Black History Month – Leah Chase

  • During the Civil Rights Movement, Dooky Chase’s was the only upscale restaurant where African-Americans could dine. There, restaurant owner Leah Chase fed Freedom Riders and hosted meetings for the Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 
  • Princess Tiana, from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, was based on Leah’s life and was the 1st African-American princess in a Disney movie. Leah is considered to be of “a generation of African-American women who set their faces against the wind without looking back”, as quoted by Jessica B. Harris, author and expert on food of the African Diaspora.
  • Beyond her countless culinary awards, Leah has been recognized by the NAACP receiving the Weiss Award & Torch of Liberty Award. Other recognitions include University of New Orleans’ Entrepreneurship Award & the Outstanding Woman Award from the National Council of Negro Women. Leah, along with 75 women of color, were featured in “I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America.”

In my dining room, we changed the course of America over a bowl of gumbo and some fried chicken.”

— Leah Chase

Source: NYTimes, African American Chef’s Hall of Fame

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