This weekend we loss a giant of the American culinary world: Chef Leah Chase, Queen of Creole Cuisine.  Ms Chase, 96, was also the Executive Chef/ Owner of famed Dooky Chase Restaurant in New Orleans. The legendary restaurant is noted for being one of the oldest upscale, black-owned southern/soul/creole restaurants in the United States.  It has hosted civil rights leaders during the 1950s and 60s, when no other establishment allowed African Americans, and survived to host U.S. Presidents and world leaders.  Ms. Chase remained at the forefront of opening doors for people of color in the restaurant industry and continued leading her kitchen staff for around 70 years.

We were blessed to have been invited to film her as she advised room or black chefs, food writers and culinary historians during a private luncheon at Dooky Chase. Ms. Chase incredibly overwhelmed by the sight of three generation of African American chefs who stood before her–eager to take in every bite of advice, encouragement and instruction that fell from her lips.  That love was reciprocated many times over by those in the room who represented the next generation of black culinary leaders.  We edited this short piece in honor of her and that special exchange.

Our team wishes our condolences to the Chase family, their friends and her community in NOLA.