A Source of Love: Baltimore Culinary Artist Krystal Mack Remembers New Orleans Chef Leah Chase
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A Source of Love: Baltimore Culinary Artist Krystal Mack Remembers New Orleans Chef Leah Chase

Leah Chase in “Lemonade” Even before Leah Chase took over at Dooky’s Chase, the New Orleans restaurant founded by her father-in-law in 1941, it was already a bustling, casual eatery where people came to talk about the serious issues of the day. It was Leah, however, who made Creole food its specialty and decorated the walls with art by Black artists. Chase turned Dooky’s into a sit-down restaurant where a members of the community—black and white—could come to talk about race and the fight for civil rights. That was a huge deal in Jim Crow’s America. She fed among many others, Martin Luther King, James Baldwin, and Barack Obama. Chase earned the acclaim and respect in a white, male dominated food industry that she enjoyed all the way until her death at beginning of this month at the age of 96. Chase and her Creole cooking became staples in New Orleans and across the country and in recent years, was even entering the realm of popular culture. She was the inspiration for the first Black Disney Princess—Tiana, the New Orleans girl who dreamed of opening her own restaurant and had a cameo in Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” seated regally among other […]

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