NEW ORLEANS — Leah Chase, the beloved “queen of Creole cuisine” whose Dooky Chase’s restaurant in Treme served two U.S. presidents and stood as a landmark of the Civil Rights era, died Saturday, June 1. She was 96.

Her family made the announcement late Saturday night, releasing the following statement: 

"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 Creole Cuisine, 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.

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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.

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 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"

The family asked that in lieu of flowers, people makes donations to the Edgar L.“Dooky” Jr. and Leah Chase Family Foundation - P.O. Box 791313 New Orleans, LA 70179