky Chase’s Restaurant. She was a major supporter of cultural and visual arts and an unwavering advocate for civil liberties and full inclusion of all. She was a proud entrepreneur, a believer in the Spirit of New Orleans and the good will of all people, and an extraordinary woman of faith.
Mrs. Chase was a strong and selfless matriarch. Her daily joy was not simply cooking, but preparing meals to bring people together. 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. She saw her role and that of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant to serve as a vehicle for social change during a difficult time in our country’s history. Throughout her tenure, Leah treasured all of her customers and was honored to have the privilege to meet and serve them.
While we mourn her loss, we celebrate her remarkable life, and cherish the life lessons she taught us. The Family will continue her legacy of “Work, Pray, and Do for Others.”
Grateful To You,
The Chase Family
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Edgar L.“Dooky” Jr. and Leah Chase Family Foundation – P.O. Box 791313 New Orleans, LA 70179
As the pillars fall
And history fades away
Sad day, though we know Heaven is the best place ever. Rest well, Mama Leah. 💕
A true raconteur, freedom fighter, black Creole queen, and truly the grande dame of Creole cuisine. ✨
Jessica Harris, an author and expert on food of the African diaspora, in a 2012 interview:
“She is of a generation of African-American women who set their faces against the wind without looking back.
Ian McNulty’s lovely obituary
Poppy Tooker celebrates her friend on her show Louisiana Eats.
Dames de Perlage tribute to Chef Leah
“It makes me feel good, it makes me feel like I have accomplished something, like I have performed service to someone else,” she once explained. “When people come back and tell me they remember something I told them, that makes me so happy. I stuck with them in some way.”
Why New Orleans Black Restaurant Week?
New Orleans Black Restaurant Week is a bi-annual chance to celebrate the city’s rich history of culture and cuisine and the contributions made by African-Americans and minority chefs and restaurateurs. Our efforts to support minority-owned businesses and chefs in New Orleans will stimulate economic growth and awareness for these businesses.
How long is New Orleans Black Restaurant Week?
New Orleans Black Restaurant week will begin February 12, 2018 and last for two weeks, ending February 24. More details coming soon on future dates, pop-ups and events.
Reservations for Eat NOLA Noir are now open:
…when they move from the 500 block of St. Philip to the 500 block of Bienville next week.
I am so glad they are moving to the Bienville location and not closing or moving out of our neighborhood… I’ll miss that smell of garlic on St. Phil and I think the museum should be shamed at their eviction of one of the best neighbors in the lower Quarter but Irene and son will do great in the new location too.
I’ll see you there. Story here.
It is my hope that this becomes the revival of a new world-class restaurant culture in the upper Quarter. So few of those restaurants in the Quarter* really aspire to satisfy the palate of those locals who know great food and great service and to not pander to the millions of tennis-shod, Mickey-Mouse tank-wearing visitors who search for items “not spicy” or “with regular food” (both phrases people have given me when I stopped to aid them and asked them what they were looking for in terms of food). Let’s renew the Quarter by creating the best food and best drink rather than the race to the bottom that has been the situation since Croissant D’Or’s Maurice retired from baking croissants, Anne Kearney sold Peristyle and went back to Ohio and Bella Luna’s owners took off for Manchac.
• With respect to Angeline, Sylvain, Doris Metropolitan and the still-cool Bayona.
La Petite Grocery’s Justin Devillier to open French Quarter restaurant | NOLA.com
A panel conversation on why in New Orleans, where African-Americans are fundamental to the cuisine, there are relatively few prominent black chefs.
WHERE & WHEN:
New Orleans Jazz Market
(1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.) Wednesday, May 3, from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m.
Brett Anderson (NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) Zella Palmer (Dillard University)
Panelist and Organizer:
Tunde Wey (cook/writer)
Vance Vaucresson (owner Vaucresson Sausage Company) Jordan Ruiz (chef/owner The Munch Factory) Ericka Lassair (owner/operator Diva Dawg food truck)
Adolfo Garcia (restaurateur)
Todd A. Price
Restaurant critic Brett Anderson makes his annual selection.
Sadly, only one in the French Quarter. Everything else on the other side of Canal, although all are in the “Sliver by the River.”
I would agree with most of these choices except for Clancy’s. I think Anderson tries hard to convince us in his review that it isn’t the old (read stale) New Orleans place that we used to have too many, all about the “see-and-be-seen” vibe that it really is about and not about great food or great service. It has been my experience – and the same for many friends – that if you are not known to the staff as a regular, you would not like it. Or if you think that fresher ingredients and lighter dishes are rightfully known as the new New Orleans menu, then you surely won’t agree with it being chosen. Instead, I’d put Aaron Burgau’s Patois or Alex Harrell’s Angeline* downtown in its place.
*Well well; soon after he was skipped by nola.com, Harrell was chosen as NOLa Chef of the year on Thrillist.