Chef Leah Chase, or as she’s widely known for her famous New Orleans cooking, the “Queen of Creole Cuisine,” quite literally helped to feed the civil rights movement.
As the chef and owner of the renowned New Orleans restaurant named after her husband’s father, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, Chase’s family took great risk in braving the South’s infamous “Jim Crow” laws to allow black and white organizers of the civil rights movement to use the popular restaurant as a safe meeting place.
“You just did the work you thought you were expected to do,” Chase said. “Anything you thought that could better people, you just did it.”
Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Chase sat down with “Power Players” to remember the days when Freedom Riders worked from the upstairs level of her restaurant to plan their bus routes through the segregated South.
“I knew I had to feed them, and I knew I could not do what they were doing,” Chase said.Read More »from Chef to the Freedom Riders: How the 'Queen of Creole Cuisine' fed the Civil Rights Movement